The Art of (Hidden) Gift Giving

For about 3 or 4 days before Christmas, my dining room becomes Gift Wrap Central because that is where my mother’s table is, and it’s big.  It is broader than the average table by a few inches, and there are a couple of leaves I can put in, presumably to accommodate 12 people (except I only have 8 chairs 🙂) In any case, there is an abundance of room to wrap gifts.  I pull out the big rolls of paper, a plastic bin filled with all kinds of ribbon, and old Christmas cards that we can cut up for gift tags.  I keep another bin with scissors, tape, gift tissue, and markers.  We play Christmas Music, get something to drink – cider, hot chocolate, or something in a wine glass if it’s Mr. Garner and I  – and get crafty!

The Daughter chose to gift #1 Son with a hat. Initially she wanted to purchase a cowboy hat, but none were attainable in her price range. Happily she found the next best thing – an Indiana Jones Fedora – and it is a beauty!  It came in a large square box, so she next pondered how to wrap it in a fun and interesting way.  After watching #1 Son carve out a math book for Mr. Garner’s gift, and listening to our annual chronicling of the many ways that Papa Gene has wrapped gifts over the years, a mischievous smile curved her lips and she retreated quietly to her room politely requesting privacy and limited interruptions. She emerged with a clever scavenger hunt, with clues inspired by the Indiana Jones movies.

  We do not follow maps to buried treasure and X never, ever marks the spot.”

A note under the tree offered the first clue, which referred #1 Son to Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail.  That led him to the video cabinet and the next clue which referred him to Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Inside the DVD case was the next clue which led him to Mr. Garner’s office where a large variety of movie-inspired toys can be found, including an Indiana Jones bullwhip (when the batteries are fresh, it makes an authentic “whoosh-crack” sound).  Taped to the whip was the final clue requiring a quick trip to the basement.

 “Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?

I have pictures!

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I’ve decided to spend some time this year writing about Christmas, and I’m tagging these posts the 12 Days of Christmas. G.K. Chesterton had a bit of a rant about the way we treat the celebration of Christmas. I’ve put the whole quote in my sidebar over to your right. Here’s a small clip that inspired me to share at least a few things about our Christmas:

“But one of the queerest things about our own topsy-turvy time is that we all hear such a vast amount about Christmas just before it comes, and suddenly hear nothing at all about it afterwards…Everybody writes about what a glorious Christmas we are going to have. Nobody, or next to nobody, ever writes about the Christmas we have just had”      G.K. Chesterton

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