It took me four years of marriage and one baby to finally find the perfect Christmas gift for my husband John, the man who had everything. It took so long, because if he didn’t have something, he would head straight out and buy it, regardless of how close to Christmas it was. If I complained, his response would be, “This _____ is my present. Don’t buy me anything else.” One year I took him for his word and he moped until New Years.
The perfect gift was bought back in1985, the year my parents hosted me and my siblings plus assorted loved ones for Christmas in their Terra Nova National Park home.
Mom: John, your turn.
Everyone but John: Open it! OPEN IT!!!
Everyone but John: What is it? Show us.
John: It’s a… It’s a…
Shelley: A powder blue safari suit in rayon and nylon.
Shelley: Look. They threw in the polyester shirt. Can I find a great deal or what?
Everyone but John: You sure can. Unbelievable.
John: Wait. Is this a joke?
Everyone but John:…
Shelley: Well deck the halls and a Merry Christmas to you too. After all the effort I put into this, you accuse me of playing a joke on you. When I saw it in Esquire, I just knew it would be perfect for you. So, for the last two months I searched high and low for the exact same suit. Luckily for you, I found it in Gander with only two days left to go before Christmas.
John: I… I don’t know what to say.
Stephen: Say you’ll let me have it when you get tired of it. Damn. I really wanted one of those trendy suits myself, but I guess I’m out of luck.
John: A blue nylon Safari suit is trendy? In 1985?
Shenley: Is it ever. Was sure I was going to get a suit just like that. It’s not like I didn’t give enough hints. I even put pictures on the fridge.
John: You guys wanted a suit like this?
Stephen, Shenley: Haven’t you been listening? Of course we do.
Spencer: Mom, did I get one to match John’s?
Shelley: Now honey, you know the Orr tradition. Every time you open clothes, you have to wear them and keep them on until you’ve opened all of your presents.
John: I think I’ll hold off on that. It’s so nice I don’t want to ruin it.
Mom: Don’t be silly. Just be careful and it will be fine for Christmas dinner.
John: But I already have a suit picked out.
Everyone but John:…
John: But, I guess I could save it for New Years. Here we go. What do you think?
Everyone but John: Like you’ve just been set up. Oh! Ha! Ha! Ha!
Shelley: Oh! Ha! Ha! Ha! Serves you right. Promise me you’ll never buy yourself anything when it’s close to Christmas ever again.
John: I promise.
But on November 20th, 2012 and
and on December 2012…
Shelley and John