The magi, as you know, were wise men – wonderfully wise men – who brought gifts to the new-born King of the Jews in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication.
There are those who dread the holiday season - hiding under the covers gnashing their teeth in growing desperation as the fateful day creeps ever nearer while they bitterly contemplate the vicious unrelenting crowds on the very last few days of the Christmas sales. Faced with the barbaric hordes of desperate last-minute shoppers clamouring for that last perfect present, I would certainly find myself cowering as well.
Bet even the Magi must have had some problems securing gold, frankincense and myrrh at the last minute.
Which is why I'm the opposite of that.
It's a time for giving!
I usually finish my Christmas list weeks in advance. Hell, I sometimes find myself picking up a few choice pieces early in November. Sometimes even before if the item is eminently suited for the intended recipient at the right price. Yes, I am one of those obsessive freaks with a stash of immaculately wrapped presents hidden under the staircase all year round.
Think I should have considered a career as a personal shopper. Nothing pleases me more than reuniting someone special with the perfect gift that was invariably missing in their lives! Probably would do it for minimal wage even now!
Which is why I get calls like this on a regular basis.
Calvin : What should I get for Lanky Lex for his birthday?
Paul : All depends on the budget.
Calvin : Well he did say that friends get gifts around a hundred bucks.
Paul : Since he does like to read non-fiction novels, I believe a trip to the bookstore would be best. Something oddly blasphemous denouncing the existence of God?
Calvin : Think we got him a book last year?
Paul : If not, perhaps some of the tight tees that he wears. From NUM?
Calvin : Think someone is already getting him that.
Paul : Perhaps some cologne?
And the conversation continues. From miles away in the boondocks, I help so many others pick out the perfect gifts.
Makes me wonder if they'll find the same for me. Writing out the annual Christmas list helps of course ... but I've always loved the keen anticipation over the unknown. Some things are better left to the imagination, don't you think? Isn't that what opening presents on Christmas morning is all about? Giving the box a hearty shake to ascertain the secret contents, thoughtfully untying the knots on the pretty bow and then patiently peeling the wrapping paper open to reveal the bounty within?