The Story of Christmas; Gift Giving
In years past, I vowed to not give adults Christmas gifts, reserving all gifts for the kids. They are least likely to understand how expensive and commercialized the holiday has become. That said, this year was different in that I was aware that folks were not going to respect my requests not to give me any gifts and I’d feel like a moron not reciprocating. First, there was my baby, BD, who professed early on how important Christmas is to him. He gushed that of all the holidays, Christmas is the season he holds most dear. His assertion cranked-up the anxiety to provide a gift that would match his opulent taste and wouldn’t leave me scrambling for January’s rent. After searching high and low, I was drawing a blank. I began having sleepless nights, coupled with nightmares of a disappointed BD staring blankly at a half-baked Cocoa cure. So, I opted for shopping for everyone else on my list first, hoping that by leaving BD for last I’d have more a clue what to give him. One week before Christmas, as BD and I went on a Saturday shopping spree together, we entered the Coach store where I began rifling through scarves, wallets and bags in an attempt to pick a cute gift for my older sister. It has become a yearly ritual for me to purchase my sis a Coach item. As I debated between two scarves, BD approached me carrying a very expensive work bag. As many of you may remember, BD will be joining me at my firm and he wants to make one of his fashion-forward impressions when he arrives. I looked at the bag, checked out the tag, gasped and returned it to him with a simple, “Boy, put that back. We’re supposed to be shopping for everyone else.” He looked like a little kid and said, “I really want this. I’m going to put it on my card and deal with the charges later.” He then squirmed at my parental look of disdain and said, “Don’t say it!” We reached the register and BD placed the bag and the other items in front of the cashier, quickly asking the cashier to ring the bag separately so that he could pay for it with a credit card. He sighed when the cashier announced the bag’s price and in that millisecond, the light-bulb moment occurred. I handed over my debit card and said, “Thank you.” I then turned to BD and said, “Merry Christmas baby!” The cashier asked, “Are you sure?” and I quickly responded, “…as a Hunt’s Point hooker.” BD was about to fight the purchase, but I shut him down with a simple, “It’s what you REALLY want and that’s what I wanted to be sure of all along; that I would give you what you really wanted for Christmas. Enjoy it baby…I love you.” He hugged me and kissed me on the lips right at the register and the cashier could only smile nervously and say, “That is so sweet. Boy, you better take your Christmas gift!” So here’s how this purchase breaks down:
1. At that moment I knew BD was willing to charge up credit cards to get that bag, so I was assured the gift was something he really wanted.
2. Although he was privy to the bag’s price, the very fact that the item is expensive allows him to see it. Do not attempt this with an item under $100 and do not frequent this method of gift-giving, as the recipient may use their wants to manipulate a purchase each time.
3. There was no wrapping, cards or extra flash needed. The affection shown during the purchase made the gift memorable.
Was the gift I received from BD as heart-warming? Your darn tootin’ it was! BD surprised me with a flat-screen, high-definition television that left me speechless! You’d think that I would’ve been perceptive enough to see it coming, but I was too blinded in one of my last-minute anxiety-attack shopping runs. When he asked, “Do you think this TV is good?” I looked and said, “Yeah, if you’re planning to give someone a lifetime gift.” He simply said, “Nah, I’m replacing my TV in the living room, so that me and the Minnie have something really nice to watch.” It sounded innocuous enough. After paying for the TV we both lugged it to my car and carefully loaded it in – don’t ask how I got this thing into my vehicle, but thank goodness for hatchbacks! When we arrived at my crib, he asked if we could leave the TV at my house so as to not cause a commotion at his place. I obliged and we dragged the thing into my living room. I said, “You’re going to need plenty of paper to wrap that thing and be here in time to do it pa, cuz I can’t wrap worth a shit.” He turned to me, smiled and said, “Merry Christmas baby.” I cry even telling the story today.
BE HONEST…What is more important to you when receiving a gift, the value (price) or the sentimental value?
Keep passin’ the open windows…