Opening wrong Christmas gifts causes hot flash


Christmas already came and went at my house. It was glorious while it lasted, but now I’ve got to give everything back!

It was a subfreezing day last week when my heat was still on the blink. A humongous package arrived at my front door. It was so heavy I felt sorry for the mailman.

Oh boy. It was from my aunt and cousin in Maui. They always send the greatest gifts, and I couldn’t wait to tear into it. I ignored the note warning me not to open until Christmas day. In retrospect I should have heeded the warning – it would have saved me a lot of embarrassment.

I sat on the floor to open the box while Lucky Dawg and Rebel did a little dance around me. The big box contained at least eight or nine individually wrapped smaller packages which I began to open with glee.

First gift – a heavy man-sized sweat shirt shouting “Maui.” I didn’t care if it said “Pheba,” it was a life saver. I pulled it over my three layers of fleece and continued with my happy task.

Ooooh, two packages of Kona Coffee and a box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts. I started a pot of vanilla nut java to let it brew while I noshed down three or four macadamia candies. I do love Christmas.

There was a book I’ve been wanting to read and a wonderful calendar on which I began to pencil in dates for January. There was a CD of fabulous piano music (my favorite) so I plunked it in the cd machine and began to sway to the music. There was a fabulous necklace made of Mother of Pearl which I immediately hooked around my neck. It had a matching bracelet.

I took the box of candy and the book and retired to my easy chair to spend a lovely afternoon.

Wow. My relatives really went all out this year, and I was beginning to feel pretty stingy for sending them a Mississippi State University ball of Edam cheese. I sat right down and wrote them a heart-felt thank-you note, telling them how much I was enjoying every single item – so carefully chosen to fulfill my every desire.

Several days passed. The candy box was in the trash and the book had chocolate smears on every other page. I’d almost run through one pound of Kona coffee and the jewelry had been worn four or five times.

What was this? Someone had dialed my cell phone while I had it on mute. I’m glad, because I needed time to process the voice message.

“Hi Cousin Em,” said Eddie, in her beautiful voice tinged with an Island lilt. “We are so happy you enjoyed our gifts….only did you not notice they were for the whole family?”

What!? You mean….. Yes. Eddie knew everyone was coming here for Christmas, so to make things easier she just sent everything to my address. I had opened and USED gifts meant for my entire family. I wonder which one was legitimately mine?

Well, I never…..My face turned beat red and I broke out in a rash. In my enthusiasm I hadn’t noticed the gift tags.

I grabbed the book and began trying to erase the chocolate stains. I washed the sweat shirt which also bore evidence of my chocolate binge. How could I be so self adsorbed to think this was all for me?

There’s only one thing to do. I put back on the Maui sweat shirt and headed to the store to buy new gifts for the family. They won’t have the same tropical flair, but I must pay penance for being so dense. I’ll be the hog serving up “piggy pudding” on Christmas Day when they find out what I’ve done.

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