I’m not quite Clark Griswold. I’m not going to staple 100,000 Christmas lights to our roof, nor do I plan to (or have the income for) putting a pool in the backyard. But, damn, do I love Christmas.
Christmas fever is something I inherited from the old man. We didn’t have much money growing up. I know there were times, especially when my brother and I were little boys, that $10 was a BIG deal. One of my favorite stories is my father’s angst when my mother spent $5 on a calendar at the grocery store … they had $20 in the bank. You do the math.
Despite being poor, we never went without on Christmas. In fact, dad and mom always found a way, usually by working monthlong craft shows at malls during the holidays, to essentially spoil us on the big day.
There were brand new bikes, remote control cars and Lite-Bright, among other things, in 1981; a massive Army train set in 1983; the GI Joe F16 jet and Royals jacket in 1984; Nintendo in 1988; and many others through the years.
Most of the folks who know us would likely say Webb men are a little, um, thrifty. My brother definitely is. We’re talking you-better-leave-50-cents-on-the-counter-if-you-eat-a-Snickers chintzy.
Yes, I’ve been known to be cheap. But that’s not the case when I’m buying for somebody I love, and definitely not on Christmas. With that in mind, I’m excited about this year. In large part because I have the girlfriend to “spoil.”
She reads this blog, so I’m not going to break down what I bought or plan to buy over the next few weeks. But, there is one item, one awesome gift, that I couldn’t resist giving her a month early.
The girlfriend and I have been steadfast in our belief that we don’t have to get married to express our love. In fact, her face would crinkle up if I joked about it. (I’ve noticed that her face doesn’t crinkle up when I joke about it these days, but that’s another blog for another day.)
I’d known for months that she was getting some bling for Christmas. I approached her sister for help in May. We brainstormed off and on, and I finally decided on a ring that says “I love you” instead of “I own you.”
I looked everywhere for the right ring. Turns out, not every kiss begins with Kay. And I’d rather go to Jared for a meatball sandwich than a rock. I never did find the perfect ring … her sister did.
When she emailed me a photo of the ring, I knew that was it. Unique, with three small diamonds, 14K. And, to top it off, it’s called the “Kerry” ring. Her youngest sister’s name? Kerry.
I bought the ring on Nov. 21, much like I bought most of my gifts (a personal record by roughly 33 days). Once the shopping was done, I went to the Sprint Center to watch Missouri and Cal in the CBE Classic.
Throughout the game, I gave myself a pep talk: “You can wait a month to give her that ring. You can do it. Man up.”
I waited all of a few hours. Arriving at home at midnight to find her cooking rolls for Thanksgiving, I realized we were alone, with a fire going. I couldn’t wait.
She opened the Pandora’s bag, then the box … tears welled in her eyes, followed by the beautiful smile that makes me melt. I explained that she should thank her sister because “we’ve been working on this for a while.”
That’s when the tears flowed. As she explained, the sentiment of including her sister meant just as much as the ring, which she loved. I hadn’t even thought about that. Maybe I’m just a natural at knowing how to treat a lady. Or maybe I’m just one lucky son of a gun. Of course, I’ve known that for months now.