The Treasured Gift
I put little value on material things. I am a terrible shopper and find no enjoyment in browsing the racks of a clothing store. Other than my wedding and engagement rings and a simple watch, my jewelry collection consists of a few necklaces given to me by my husband and daughter.
Early in my marriage, I began buying a spoon from each state I visited. They, hang in a shadow box on the wall of our dining room. I look at them occasionally when I dust the case. Family and friends have given me other items that are displayed in a curio cabinet in the living room. The sentiment far outweighs the monetary value of my earthly possessions.
I prefer to give gifts rather than receive them. For me, it is the thought that counts. I enjoy watching someone’s eyes light up when they open an unexpected package. That brings me joy more than anything else.
The office where I worked participated in a secret Santa gift exchange one Christmas. About three weeks before the holiday party, each person wrote down their name and three inexpensive items he or she desired. I seldom came prepared with a well-thought out selection. Often I ended up with a gift card or a pair of gloves. I will never forget the enjoyment of opening a gift that I knew I would always treasure.
I carefully picked up the eight-by-ten, simply-wrapped package trying to anticipate its contents. As I peeled the paper back, I saw a plain black plastic case wrapped in cellophane. I struggled to remove the clear cover, more puzzled than ever.
I could not imagine what would come in such an unusual container. My eyes widened in delight at the contents. A professional assortment of writing pens made me grin like a child. Not only were there six pens, including a fountain pen with cartridges, there were many refills for each. It was a gift that someone selected with thought and love. I knew immediately who my secret Santa had been. My friend and co-worker, Joyce Richard, recognized the perfect gift for a writer.
I spend many hours on my laptop, working on my novel, but there is nothing that can replace a smooth writing pen and a blank piece of paper. I have written many thoughts on scraps of discarded paper, tissues, on the corners of a newspaper and even the palm of my hand. I can’t imagine having all these thoughts in my mind and not being able to write them down.
Until recent years, you couldn’t stuff a computer in your pocket or the bottom of your purse, ready to support you whenever the need arises. Maybe someday I’ll catch up with the progress made in electronics. Until then (and probably after), I’ll continue to cherish the wonderful selection of pens and the comfort they bring me when I fill my pages with thoughts.