This particular Christmas shopping trip was to pick up a certain gift for John. A rather large, heavy gift that John and Popsy had been looking at for a quite a while. They have done some comparison shopping and researching. As one becomes an adult, Christmas surprises become fewer and fewer, and the useful and desired comes more into play. In John’s case he already had a good idea about what he will be receiving from Mimi and Popsy, so the jig is kind of up. But you could not and would not tell an excited 10-year-old, that his father already has a sneaking suspension of what Mimi and Popsy are giving him for Christmas. To children the sheer surprise of opening the brightly colored packages and uncovering what was picked out for them is the majority of the Christmas fun.
Jamison, proud to be included on this important shopping excursion, went into Harbor Freight with Popsy determined to help him find the perfect gift for his Dad. Of course, and as expected, he also found a few goodies for himself that will be picked up at a later time. Popsy and Jamison found the perfect gift. “Shhh!” A shiny, new winch for John’s beloved Landcruiser was decided upon. Jamison helped in the selection process and although a man from the store helped them load it up, Popsy made Jamison promise that he would help him unload the heavy present at their house. Most importantly, he had to keep this gift a secret so it would be a surprise from his Dad. Jamison did the hand locking the lips motion to let Popsy know that he knew his duty and he took it seriously.
Later that night, one tired-out boy was delivered back home. John was primed and ready. Jamison came home so proud of his shopping and gift picking that he was practically busting at the seams to tell someone, anyone, all about it. He asked me to come to his room where with pride beaming from his eyes, he candidly retold me every last detail of his shopping adventure. I was told the winch color, where it was bought, how really heavy it is, how much his Dad is going to love it, and how “awesomely cool it will look on Dad’s Bloom Buggy Cruiser.” As we returned from Jamison’s room, I could tell that the game was afoot. John, smiling, asked Jamison, “So, what did you do today? See anything good?” Jamison honestly answered, “We found the perfect Christmas gift for you. You are going to be so surprised.” Then with the best puppy-dog eyes I have seen John muster, he asked Jamison to give him a “just little hint.” Jamison’s excitement nearly boiled over and he could barely take it anymore. I gave him a thoughtful warning glance of “Be careful. He is trying to trick you. Don’t blow it.” Jamison’s legs began squirming and he starting wringing his long fingers. “Ums” and “Ahs” kept coming out as he thoughtfully tried to resist temptation. “Well, Dad” he said at last with well thought-out clarity, “I can’t tell you what we got you, but I will tell you that it is so, so heavy. It is shiny and new. It came from my favorite store. And...” Austin quickly put his hand over Jamison’s mouth before he got too carried away. Jamison let out a sigh of relief that someone stopped him. Saved by his older, and sometimes wiser, brother. “Thanks Bro.” I saw a true look of admiration and appreciation escape Jamison’s eyes.
Austin, understanding the situation, warned Jamison that their dad enjoys trying to get you to tell him what his presents are. “Don’t let him get you talking about the gift. Accidents happen and before you know it you have ‘spilled the beans.’” Austin thoughtfully warned while casting a suspicious eye to John who is grinning from ear to ear. Austin’s words come as the voice of experience from Christmases past. “He has gotten me before, but I am wise to him now.” Jamison thought about it carefully, “Yep, Dad, you are just going to have to wait until Christmas. And, besides, you will be wanting us to help you put it on the front of your Cruiser.” An exasperated Austin just slapped his hand over his eyes and shook his head.