Giving The Gifts Of Love And Devotion

by Kevin Burton

   The best jokes around our house don’t start with “knock knock” or “a guy walks into a bar.” They start with “what do you want for..”

   On our calendar we have spaced birthdays, Christmas, and our anniversary so that at all times there is some kind of gifting occasion on the horizon. When I took to courting years ago, I specifically set out to find a woman with a February birthday to offset my August one.

   These days it is wedding anniversary gift season. Our 11th is today.

   If you could see our house, you would agree that we have all we need and then some.  We should be getting rid of things and we are, just not fast enough.

   But we don’t have a ton of deferred gratification here.  Amazon is an ever-present help in time of need, or in time of want.

   Most of the time when one of us asks “what do you want for…” the other one is genuinely stumped. 

   There is help with the anniversary because some busybody, or perhaps a committee of busybodies has come up a whole list of what you’re supposed to buy for what anniversary.

   I let Jeannette know that for the 11th anniversary it’s paper mâché.  That didn’t sound right to her, so she got her thumbs going and found out on her phone online it’s actually steel or a steel rose.

   I’ve seen these steel roses on various websites. Are you serious with this? A steel rose by any other name would be just as worthless.

   What we’ve come up with is a restaurant outing.  There is a place not terribly far from us that makes good steaks and has chicken dishes that Jeannette will eat. The restaurant has a cool train motif. 

   Other than that, it’s gift cards.  Gift cards never fail. One size fits all. It’s always the right color, green as in money, even if the card isn’t green. Hair places, nail places, Starbucks, Buffalo Wild Wings. Whatever is on heavy rotation is fair game.

   A meal and/or a gift card as a joint anniversary gift doesn’t add to our clutter, unless you count calories as clutter.

   We still do the greeting cards. 

   We’ll be buying a new deck soon, so maybe we can count that as an anniversary gift?

   One time when I was teaching English in Mexico, I asked the students to talk about the best gift they had ever gotten.  It was my job to get them to practice using the language skills that teachers better than I had taught them. 

  The gift question was a good one because they were bursting with stories and memories.

   I then asked them, what was the best gift you have ever given.  I fully expected the conversation to slow down. But I didn’t anticipate what I got, which was absolute silence.

   That’s the way some people are about gifts, all about getting, not giving.  I had a major falling out with a family member two years ago on this issue.  So I’m kind of put off by the whole gift thing these days.

   The resurrection of Jesus Christ that allowed for my salvation is of course the greatest gift ever. 

   Of gifts of the earthly plain, Jeannette herself is the greatest gift.

   I think of meeting of needs as gifts that go back and forth between us several times a week.  My doing the things I am good at, she doing the same, to keep the household humming along.  Those are my kind of gifts.

  Or, as Jeannette says, “spending time together with no interruptions.”

   So sorry that it took me so long to figure out that the best gifts don’t come in wrapping paper.

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