Unexpected Gifts


I’m feeling frazzled by the holidays. I feel as if I’ve been shopping and making cards and shopping and making lists and wrapping gifts for months. I’ve been at it for maybe two weeks. I experienced a bright spot amid the frazzle a few days ago, when a gift for my mom and brother presented itself to me—an unexpected gift.

I was on a mission to buy more holiday cards, as I had deemed the ones I already owned “too cheerful” for the prisoners of conscience on my card list. Does a prisoner being ill treated for merely exercising his or her right of free speech really want to receive a card that gushes about enjoying a season of joy and love or having the happiest and warmest of holidays? I didn’t think so.

So I stood in the card aisle and found a box of cards offering a simple message of peace. I triumphantly grabbed the box and turned around…and was assaulted by a big fake tree adorned with cute handmade ornaments. Like this one:















Just what I needed! A corkscrew ornament. It was the perfect gift for my mom and brother. Why? Because my brother has brought wine to my mom’s house for the past two holidays, forgetting that she doesn’t own a corkscrew.

We were apparently desperate to drink this wine, both times. The first time, we searched “open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew” on Google and watched a few YouTube videos about cobbling together a makeshift corkscrew out of a screw and…some other metal item. It took a lot of effort, but somehow we managed to dislodge the cork.

This most recent time, we chipped away at the cork with two paring knives. With persistence and strength, we fought that damn cork and won. We smiled as we drank our wine, trying to avoid swallowing the cork remnants bobbing around in our glasses. This holiday will be different, thanks to the unexpected gift I found. Or that found me.

Have you found any unexpected gifts this year?


J working away at the wine cork with a knife
Lil bro working away at the wine cork with a knife

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