I must have walked past that package 20 times, there underneath the kitchen tree. Large and square-ish, it was nestled in the back against the television cabinet, overwhelmed by bag upon bag of yet-to-be-wrapped treasures, bags of every size and shape, bags overflowing.
It huddled back there, a big gold box, crowded into a corner, waiting. Still, you’d think I would have noticed it, considering its rather large size and all.
But I didn’t.
And then we brought in the big tree, the real tree, an 8-footer now towering majestically over the living room, decked in white lights with branches and branches of ornaments, each a story, a memory, collected over a lifetime. And suddenly, there it was, the big gold box, wrapped and ready to be moved to its official holiday post, in the living room, under the real tree.
Where did that come from? I asked him, when the gold present came into focus, I don’t remember buying that one.
It’s for you, he said, smiling quietly. And so is this little one, a silver box with a pretty silver bow.
For me? I said, silently considering the fact that we hadn’t yet had the what do you want me to get you this year conversation. A pointless conversation, really, since he waits and waits and waits for an answer, an answer from me, an answer that never really comes.
Yes, he said. And these aren’t the best presents. Your real gift is there, on the tree. That white envelope is for you.
And just like that, just that quick, I am a child again, eagerly awaiting Christmas morning and the possibility of those presents, chosen just for me, gifts I will have looked at and considered all through the month of December.
I can’t wait until you open the envelope, he said. I already know it is the best present I am giving this year.
Me too, I thought. Me, too.
30 Days of Joy