So the person of integrity that I am, (with my inbred and inborn ethics of honesty and morality), could procrastinate no longer. So, I finally took out the purchases I made for Christmas and spread them on the bed. No, the grand-kids are not likely to cost and calculate and count their gifts, but still the person of integrity I am, knows that the value of the gifts they each receive must seem fair and equal.
My gifts versus my brother’s gifts didn’t always do so when I was a kid. And the person of integrity I am, remains to this very day hurt and offended by it. I remember like it was yesterday – him, my brother that is, with his gleaming toy saxophone, tooting around the house. And me, on the other hand, silently trying to cope with feelings of painful disparity when I discovered my gift was a pair of long and heavy fleece bloomers. (Not that I didn’t seriously need them.)
So with that remembrance in mind, and of course, being the person of integrity I am, I arranged and rearranged books and toys for my own kith and kin until all seemed equalized and in one accord.
Now when shopping becomes a frustrated business, when my limbs tire, and bones ache from the cold, I do what I have always done. I give up in a way, and then just fill the blank spaces on my list with my favorite things – those chocolates that I love, those caramels that make me drool, or decadent butter cookies that go so nicely with a cup of tea.
And so now, while I’m wrapping gifts, there in front of me in the center of the table are the caramels I so very much adore, that I had bought to fill one last small space on my list. And while I’m wrapping other stuff, I’m wondering if the receiver of those will value and appreciate them the way I do. And while I’m wrapping other stuff, I’m wondering why that box of caramels has no clear wrap on it, but maybe it never did to start with. And then the person of integrity that I am takes a closer look and sees the box is actually open. The closure, nothing more than a circular spot of glue, has separated.
Well, I suppose that’s good. I will be able to take a peek to see how many are in there. Sometimes things like that are a bloody shame when you open a large box and come face to face with ten or less, chintzy little morsels. Then the person of integrity that I am decides I should taste one – you know, to see if they are fresh, soft, and chewy as they should be.
They are perfect but now it looks like there are not really as many in that box as I would have liked there to be. And how can I re-close that box so that it will not look tampered with? The person of integrity I am knows full well, very well, that one cannot give a gift that is incomplete, open, or anything less than new, fresh, and sterling.
So the person of integrity fights with conscience and propriety in the matter until it seems nothing else will lighten my concerns and give me that little boost of endorphins I need to rise above the confusion except one more caramel. So while I search for a glue stick to re-close the box, I eat another.
That’s okay because the person of integrity I am knows I did not eat it because I fell into temptation. I am too much a person of integrity for that to ever happen. The whole business is nothing more than facing a practical matter in a practical way.
Now the person of integrity that I am reviews the checks and balances of my equalization list and realizes that it is falling into disarray. I review value (i.e. costs) of each child’s gifts. I review collective numbers of each child’s gifts. I review joy or amusement equivalencies of each child’s gifts. And because those two caramels I ate were so exceptionally good, giving them to one, and not all, will cause disparity similar to the disparity between a golden saxophone and a pair of bloomers. And so the person of integrity that I am, chokes them down. It is the only way to avoid inequality and disparity.
Now I’m looking at those boxes of chocolates. I wonder if they are fresh? Are any discolored? They could be – it happens sometimes. I wonder if the person of integrity that I am would be doing the right thing to give someone chocolates that might be discolored?
Somehow, I don’t think so.
And now, being the person of integrity that I am, I want to wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS! With equal warmth, equal sincerity, equal emphasis, and equal amusement and joy.