This is a true story; ‘tis a non-fiction fable with a most pointed Christmassy moral. Well, then again, this holiday tale is at least heartily inspired by a long ago true Christmas Eve story, though this warning parable possibly will be embellished wildly as this writer is often wont to do with any story, whether true or entirely fantastically fabricated. On to this fact-based moral of a story…
Once there was a husband. He was a very busy man. He busied himself with many things. However, he never thought to think wisely on some of the most highly important things in life, and especially regarding his wife. Yes, he was a deeply stupid man, at least on this one key point.
You see, it was this sometimes silly man’s Christmastime tradition to save all his shopping for his wife until Christmas Eve, and even worse for all that, his only shopping on the eve of that special once a year day, ‘twas truly quite late in that very last day. All the while his wife was finishing baking and cooking for their upcoming Christmas dinner feasting, he went out to the shops to shop for her.
Now, keep in mind that this man’s wife was a very efficient, energetic and ambitious woman. She did all her shopping before Thanksgivings Day, she had lights done and the tree up: wonderfully decorated and everything wrapped and under it well before flu season, and this cheery laudable list could go on and on. This wife had everything in order always. Holly and jolly. Pristine snow and mistletoe. She was promptly entirely ready for the holidays. Everyone would be thoroughly spoilt by her. Twenty gifts apiece at least. Her home and hearth was warmth itself and her place was a showpiece. To do all this to every last detail for her family and friends was her joy.
And so, many multiple years ago, on this one particular Christmas Eve, like every other before it; all the while the wife finished up every little delicious detail for the dinner and the day, the husband had once again procrastinated his gift-shopping event and was finally driving to the shops to shop for his wife. As you might well imagine, he never did get the best gifts, and he wasn’t inclined to get more than even one present for his wife. This sad fact had not gone unnoticed by each and all family and friends. Some shook their heads when they heard about or saw it. Others simply accepted that this was his way. And his wife? What did she think or feel about it all? She hoped. Every Christmas she hoped that her husband would learn even the least little by her grand example. She dropped hints. She let her man know about many things that she liked, that he might choose a few from the ethereal list to give her.
But no. Every year it was the same. By the time this husband got to the shops to shop, there was nothing left there to buy for his wife that she might like: certainly nothing lovely that she had hintingly meekly asked for. And so, every near end of the year, he could be counted on to pick out one utilitarian flannel nightgown in a color that she might not particularly prefer. It could have been fuzzy slippers or a holiday sweater that he wrapped up and put under their tree. It could have been anything useful enough, and at least it was something somewhat femininely personal, in its way. Yes, at least it wasn’t a frying pan, a stewing pot or a snow shovel. This would have been a worse thing. Beyond all this though, despite her multitudinous years of hinting, her husband had not picked up on the pertinent point that his wife did not prefer flannel pajamas or nightgowns at all. No, she loved silk and other finer things.
Still, this is not the most pertinent point at all. It was the procrastination and the show of uncaring. There was no thought put in by this husband until the very last moment. And all he thought was, ‘do they still have anything in her size?’ And no, they did not always. And thus his wife was treated to too-large or too-small nightgowns many a time. And it was all a sort of sordid ‘too little too late’ that made the wife feel unloved in some measure.
But yet, we are not at the main event even still. On his way to the shops to shop, this man ran into trouble. In point of fact, in all his hurry, he ran his vehicle into another. Thus there was an accident. An accident of an impediment nature. The man must wait. He could not hurry and shop. No one was injured, thankfully: only the vehicles were bumped and bruised. But sorting it all out took time. Time the man did not have to spare. By the time he was done with this little accident, the shops were all fully closed up, and all he had to give his wife for Christmas was an apology. And when Christmas morning arrived, after all the presents had been opened, and this wife had none from her husband as yet, finally, finally, his apology came instead of his gift.
Now, as you can well imagine, all who witnessed this story unfold, male and female, young and old, learned a lesson well… Christmas gift-shopping procrastinators forever be forewarned: Thou shalt not save all thy Christmas shopping until the very last day and moments, for if thou doest, thou mightest sorrowfully regretest thine own procrastinating, and the ending of all holiday seasonal celebrating shalt be grievous. Shop Not ONLY on Christmas Eve! Yes, shop early, give well, and do so kindly with joyful thoughtfulness.
Happy Christmas Eve!