Thursday, December 3, 2009

Gifts and Gambles

Sooner or later—not just at Christmas time or for some other special holiday—we all end up giving a gift to someone. Now not everyone is as paranoid about gift giving as I am, but let’s just assume that someone else feels nearly as uncertain about what to give to whom and in what manner. Gift giving is NOT easy, despite commercials to the contrary. Expecting a pleased reaction is like gambling on the lottery.

Certain factors affect what can be given to whom and how. For instance, a beach pail with shovel and assorted summer accessories for the beach just doesn’t cut it during winter. Never mind that all those beach things were on sale two months ago when the stores were trying to clear out merchandise! Not many families with small children will be going to a beach during the winter—much less allow the kids to play in the wet sand.

Then there are those leftover boxes of Valentine candy that were on sale right after that holiday. True, Aunt Julie would love the candy, but she might wonder why it is frozen solid and question whether the chocolate Easter bunnies and Cadbury eggs would have stayed good even kept in your deep freeze. Personally, I think the combination of red hearts and colorful eggs would be quite attractive. I can skip the plastic grass easily enough—even if it was cheap.

Our family doctor moves into his new office next week. I have the perfect gift for him if I can just find a nice gold string for a bow. He is a cowboy type who has some carved cacti and spurs in his office waiting room. So my old antique barbed wire should be just about right for an ‘office warming’ present. That wire has been in the family for a long time—so long I can’t remember the last time one of the kids got cut on it. Like I said, it’s the perfect gift for a doctor’s office.

Gifts should be surprises and fun to give or get. I like the song that Rod Stewart sings that asks, “Whose gonna bring you a broken arrow; whose gonna bring you a bottle of rain? Here he comes, walkin’ across the water.” The only one I know who gave the ultimate gift to ALL of us still gives it to us every day. And I am still surprised that He loves us.