"The One-Stop Christmas Story"

By Brodie H. Brockie

I am looking for the perfect gift. A gift that you did not ask for, that you never would have thought to ask for, and yet when you see it, you realize it is better than anything you ever wanted.

It will be a gift that will not be used up quickly, but instead, seen often - perhaps daily, but no matter how many times you see it, it will seem special. You will always think of me when you see it, and think, "my, that was thoughtful."

When you think of me, I will be taller.

The gift will be wrapped artistically, but not too unconventionally. No matter how many other gifts are waiting for you, the way mine is wrapped will make it stand out from the group. You will want to open it first, but also say, "it's almost too pretty to open."

The tape will hardly be visible at all.

You will open it slowly, careful not to rip the paper or ribbons, thinking you might re-use them yourself one day. You will keep them, put them in a box with your other wrapping paper, but you will never re-use them. Whenever you start to wrap a gift for someone else, you will see the paper there, and though you won't use it, you will think of me (and the gift) again.

When there are unruly children coming to your home, you will put the gift away, for fear they might damage it. When they are gone, the first thing you will do is put it back.

When I open your gift to me (should there be one), I will laugh appreciatively and act as though it's just as nice as my gift to you. You will thank me for saying so, but we will both know it isn't true. The gift will surprise you. You will feel as though you might cry slightly, but you won't. You will think to yourself, "he knows me very well."

That is how perfect my gift will be.

As soon as I find it.

As soon as I think of something.

Unless I can't.

If I can't, I'll just get you some CD.