A Surprise Present

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Once there was a woman who lived for the holidays. She absolutely loved the time of year, and the decorations, and the role she had in shopping, and pretty much everything else about Christmas. The only thing that was an irritant to her was the fact that the others in her extended family did not share her views about all this. But it should be acknowledged that they were not grinches—what they did not share was her idea of schedules, timetables, budgets, and so forth. When they thought of the holidays, it was with a view to keeping a low profile and staying out of trouble. What she thought was a troubling attitude toward Christmas was actually the stress of the holiday season highlighting a troubling and growing development in her relationship with everyone.

This woman was visiting with an old college friend about this one time on the phone, and her friend finally decided to broach the subject. She had seen it coming for years—her friend had been an imperious roommate, even in college, and what was happening came as no surprise. The opening came when the woman who was really into Christmas said, “I swear, if I didn’t make everything happen, nothing ever would.” “Is that what your family really wants?” her friend asked. “Yes, I think so,” the reply came. “Well,” her friend said, “why don’t you give that to them? You know, as a present.”

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