The selection, the pregnant pause, the unwrapping, 'the ooh and the aah', the smile, the twinkle...there was everything! I had this one locked up! Could it BE any clearer? So, I waited for my number to be called. #7's next. Hey...I'm #7. Here was my chance to shine. I didn't have to go far to get it. I reached to my right and took it with confidence. Then - silence. Followed by...laughter. Lots of laughter.
I wasn't even close! Oh...the shame. Oh...the laughter.
Did I say #NOTEVENCLOSE?
Last night's Christmas party will go down in the history books - at least it will in my mind. If you've ever played the gift exchange game where stealing is encouraged, then you might understand the dilemma I faced. If you don't know this game, here's a quick look at the rules.
- Bring a wrapped gift. Preferably a gift that you received at your wedding 20 years ago and one that was never used. Or maybe a wall ornament that you have to blow an inch of dust from.
- Don't admit which gift is yours and make sure your spouse knows what paper you used.
- From a predetermined draw, wait until your number is called and either pick an unwrapped gift that was brought by another guest - or 'steal' a gift that someone else picked previously.
- And, if you do steal a gift, put it under your chair so that 'future un-wrappers' will forget about it.
That's about it. I might have skipped a few steps but if you're clever, you'll get the gist of the game. Basically, you hope to take home the best of someone else's unwanted or no longer used gifts.
Here was the dilemma. Pick something for me. Or, pick something for her. So, being all manly and stuff, I picked something for her. First the Christmas Carousel. Then the "NOooooo" from across the room from where she was sitting. Then the laughter. I thought she liked it. She oohed and aahed. She smiled. Her eyes twinkled. So, I stole it. I stole a gift from a fellow guest because I thought she liked it. The queues were all there. Any guy would have done the same. But the laughter. Oh the laughter. (Kind of made me feel like the Grinch - Jim Carey's version - when he came out with band-aids after shaving!)
Don't worry. It's all good. I'm pleased to say that we now have a new Christmas ornament on our shelf and a great story to go with. But, for me, it's also a story of discovery. I'm still learning about my wife's tastes. Sometimes, when I think I've nailed 'it' I couldn't be more wrong. And, at other times, it's totally reversed.
I think it's a lot like how the fruit of the Holy Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control - grows within. These nine gifts of the God are called fruit for a reason. A piece of fruit starts from a flower and over the course of a season the apple, or pear, or peach, ripens to full maturity. Just like fruit, a gift of the Holy Spirit has to grow and mature within before it bears fruit. It doesn't happen over night and it could even take a lifetime before it's ready to be picked. So, when I first met my wife, believe it or not, I didn't know everything about her immediately...and, from last night's events, it's very evident there's along way to go! I love her and I'm still learning.
I love the Lord Jesus Christ and I'm still learning. The fruit is growing. I just wish 'patience' would ripen 'cause I can't wait for that one!
Oh...one more thing...I can't wait for Christmas either!