Thursday, December 15, 2011
Christmas Book Pick of the Day: Christmas Day in the Morning
One of life's greatest mysteries to me is this: Why is the man I married so hard to shop for? My husband assures me that this is not the case, as he would be happy to receive socks and drill bits for any and every holiday. But that is exactly my point. BO-RING. Just writing "socks and drill bits" makes me want to take a nap. When I give a gift, I want it to be exciting and unexpected and blissfully impractical. This is easy when it comes to women. We are born loving all things blissfully impractical, like jewelry, high-heeled shoes, and Barbie Dream Houses. But my husband . . . well, he is another story.
Just ask Pearl S. Buck. I have a feeling she had grappled with a similar dilemma when she wrote Christmas Day in the Morning over 50 years ago. In this story, a young farm boy struggles over what to give his strict, chore-wielding father for Christmas. In the end, the boy bypasses the standard necktie option and gives his father a gift that is exciting, unexpected, AND blissful. And here comes the shocker: his gift is a practical one, too. Blast. Maybe Pearl Buck was doing more than just writing a timeless classic that illustrates the true meaning of Christmas when she took this story on. Maybe she was also trying to teach gift-givers like me a lesson---that the best kind of gift isn't necessarily practical or impractical, but one that tells your loved one that you were thinking of them.
I wish you all a Christmas full of inspiring stories like this one and oodles of heartfelt gifts. As for me, I'm off to buy some drill bits and socks. Who knows, maybe I'll stop by the car wash to give my husband's car a bath and a good vacuum while I'm at it. When he sees the car AND the Home Depot bag, he just might think that this is the best Christmas he ever had . . .