In a new relationship, the first holiday season shared together tells us more about our partner than months of ordinary conversation can reveal. Crazy relatives, elevated stress levels, family traditions and gift choices. There is no question that if your new guy presents you with a heart-shaped necklace, wrapped in a little black box, his feelings for you become evident. Likewise, if you find yourself unwrapping a weed eater, it is a different story altogether. It can be a tricky situation, however, because the weed eater guy might adore you as much as the heart-shaped necklace fellow, but either way Christmas will have taught you that one is romantic and the other practical. Or… flat clueless. However you choose to see it.
My first Christmas with Mister Man showed me exactly what he was made of. And I am pretty certain he learned a thing or two about me. If he had not already suspected it, the fact that I am a terribly impatient person was certainly revealed. He also gathered that even as a grown woman, I still have a child-like spirit. Especially when it comes to Christmas. One very cold December evening, Mister Man treated me to his infamous spaghetti. Nat King Cole sang beautifully in the background and red wine was flowing. After dinner we brought our glasses into the living room and sat beside the stunning, brightly lit Christmas tree. The evening was nothing less than perfect and I couldn’t help feeling like the luckiest girl alive. A medium-sized box sat beneath the tree with my name on it. I was impressed by how fabulous the wrapping job was with hunter green shimmering paper and an oversized red silk bow. What on earth could it be? The size of the box drove my imagination wild and curiosity was getting the best of me. Mister Man was talking and I just nodded as if I was listening; but my concentration was distracted by the hunter green box.
“So what is it honey?” I asked him bluntly. “What is what?” he replied. “My present? Tell me…pretty please?” His forehead scrunched together as he said, “Are you crazy lady? I can’t tell you what it is…Christmas is three weeks away!”
It reminded me of myself as a four year old little girl begging mom to tell me what Santa was going to bring. Being mostly playful, even I knew how annoying I was being as I continued trying to pry it out of him. I explained that surprises are for children and that the “date” that you open the gift doesn’t matter. We were both laughing at the situation and I knew there was no way he was going to tell me what was in the box.
“It is a toaster.” He said to me suddenly. A toaster? A toaster? Yeah, right I thought, knowing he was just trying to shut me up. He must have noted the look on my face as he retracted, stating…”but this is not an ordinary toaster. It is a toaster with a DVD player in it!”
In order to bust his bluff I dashed to the computer and googled: TOASTER WITH DVD PLAYER. To my disbelief, sure enough, somewhere on this planet for $175 was a Toaster with a DVD player. Although still not completely convinced at this point, I had no choice but to entertain the thought that my first Christmas gift from Mister Man might actually be a toaster. An unromantic, chauvinistic, assuming, flipping toaster.
The next day I received a phone call from my best friend. “You are getting a toaster for Christmas my dear. Just wanted to give you a heads up." OMG. It was true. The toaster became the source of many, many conversations over the next several weeks and I was shocked that several of the gals at my office told me similar horror stories of blenders, tool boxes and ironing boards. Seriously?
Finally, after a very long month, Christmas Eve came. The snow was falling as if on cue and several friends and family came to the house to celebrate. Gifts were exchanged and hot buttered rums were the cocktails of choice. Mister Man brought over my pretty box and toaster jokes were abounding. Dying to capture my expression, every camera in the room was directed towards me. I carefully opened the package and dumped the white squishy foam protectors to reveal my gift. GULP.
It was certainly no toaster. Inside of the box were seven individually framed, featured CD’s of songs that I had written over the years. Artist’s that had recorded my music. Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Randy Travis, Willie Nelson, Bo Bice, Lorrie Morgan and Bomshel. I was so shocked that I couldn’t even form a tear.
Mister Man cleared his throat saying, “These albums should be hanging on your wall as a reminder of what you do.” I then formed many tears along with everybody in the room, including Mister Man. It was one of the most special moments of my life. Only one box remained under the tree. It was my gift to Mister Man. I could have died as he started opening the present. I was mortified with myself. But Mister Man looked at it and started howling with laughter as he walked over; giving me a sweet, long hug. “Buf, how did you know? I have always wanted a waffle maker.”