From The Storyteller
December 18, 2017, Envelopes
Elaine and I claim this to be our greatest Christmas story. It was the Christmas shortly after we were married. The twins were nine at the time, and they are now over 40, so you have an idea of how long ago this was. Our income stream had dwindled to a trickle. Our basic needs of food, shelter, and transportation were met, but just barely. With Christmas literally 2 days away, a tree would be a luxury and gifts impossible.
As we decorated the house with popcorn strings and old fashion paper ornaments the question of gifts arose. Finally it was agreed that over the next two days we would each, privately, write on separate pieces of paper, the gifts we were going to give to each other - in the coming year. We would then put each gift slip into different envelopes, with the name of the person who would get that gift on the front. On Christmas Day we would exchange the envelopes.
Our finances didn’t change over the next two days, and Christmas morning arrived. We decide that the exchange should take place while we played a game of Trivial Pursuits. Draw a card, get a right answer, get one of your envelopes to open, and find what your gift will be.
It was a blast. We laughed, whooped, told jokes, drank hot chocolate, ate the popcorn strings, listened to Christmas music on the radio, and that Christmas morning we celebrated life together.
For several years after that, even when we had gifts under the tree, envelopes were exchanged. This particular Christmas stands out from all the rest because it was never about stuff. It was all about love. I think Lorrie still owes Elaine one night of free babysitting.
Moral - Love is remembered when “stuff” in forgotten.