Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Wonderful Gift

“Christmas is coming,” Mr Wonderful’s voice came over the phone.
“Actually it’s tomorrow,” I said rolling another toy in tissue paper and sinking it into a gift bag.  
“I’ve decided that I do want a Christmas gift.”
“Finally!” I stopping my wrapping marathon to grab my gift list. “What do you want?”
“Chickens.”
“… Excuse me?” 
“Chickens. Cluck cluck.”


In early December Mr. Wonderful announced that he didn’t want a Christmas gift this year. So I’d spent weeks thinking of holiday gifts for other people. And my suggestions worked. Case in point: a dear cousin took my advice and bought the pink tool set… for herself! Because when a gal sees a complete tool set in pink, how can she not buy it… for herself?!

But none of this moved Mr. Wonderful. He had announced he was abstaining from gifts this year and he was sticking to that because he was “too old” for Christmas. 

“No one is too old for Christmas,” I said hanging Christmas lights in the living room.
“When you pass your 20th birthday, Christmas is over,” he said stirring a mug of hot chocolate.
Au contraire. At 20, the joy of Christmas is just beginning!” 

Now I’m not saying that before I was 20 that my childhood Christmases were subpar because they weren’t. Au contraire! They were magical, family-oriented and fun-filled. I loved shaking the presents to guess their contents, ripping paper from the packages and playing with my Peter Rabbit toys with my siblings in the glow of the popcorn and cranberry-strung, decorated tree. I have fond memories of my childhood Christmases.

But when I was a child sometimes Santa Claus did not read my letter carefully, the letter that said I wanted the pink Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse. Maybe Santa was too busy with all the other children in the world that he couldn’t fit the pink Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse in his sleigh for me; or maybe my letter addressed to him got lost in the mail; or just maybe my parents didn’t like the pink Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse, and they let him know so he didn’t bring it for me.

Anyway you look at it, I never got the pink Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse. But I have been fascinated with houses ever since. So when I was older than 20 I started learning about houses, attending designer showcase homes and watching This Old House on PBS. The roots of my DIY began with not getting the pink Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse!

“So the point of your story is that I am too old for Christmas,” Mr. Wonderful said sipping a hot chocolate. 
Au contraire,” I grabbed my wine glass. “Christmas is about joy. And if you are joyful you will spread that joy to others.”
“… Okay... ?”
“When you’re under 20, you often get exactly what you want for Christmas. And if you don’t, you just have to accept the disappointment. But when you are older than 20, you have the where with all to buy yourself what makes you joyful and spread the Christmas cheer! Like my cousin and her pink tool set.” 
“Hey, you’re right,” he said clinking his mug to my wine glass.

That was the other day and now his voice in my ear was telling me he wanted chickens for Christmas.
“You want a chicken dinner?” I said thinking I’d misunderstood him.
“No, I want live chickens who can lay eggs for us.”
“… I don’t think that is such a good idea.”
“We can put them in our backyard.”
“This sounds like a bad idea.”
“They’ll have their own little coop-house to live in.”
“This is a bad idea.”
“Their coop is the size of Barbie’s Malibu Dreamhouse,” he said.
“... Can I paint it pink?”
I heard him smile over the phone. What joy! He was getting chickens and I was getting my pink Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse! Finally!

Merry Christmas!