The best Christmas gift my wife ever gave me is so far and above anything else it’s a no-brainer.
Around ten years ago I had my eye on a Canon Rebel camera. The kind with the long lens and the wide body. I’d always wanted one because, like any dude, I think I take photos worthy of Esquire or Sports Illustrated.
So Christmas morning comes and we’re at my in-laws house. Wrapping paper is flying all over the place. This is pre-grandkids so it’s just the three sisters, the brothers-in-law, and my wife’s parents. The atmosphere is jokey and celebratory.
In an earlier post I talked about shopping for my wife’s Big Gift during these early years of our marriage, and how proud I was of being a cunning and thoughtful present purchaser. At this point she had not pulled out the reverse surprise Big Gift on me.
So the boxes under the tree are dwindling and I’ve received some very nice sweaters and sport coats and ties. I think my brother-in-law had scored me a beer holster as a gag (think of a gun holster but it holds a can of beer). I’m happy and content and not thinking anything huge is about to happen.
And then my wife says close your eyes.
I close my eyes and there’s a commotion of people leaving the room. There’s snickering and rustling. My mother-in-law is maybe trying to distract me with offers of leftover sausage and peppers from Christmas Eve.
Suddenly I hear a light thud and my wife says, “open your eyes.”
And there in the room is The Chair, with an honest-to-God real Lexus December To Remember giant red bow on it. Our friend helped her get it from the dealer as a loaner. The bow not the chair.
My wife and my father-in-law had driven to west Michigan and picked up the Holy Grail of mid-century modern seating. The Eames Lounge and Ottoman. And here in front of me, was that exact chair that I had been coveting since I first noticed it in movies and TV shows since I was old enough to have what you might call a sense of style. To me it was James Bond, Frank Sinatra, and Hugh Hefner in one living room-defining package. And now it was mine.
Imagine thinking you might be getting a camera, and you get the husband/dad Barcalounger-La-Z-Boy to last the rest of your life.
I jumped off my in-laws’ couch, let out a Pistons-just-won-the-title howl that lasted a good 10 seconds and ran around the room jumping up and down like a certifiable idiot. I think my other brother-in-law Jimmy has video. But, I know his reaction to my reaction was a perplexed, “it’s a chair.”
Anyway. Great Christmas.