The Most Expensive “Little Gift” Ever: A Christmas Eve Story

A few years ago, I organized an event with an April Fool theme. There was a guy called Wyrm who volunteered to dress up as the Fool (jester costume). That Christmas, he sent out invitations for “an orphan’s Christmas Eve” for people who would not be spending Christmas Eve with their families, and I decided to go. I looked on eBay, and found a really cute jester ornament, and bought it for him, planning to take it to the party with me. But something happened and my payment never got to the seller. One day, I all of a sudden realized that it was only a week until the party, and the woman still had not received my payment, let alone sent the ornament. But it HAD to get to me by Christmas Eve, and she was in Georgia or somewhere.
At the time I had a great job and was making a ridiculous amount of money, and so I got the brilliant idea to FedEx her the check and have her FedEx it back to me, and I’d have it in three days. All worked according to plan, I got the ornament in plenty of time to take it home and wrap it and put it under the tree.
I had a couple of days off, and went to go see Erica (my best friend) out in Merced (2+ hours away). I went shopping on Christmas Eve for something pretty and festive to wear to the party, as I planned to go directly to San Francisco from Merced, rather than backtrack to Redwood City and change into something I already had. As I was gathering up my things and making sure I had everything, I realized I did not have the ornament. Yup, you guessed it. It was still under the tree at my condo in Redwood City.
Now, being as I had spent serious money to get the thing here on time, I wasn’t about to show up at the party without it. (Now might also be a good time to mention that I had an enormous crush on the guy and this jester ornament was the perfect “oh, it’s just a little something” gift) Having to go home first made me really late for the party, so I missed dinner, but he made sure I had a glass of wine and introduced me around to all his friends, so I’d have people to talk to while he fixed me a plate. He had invited everyone from our medieval group (which was how I knew him) but none of them came, so I didn’t know *anyone* else.
I did get there just in time for the gift giving. That was really fun, as he had presents under the tree for everyone, and people were encouraged to bring small unisex gifts (or label the packages as to what sex they were for) and then everyone got to choose presents from under the tree. Each person got like 6 gifts, because not everyone who said they’d be there showed up. The gifts were things like candles, small picture frames, candy, stuff like that. And he opened the gift from me and smiled a big smile, and hung it straight onto the tree.
After presents we all went up to the roof and looked at the lights of the city, and I got a couple of puffs of his really good cigar, and we sat out on the roof talking until we all got too cold, then we went back in for hot coffee and more chatting, then people started drifting out. I was the last to leave, and he walked me out, fended off the homeless man who had fallen asleep really really close to my car, and gave me a looong hug goodnight.
It was a magical night, the guy proved himself to be entirely crushworthy, and a very, very thoughtful person. The little $8 ornament ended up costing me about $50, what with FedEx charges and gas money, but it was totally worth it. Sadly, he moved back to Georgia a few months later…

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