A Small Box

By Mark Hopper

I think most husbands have difficulty finding gifts for their wife.  After many years of marriage, it is hard to think of something new and creative to give her. From a husband’s perspective,  most wives who have been married for 25 or 30 years have everything they need.  We have been married 45 years!  What else could she possibly need?

Since I wasn’t sure what to do,  I called one of our daughters and asked for some suggestions.  One idea she thought of was to give my wife theater tickets to a Musical that was coming to southern California in the spring. The nice thing about theater tickets is that my wife enjoys receiving them and she looks forward to the date we will actually use them!  The anticipation adds to the enjoyment.

Another suggestion was to give my wife a gift card to one of her favorite clothing stores so she could pick out a dress or an outfit herself.  That does eliminate the surprise factor but it does allow her to find something she likes. Finally in desperation, I decided to go to the Mall myself on the Saturday before Christmas and see what I could find.  I had a budget in mind and thought I would start in the jewelry department.  The Mall was crowded and parking was scarce, but I was determined to not leave without a Christmas gift for my wife.  After I finally found a parking space, I set out on my quest.

Since I had not been to the jewelry department in years, it took me a while to find it.  Several helpful clerks were waiting for me. I’m sure they know what a desperate husband looks like on Christmas Eve. I decided to lay my cards on the table and simply asked the clerk what could I buy within my budget?  I was surprised at how willing they were to help me.  They even had some items on sale within my price range. When I picked out the item I liked,  they informed me that the special reduced sale price wasn’t available until after Christmas. Bummer!  But, they assured me that they could check with their manager and see if they could sell me the item at the special after Christmas reduced price now.  Was this a scam?  Was I their next victim?  I held my breath.

Finally, the clerk returned with good news.  They were glad to sell me the item now at the after Christmas price.  It was within my budget and they even offered to wrap it.  Success!

Before they wrapped the little velvet box, they removed the price tag and gave it to me.  According to the tag, the original price was several times higher than what I paid.  I was impressed with my bargaining skills! I left the Mall with a gift in hand.  Like Julius Caesar said,  “Venti, vidi, vici” – “I came, I saw and I conquered”.

My wife was thrilled with her Christmas gift.  It was a winner.  She couldn’t believe that I would buy something this nice.  She was very pleased and very surprised.  Who was I?  Where was her real husband?? I managed to leave the price tag in an obscure place knowing that she would eventually find it.  When she saw it a few days after Christmas, she called me immediately and asked if I had really spent that much on her gift. I reassured her that she was worth every cent, but I tried to avoid telling her I that I had actually paid the after Christmas super discount price.  I hope you won’t tell her either. I hope your holidays were as much fun as ours.  Gift giving is a risky business.  It is hard to find the right gift for the woman who already has everything!  This Christmas was a winner!

Efree Church of Diamond Bar

3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd

(909) 594-7604

Sunday Services: 9:00 & 10:45 AM

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