Friday, December 26, 2008

The best Christmas gift ever

“This is the best Christmas ever,” my daughter proclaimed.

I couldn’t help but smile. She’s enthusiastically made this statement every year since she learned to talk. And, fortunately, so.

It was a good Christmas for me, too. As the kids grow older, they are more involved in choosing my gifts, which makes it more fun for me (no offense, honey). I never know what they think I can’t live without.

This year my son went shopping with my husband and came home strangely quiet. He’d smile and nod but volunteered no information about how they’d spent their day. This year’s present was going to be a good one; I could tell.

As I opened my gifts on Christmas Day, my son was too distracted with his own treasures to pay much attention to me. Eventually, he came over as I was slowly unwrapping and asked, “Did you open the one with diamonds yet?”

“With diamonds?” I asked excitedly, beginning to pick up the pace.

“Oops!” he said, as he clasped his hand over his mouth.

I tossed aside the gift I was unwrapping and ripped open his small package in anticipation.

Inside was the biggest, gaudiest, I mean, most beautiful, necklace that I’ve ever seen.

“It’s your birthstone,” he said of the huge bright purple piece of plastic. “And look at the diamonds. It’s covered in them.”

“Wow!” I said, impressed he knew my birthstone.

“Can you believe it only cost $25?”

“Are you sure it wasn’t $2,500 or $250?” I asked.

“No, ma’am. It was only $25! Can you believe it?” he asked proudly.

“Well, you really aren’t supposed to tell people how much their gifts cost,” I said, then seeing the disappointed look on his face, quickly added, “but I’m glad you told me. You are really a smart shopper, and I love it.”

My husband later told me that as they were checking out with my gift card, my son spotted the necklace and insisted I had to have it. The saleslady asked my husband if he needed a receipt, and he replied, "I don't think she'll be bringing it back."

He was right. I guess I could hide it in a drawer and pull it out for special occasions (like when my son asks about it), but I’m not. I plan to wear it as often as I can. I’ve worn it to the grocery store and the gym so far, although I must admit it’s raised a few eyebrows from other women. That’s okay. They may look at as $25 costume jewelry, but to me, it’s priceless.

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