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Do You Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth?

Oct 20, 2007
When it comes to gift buying, "Be careful what they ask for - you might have to shop for it". I avoid this problem. I don't ask family and friends what they want for birthdays or for Christmas. By doing this I avoid having to shop for things like "a light, blue sweater - but not too light blue; with pretty buttons; machine washable; and in a size small - unless the sizes run small and then a medium".

My husband and I stopped exchanging Christmas presents when we couldn't remember what we'd given each other the previous Christmas. We stopped exchanging birthday presents when we stopped having birthdays. That left us with one, present-exchanging occasion a year - our anniversary. That sounds easy - but it's not.

It's hard to get a token of esteem for a man who says he has everything he wants. Maybe this year I should give him his own hair dryer so I can get mine back. No, that would be something for me - unless giving me something is what John would like for his gift. No, that would be too easy.

To celebrate our anniversary we go out to dinner and toast to the mating of our piggy banks, sharing a medicine cabinet and never going to bed angry. Thankfully, accomplishing only two out of three isn't worth getting angry about.

Then we have our annual present exchange. John always gives me just what I want. No, he's not psychic. My hints are more obvious than the roots of my hair five weeks after I've colored it.

Once I didn't give John anything. Our anniversary is nine days after Christmas and someone else gave him my idea for Christmas. That year I gave my dear husband a beautifully wrapped, rain check to use when he eventually thought of something he wanted.

In spite of our living in sunny Southern California, John eventually used the rain check - but who knew he'd want that painting? "Be careful what your husband wants - you might have to hang it on a wall".

On our anniversary we also toast to having given each other another year. It can't be beautifully wrapped and tied with a bow, returned because it's broken or exchanged because you have one just like it - but it's still a gift. Light blue sweaters with pretty buttons will go out of style; but a marriage keeps on giving - presence.
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KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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