I was reminded this week of two Christmases long ago. First, I thought of the girl I dated at 16. I think of her every year as Christmas draws near because her birthday is one-week-to-the-day before Christmas. If you’re sixteen, and not prone to thinking ahead (but I repeat myself), coming up with two presents for your girlfriend only one week apart is pretty tough, and something you’re not likely to forget.
Then, there’s the girl I dated when I was 15. I took my wife on two extended trips this year because I’m not very good at thinking up appropriate gifts. That’s not a recent development. I’ve never been good at thinking up appropriate gifts. So, when I was young and first started dating, I often sent the object of my affection flowers.
When I first became interested in girls, I dated two who lived near my aunt and uncle, more than 30 miles from my home. For Christmas when I was 15, I was already at a loss for gift ideas. It was so long ago that roses had just been invented and did not yet cost an arm and two legs, so I sent my lady friend a dozen red roses. I guess she wasn’t expecting a gift from me. When I went to see her, she picked up a very small package, did something that may have been removing a gift tag for someone else, and presented it to me. It was a red ball-point Papermate pen. I do not still have it, nor was it the first time I gave better than I got. However, it’s not the gift, but the thought that counts, right?