The Haxtun-Fleming Herald - What can we reason but from what we know? -Alexander Pope

Under the Wire

Here comes Christmas


December 8, 2021

Well, Thanksgiving is barely over and everyone is talking about Christmas. Guess “Under The Wire” might as well jump on the band wagon.

A couple of days ago, Sue handed me her Christmas gift list. This act marks the official beginning of our holiday activities which may be somewhat out of the ordinary. As do many other married couples, we have to deal with certain problems concerning gift giving. First is the fact as we get “more mature” if we need something during the year, we just buy it ourselves. No waiting to put it on a Christmas list six months away from publication. The second problem in our situation is Sue, an accomplished photographer and oil painter, will ask me, an accomplished calf puller and hay baler repairman, to buy her items I was not even aware existed and sure don’t know who would sell them. Likewise, if my list has an O. B. chain or gear puller, she is going to have the same problem.

Nevertheless, we try anyway, quite often resulting in some memorable gift opening events.

Always trying to couple wants and needs into one item, a few years ago Sue and I noticed our office chairs were beginning to look like they belonged in a camp for the homeless along a railroad overpass than furnishings in a successful media company. Honestly, I didn’t care what my vinyl chair looked like. It fit my rear end, reclined when I decided a nap was more important than filing old invoices (my absolutely least favorite job), and truthfully, it didn’t look that worn out to me.

Sue’s chair, on the other hand was where she sat not only to type endlessly it seemed, but also from where she met with clients and entertained visitors to our offices. I just had to look good. So off I went to the nearest office supply store to buy her a new chair for Christmas. Hid the big cardboard box in the tack room for a month or more. Even snuck around and got it wrapped unnoticed. Finally the big event arrived, Christmas Eve when beautifully wrapped gifts get turned into mountains of multi colored piles of trash throughout the living room. When son David, in charge of passing out gifts, pushed a large box in front of me I tried to wave him off but he insisted it was my present. Open it! Everyone present insisted. Feeing like a fool I agreed but wanted Sue to open her big box first. She won the argument of course, so I opened up my present intended for her. Inside just as I knew it would be, was her big new office chair, with one odd twist. There was a tag on it with my name. Next Sue unwrapped her big box and found, surprise, an identical chair with her name on it. We had bought, wrapped and hid identical chairs! Our kids thought we were trying to fool them with our twin presents. Instead it became one of our funniest gift exchanges, ever.

Since then I always ask for some type of tool, more O.B. chains or an irrigation shovel. Don’t think Sue will have those on her list, for her or I.


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