Last year I was in a great holiday spirit, but a bit of a hurry. I wrote the cleaning person a check for her usual fee, and another for $50 with the words Feliz Navidad in the memo section. The next time she came and cleaned there was no mention of the Christmas check. This process was repeated for the past year. Bah humbug.
This year hasn’t been quite as generous with me, and frankly, not having had last years check even acknowledged, I wasn’t in the mood to repeat the process. For once I actually stopped doing something that wasn’t working for me.
My wonderfully thoughtful wife always has extra cards lying around the house. She is from a large family, with lots of nieces and nephews and the lot. There is a birthday about twice a month, it seems, and she is prepared. We write out the appropriate card for the season, paying particular attention to the spelling of the names: Ana and Jesus. Tough to remember, but tougher to spell.
At my wife’s urging I stopped by the local Safeway and picked up a couple of sacks of Godiva chocolates. Total $8. Great deal, they still have some left. I then stuck one of those bows that you get by the gunny sack at Costco on each of the bags and arranged them neatly around their card on the kitchen Island (not to be confused with Gilligan‘s). It was a Christmassy immage, but I resisted the photo-op. My daughter Kelsey would have been so proud. The kids nag me for my incessant optical recording proclivity, but what the heck.
On the way out the door Ana stops me and thanks me for the Christmas. She gives me a hug (a first) and acts like I had just handed her my winning lottery ticket. If I didnt know better I could have sworn she was fighting off the beginning of a tear. Must have been the Ammonia she uses to dissolve the paint from our walls.
The moral of the story: Some people cannot be bought. Just as the kids don’t really like some of the little things I pick out, they still appreciate the thought and time it takes. Don’t get me wrong, they still appreciate the checks, but don’t ever forget the cards and chocolates.