by Aleta Kay
Even though Christmas is a ways off, it’s not too soon to think of some ways to start new traditions and make the season more fun. I think back to my favorite Christmases and some fond memories. We had two traditions: a drive to look at outdoor Christmas decorations in a different neighborhood every year, and a second tradition that requires some explanation.
For most of our married lives my husband has scattered poetic clues under the tree, on the tree, in a card, or in a package, and usually using more than one of these spots to hide my clues. One year he even got the kids in on my surprise. Tom had asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I said a blender. When I got up Christmas morning there was a long package that was wide on end and kind of narrow on the other. It had my name on it and I tried very hard to not show my disappointment. It obviously was not a blender. I opened it and discovered a snow brush at one end and an ice scraper at the other. It would definitely come in handy on those cold West Virginia mornings. I almost missed the little piece of paper with a clue written on it. It led me to a small box wrapped in plain brown paper. I was almost offended when I saw its contents: half a jar of honey and an individual size box of corn flakes. My face must have showed my bewilderment as my sweet husband handed me a Christmas card. It said something cute about being able to whip up something in the kitchen but I was so chagrined I didn’t get the message. Tom looked at our two kids and said, “It went right over her head, didn’t it?” They both agreed it had. I looked at the poem again and it hit me: the items in the box went with whatever was in the kitchen.
My blender was on the kitchen table, the recipe book open to a page that used those corn flakes and honey. I quickly whipped it up but nobody liked it. Oh, well. I had my blender.
These days the kids are grown and our daughter has a family of her own. My husband still leaves me clues to find my gift. Why break such a fun tradition?