I don’t like surprises. I would be disoriented and would probably feel trespassed if someone threw a surprise party for me (hint: don’t); and I’ll go as far as to say I’m not even that attracted to the idea of a wrapped gift.
In typical Grinch style, I’ve suggested to Luca that we just go shopping a few days after Christmas so I can pick what I want. This way, I’ll like it, I will use it, and most importantly, I’ll know what it is. (What would be the fun in that, he thinks.)
Luca, on the other hand, loves surprises. He loves the anticipation. He loves not knowing what he’s going to get – even if it means he might not like the gift once he opens it. (What a waste, I think, if he can just tell me what he wants.)
Every Christmas, loving him and wanting to do for him what I would like done for me, I go down a list of things I think he’d like, looking for an approving reaction. When my guess is correct, he looks at me in dismay. “That would have been so great” he’ll say longingly “but now it won’t be a surprise.”
Every Christmas, loving me and wanting to do for me what he’d like done for himself, he places a carefully, beautifully wrapped gift near our fireplace. “What is it?” I ask, looking at it suspiciously. “You know I can’t tell you” he’ll say. “You’ll have to wait until Christmas”. He beams. I groan.
If he ever does listen to me and determines not to go out and buy me a gift, I’ll feel I took Christmas from him. And we’ve briefly considered having him buy the gift I choose, and having me surprise him with something wrapped, but we agree that won’t do. The fun is in the sharing of the experience, we assure each other.
Luckily, we’re both good at choosing gifts for the other so at the end of the day, I’m pleasantly surprised, as oxymoronic as that sounds in my world. And he’s surprised, then pleased (which would be something like triple-pleased, in his world.)
So who can you relate to more? Would you rather know what you’re getting and receive exactly what you asked for, sacrificing the surprise element; or do you prefer the anticipation?
(Photo from Red Envelope catalogue.)