The Norman Transcript

December 20, 2012

Never a doubt with Christmas presents

By Shirley Ramsey
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Problems with the choice of a right gift seem familiar this time of year. Doubts arise, along with the wrapping.

Lillian’s husband thinks she’s too late to doubt her choices.

“I kind of thought you might have made a different decision yesterday,” he tells her. “That was before you wrapped those gifts.”

“I know. After some thought, I’m shifting them around. The expensive bracelet, we’ll give to June who loves jewelry. Your sister, who never wears jewelry, would prefer the neat towel set. Don’t watch me. Go make the cookies. I need to think about the other gifts.”

Ira, too, is a doubter. He faces his wife over the computer and ponders a decision: “The table tennis I ordered for the kids — do you think it will arrive on time?”

“What did the company promise?”

“Well, you know, they guarantee satisfaction with the set, but not with the holiday mail.”

“Did you call the company?”

“I did, but I kept getting a recording that said try another number. I think they must have made up a few for the holidays, so I gave up. Maybe I’ll go shopping.”

“My advice is to call again and hang in there until you get a live person.”

A neighbor, Bernie, comes home from the mall looking sad.

“What’s wrong?” his wife says.

He pulls a large teddy bear from a bag.

“This one was the last so-called talking bear. I wrestled another guy who claimed he’d paid for it. I need coffee.”

“Thanks.” She holds up the bear, checks the price tag. “He was expensive. Oh, well, the church toy drive can use a nice toy.”

She puts teddy back in the bag and goes to make coffee.

“Hey, let me out of here!”

Myrna is a nail-biter. She bites her nails over the size of her daughter’s gift: Should she wrap it? Stand it behind the tree under a tarp? Hide it somewhere?

She crams the awkward bicycle into a walk-in closet and covers it with a tarp. No one ever goes in there, she thinks. She’s pleased with her decision — until her husband goes there looking for the holiday lights.

“Don’t worry,” she tells him. “You’ll by fine in time to put up the lights.”

An unwanted message appeared in Amy’s email: “Oops! We goofed. Our premium wool is out of stock. May we substitute a sweater just as nice and less expensive for your gift?”

Amy screams silently. She ordered early to avoid this. She’d happily marked her niece off her list. Unhappily, she adds her niece to her “last-minute” shopping list.

Some doubt the holiday bag they carry home. They assume one of a pair of socks never gets home in the bag. Also, none of the boxes left will fit the last gift to be wrapped. The gifting usually gets done, though. Without a doubt it’s always a good time to stop and listen to “peace on earth” and to heavenly voices never out of tune.

Shirley Ramsey, a retired professor of journalism, lives in Norman.

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