Is it strange that, at thirty-one, I still more or less do a happy Snoopy dance at the thought of Christmas presents? I love buying them, wrapping them, opening them.... You'd think after all these years I'd have outgrown the excitement of Pretty Paper! Ooh yeah!
Speaking of presents, I have a story about one that happens to be true.
Once upon a time, about two years ago, as it was getting on toward Christmas, my dad was taken to the hospital with pneumonia. Its funny how you don't think anything will ever touch your parents until suddenly it does, and then the world turns... strange. You kind of numb everything out until you can deal with things again. So there I was with the world turned numb and gray and hard to process, with a presentation for my last day of the collage semester.
If you are taking classes and something bad happens in your personal life, it will always be either before a presentation, or a major test. This is a Universal Law.
I made it through the presentation and I don't think anyone noticed that I was only half there, so it was a success. Later one of the other students gave me a gift and told me how much she appreciated me. I was stunned. I don't think I reacted right -I barely reacted at all. I was too stunned, it was so unexpected. Her kindness absolutely got me through the rest of the day. I had planned to go home and stare at the telephone all day, waiting to hear updates about my dad. Instead I gathered my brothers and took them out Christmas shopping at the mall, and got pizza. When mom came home from the hospital she didn't find me with my nerves stretched taunt from phone-watching. I was relaxed enough to help her relax.
The job of presents is to show people that you're thinking about them. Words work as well or better. It's really easy to underestimate how much it can mean to a person to hear that they've been important to your life. I know I don't tell people that often enough.