'Matter of Laugh or Death,' the award-winning humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
SPECIAL GIFTS AT CHRISTMAS
Each year my wife and I try to buy meaningful Christmas gifts for each other. Since this is such a special and holy season, we want the gifts we exchange to be equally as special, symbolizing the profound love and commitment we have for each other.
This year marks the 23rd Christmas we will celebrate together as man and wife, and after that many years it has become a bit more difficult to find the perfect gift. A couple of weeks ago I asked my wife if she had purchased my gift. She smiled weakly and said, “Not yet, dear. It’s hard finding just the right present for you.”
I smiled in return. “I know what you mean,” I said. “But don’t worry. Every year we somehow end up discovering the perfect Christmas presents for each other. There’s just something about the magic of Christmas. It always works out just right.”
I continued looking for the perfect gift for my wife. I visited jewelry stores and travel agencies. I even ventured to the most frightening place on earth, a shopping mall during the holiday season.
As December 25th loomed closer and closer, I was starting to get a little nervous. But then, right on cue, the magic of Christmas took over, and the perfect gifts suddenly appeared. This year the gifts my wife and I bought for each other were so amazing, so meaningful, so symbolic of the joy and wonder of this holy season, we couldn’t wait until Christmas Day. We just had to exchange our gifts right away.
So a couple of days ago, I lovingly presented my wife with: new front brakes and rotors, new rear shocks, and two new all-season radial tires.
And then not to be outdone, the very next day my wife gave to me: a new timing belt, new front-left tie rod bushings and wheel alignment, and replacement cam and crank seals.
It was so touching. I think you’ll agree with me that nothing says “I love you” like a pair of unexpected car repair bills just days before Christmas.
Call us silly, but my wife and I are simply a pair of hopeless romantics. When it comes to showing our affection for each other, nothing is too good, neither an outrageous 100% dealer markup on replacement parts, nor a $75 per hour labor fee. So what if we blew our entire Christmas gift-giving budget plus half of next month’s mortgage payment in the process? Love is the strongest force in the universe.
If you ask me, there is nothing more sacred and awe-inspiring than the gift of transportation. My wife and I, in one unbelievably overpriced fell swoop, gave each other this perfect gift. Transportation is freedom, transportation is independence, transportation is the ability to seek and discover the many wonders of God’s great creation.
And my wife and I surely would use the gift of transportation to seek and discover the many wonders of God’s great creation if we weren’t so preoccupied using the gift of transportation to commute to and from our workplaces in a desperate attempt to earn enough money to pay gigantic, unexpected car repair bills.
As with all perfect gifts, the magical effects are far-reaching. Not only do my wife and I receive the blessings of such generosity, but the impact of our gift-giving will ripple outward and touch many of our loved ones and friends.
Because of the Christmas gifts my wife and I gave to each other, because our altruistic display of selflessness was so inspiring, our two daughters, our parents, our brothers and sisters, and our nieces and nephews all will be receiving from us a most special gift this year: our warmest regards.
Yes indeed, we have decided to give each of our loved ones this year a gift so precious that one cannot put a dollar value on it. Which works out perfectly since that’s exactly what we have left in our Christmas budget: no dollar value.
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