Well, another Christmas has come and gone. Left behind were mounds of wrapping paper, strewn boxes, ribbon galore, and lots of happy family . . . at least most of the family was happy. I haven’t quite decided what I am yet . . .
On Christmas Day the wife posted a picture of her Christmas gift from me on Instagram—a Bose stereo system. It looks exactly like the one pictured above. After having listened to her moan and groan for months about the inability of her small CD player being able to not play more than one CD at a time, I decided to get her a multi-player CD player. I looked high and low for a small, compact CD for her shelf in the kitchen . . . to no avail. Everything I found was big, clunky, and more like something you would see in a bar. So, I bit the bullet and went for the best—the Bose system. And boy, am I glad that I did . . . the wife hasn’t wiped the smile off her face since she started using it—continuously. She was quite pleased with her Christmas gift. I’m glad to see her happy.
On the other hand . . . as I stated earlier, I am not so sure what I am. Like me the wife spent a lot of time researching and looking around to get me a Christmas gift. She talked to a lot of people about exactly what would be the best for me. She harangued the salespeople until she got exactly what she thought I should have. Then she wrapped it and placed it next to the tree . . . it had to go next to the tree because it was practically the same size as the tree. Let it be known, for once I actually had the largest present next to the tree. The anticipation built for the couple of days I had to wait to open the present . . .
Imagine, then, my surprise when I opened that huge gift and saw a . . .
. . . LADDER!
Yep, I got a ladder. Not just any ladder, but a Werner Telescoping Multi-Ladder! To say the least I was more than a little shocked . . . it just was not what I was expecting. In fact, it really wouldn’t be what anyone would be expecting . . . unless you are a carpenter or painter . . . especially on Christmas Day! But there it was in all of its glory with the wife smiling from ear-to-ear. I had no words to describe what I was feeling. I looked over at her Bose and then, over at my Werner . . . tears filled my eyes.
A ladder! Who gives a non-mechanical, non-builder, a non-climber, a non-anything that has to do with a ladder, a ladder for Christmas? In the past, when I needed a ladder, I wandered over to the neighbors and borrowed one of theirs. It was simple, fast, and I did not have to hassle with finding a place in the garage to store it. At the most this took place twice a year—putting the Christmas lights up and taking them down. As I watched and listened to my wife play with her new stereo—enjoying the her music—over and over again, the rest of the family cracked jokes about how I could go outside and play with my ladder. Tears, again, filled my eyes as they all laughed.
Oh, well . . .
I will eventually get over it. In the meantime the ladder leans against the wall in the garage until the snow melts. Until the snow melts I really cannot climb up on the roof of the house using my new ladder. It might be about mid-June before I actually get to “play” with my ladder. In the meantime, I admire it from a distance.
Lots of gifts were exchanged around the tree on Christmas. The wife and I got the neatest gift from our daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter . . . a photo book of their little family from the birth to about the present. It was filled with lots and lots of wonderful and beautiful pictures of the three of them, but mostly the granddaughter during the first five months of her life. It was great! Again, my eyes filled with tears, but I knew these were tears of happiness and joy.
That gift said it all . . . it represented the greatest gift of all . . . it was a symbol. True, the photo book was wonderful, but it pointed to a bigger gift. As we sat around the Christmas tree, opening gifts, laughing, and generally having a festive time, I looked around. As I looked around I saw our sons—all grown up as adults, still getting excited with each present they opened. I saw our daughter, her husband, and their daughter—our granddaughter, sitting together in the midst of their little family. I saw the wife smiling, encouraging the others to open their presents, and basking in their joy. I saw the dogs, lounging in their Christmas sleep. This was the “real” gift . . . this was the greatest gift of all—family!
As the Rolling Stones once stated, and I paraphrase here: “You don’t always get what you want, but you always get what you need.” Family is what I needed . . . the ladder, well the jury is still out on that one, but family is truly the best and greatest gift of all.