What’s the perfect gift? 

That is the question, isn’t it, especially if it is better to give than to receive.  But what’s the answer?  Where to begin?  What to do?  So, I began with ‘Where to go to shop? — online, a store, a catalogue?’  I asked the elves, who elves went to the workshop and came back with ‘Online!’  (Have to question the elf work ethic there…).  At least there was some sentiment for more traditional places.  (However, one elf said “I take checks.”) I think the elves needed some spirit. 

How to get in the spirit?  Dark chocolate was the preferred indulgence over milk chocolate, fudge, and toffee.   That got me in the mood.  But, then, it got difficult.  Because there is some truth to the idea that you buy what you hope someone will give you, I wondered if I should go on the principle of ‘ one for you’, or ‘one for you and me’, or ‘one for me,’ or ‘all for charity?’  Or bah humbug?  A lot of the same elves joined here, but we added  a couple of new ones, and their  elf powers carried the day — the perfect gift was ‘just for you,’ with a little bit of charity and more than a smack of ‘bah humbug.’

Still what to get — something just for you, online (Hey, all I did was total the votes…), and with dark chocolate?   Great email Amazon for a bag of M&Ms, or some left over Halloween candy.   Would she figure out that I hadn’t shopped with much spirit?  I wondered if maybe it was more about ‘where’ than ‘what.’  What about some place with snow, or maybe a nice sandy beach, with waves and palm trees, or just burrow in at home?

The elves weren’t too keen on that; one said ‘It’s nothing to do with me; stop asking these questions.’  One announced that she already lived at the beach so she really didn’t want to talk about it.  But a couple of little helpers said ‘Mountains, maybe with a couples’ massage thrown in.’  By the power vested in me to decide these things, I deem that one the winner. 

But, still, what to unwrap when we get there?  Music?  Clothes?  Warm fuzzies?  Chocolate? (See above).  A good book? (I can help on that one, you know).

That question went south, the elves seemingly having gone on a group drunk.  ‘Figure it out yourself,’ and ‘I don’t care.’ Wonder if they know Buddy?  He’s the elf who left to go to New York to find his family, having outgrown Bob Newhart.  “Goodbye Mr. Narwhal.”  That was a great line. 

Elves aren’t what they used to be.  Lazy t__d’s —  I’ll figure it out for myself.

Wait!  Just when I started to pout, the elves showed back up.  Something to read in the mountains !  During a massage! And with Chris Botti playing softly o’er the fireplace.  Wwhat kind of elf, or elfette, is Santa putting out these days?  Two of SLH’s chimed in with various mis-spellings of a word that implied close contact -either snuggles or snuggies. 

Home run.  I suggested fireplace, mistletoe, blanket, photo album (wink wink nudge nudge) and the elves fired up.  Some of their tool bench hammerings:  an iPad (for a nephew, LOL), give her everything (for a wife, well, doh..), book vouchers (“Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a ” — want to read more?  Buy it on Kindle), bottle of wine (more of the wink wink nudge nudge kind of elf, I think), dark chocolate (yes, yes, oh Baby oh oh oh), and the most romantic of all, an Old Henry 3 bladed pocket knife, (just the thing for frequent fliers). 

But, wait, there’s more.  One suggestion was ‘something experiential’, which translates to ‘Do something together, special, like go to Africa.’  And at last — a trumpet.

Funny how this stuff happens.  The idea of trumpet music, Africa (or Out of Africa), a glass of wine, some words, some chocolate, a good blanket, time alone together to just be alone together.

I think that’s the perfect gift.  Together, just to be together.  It’s what I like more than anything, and Alice does too.  We are so blessed.

So, if this Holiday, you find yourself asking for more, well, I say, you need my elves.  They may run you around a bit, but at the end of the day they’ll get you to where you want to go.  They told me what I already knew – it’s not the present, it’s the gift.

Family, friends, someone to love, something to do, something to look forward to.  What else could one ask for? 

And, with that,

Best wishes for a loving and graceful Holiday from Jack and Alice.  And, as for the New Year, it will best if we get to share  some of it with you.


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