Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Gift of the Magi (the worst gift ever...)

I can't believe I don't have this story written anywhere because I feel like I have told it thousands of times.  
But last night as I was retelling it for the umpteenth time to my oldest son, I realized it needed to be written.  
Because it is my favorite. 
It's a little like "The Gift of the Magi." 
Well not really, but kinda because it is about a couple's first Christmas, who are desperately in love, a budget of $120.00, and searching for the perfect gift.

The year was 1990 and we were poor college students. But true to Tom's nature he loved all things fashion and he had his eye on a pair of Cole Haan leather loafers.
He wanted them so the budget of $120.00 was decided.  No coincidence that this is the exact amount of the coveted loafers.
Now this should of been a no brainer because my love had not kept his wish a secret.
All I needed was to walk into Nordstrom and get the shoes.  I have a tendency to make all things complicated...always.
So I was no different as a 21 year old newlywed.

I wanted the perfect gift.
Were shoes the perfect gift I wondered?
Wouldn't it be better to have a sentimental gift?
A gift we would treasure forever and even start a tradition? 

So my search began and after searching high and low and hours of deliberation, I ended up with
the perfect gift.

A Santa Steinbach Nutcracker.

Of course that was it.
We would collect them and every year we would give each other one and we would have them all together and we would look at them and they would represent all our Christmas's together and how long we had been in love and we would smile and stare at them and hold hands...this was definitely the perfect gift.

No doubt...
and a hard earned $120.00 later, all I had to do was wait until I saw my love's face on Christmas morning when he opened up this amazing gift.
He would be soooo happy and it would be because of me and our amazing nutcracker.

Christmas morning finally arrived.
Tom was giddy realizing there was a neatly wrapped box under the tree, which happened to be the exact dimensions of a shoe box. 

With our two presents under the tree, Christmas was in full swing. Tom unwrapped the long awaited present and stared at his gift.  Written all over his face as plain as if he was speaking, were the words,
"What is this thing in my shoe box?"
When he gingerly took it out, I have never seen such disappointment on someone's face.  He was a five year old boy all over again and it was the worst Christmas ever.
I was horrified.
I tried to tell him how great it was and how we were going to collect them and how it would show all of our love in one present but he just confusedly asked, 

"Did you spend all of the money on this? This nutcracker was $120.00?" 
I had to answer yes and my heart broke. 
It was the worst present ever in the history of presents.

Fast forward 24 Christmas's later it was the perfect gift. 
And no we didn't collect them because one  bad gift was plenty and plus  it also took the Santa nutcracker several years to become sentimental.
But that nutcracker represents Christmas to us. 
It absolutely represents our love and yes when we see it on the mantle it still makes us smile. 
We tell that story over and over about our first Christmas and we laugh hard about Toms utter disappointment. 

And in the end 

It will always be my favorite story about my favorite person and the worst gift ever....

Some shots around the house for Christmas 2014

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