The Christmas Scarf
Two years ago, very close to Christmas, I discovered that I had miscalculated my continuing education hours for the year, and in order to keep my clinical license current, I had to get my butt to one more seminar before the year ended. So on December 20th, I was sitting impatiently in a seminar in Washington, D.C., "learning" about heavenonlyknowswhat, and looking forward to the lunch break when I could go across the highway to the large mall for a few last minute things. When the lunch break came, I discovered, in Lord & Taylor, the prettiest scarf you ever did see. And it was the perfect accompaniment to my newly purchased pimp coat.
Later that day, at home, I described the scarf to Jif and LG, heavy on the "it would be so perfect with my pimp coat" angle. Even told them just where to get it, at the L&T store right close to our home. Fast forward a day or two. I was straightening up in the living room, where Jif had left some shopping bags with the advisory, "do NOT look in them." Shyeah, right. I opened the Lord & Taylor bag, happily pulled out the box, removed the lid, pulled back the tissue paper and . . . oh sh!t. It was not my scarf. I mean, it was a scarf for me; but it was not the scarf I had described. Since when does "jewel tones" mean black, ivory and gray? (A friend later pointed out to me that if the jewels were onyx, pearl and marcasite....yea, whatever.) What to do, what to do? Do I put this back and open it up on Christmas morning and pretend to love it? Or do I let them know it's not what I wanted, thereby breaking their little hearts?
Thirty minutes later, I was happily walking out of Lord and Taylor with MY scarf, having just exchanged the wrong one for the right one. I put all Jif's shopping bags and boxes back just so, with the replacement scarf in the box. And I said not one word.
On Christmas morning, when I reached for the scarf box, Jif stopped me and gave a disclaimer. "I don't know how to tell you this, but when we went to wrap this, we discovered that the cashier made a mistake somehow. It's not the scarf you wanted...she must have picked up another one on the counter and put it in the box for us. I'll exchange it for you; we just wanted you to know we did try to get the one you wanted."
When I took the lid off, I said, "What are you talking about?! This is it! This is the one I saw! I LOVE it! You got exactly the right scarf!" LG and Jif looked at each other, eyes widening.
Jif said, "You mean this, THIS is the one you saw in D.C.? This is the exact scarf you wanted?"
"Yes!" And just as I was about to 'fess up to my peeking in boxes, and my pre-Christmas exchange, my baby girl gasped and said...
"IT'S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!"
And her Daddy said, "IT REALLY IS!"
And do you think I was going to take that away from them? They were practically glowing, floating, and whatnot, with Christmas miracle joy. What kind of grinch would I be, to shine the cold light of truth on their Christmas story? I'm no grinch. I basked in the glow of the miracle right along with them.
And I only felt a TINY bit guilty about that.
About two days later, out of the blue, Jif said to me, "HEY..... did you find that scarf . . . "
"Yea, I did." He knows me too well. We decided not to tell LG. Just tonight, at the mall, as we walked through the accessories department in a store, she said to me, "Remember the Christmas miracle scarf?"
"I sure do. I don't think I'll ever forget that."
I'm not telling. Would you?