Conventional wisdom dictates that "it is better to give than to receive," and the adage is repeated often during the holidays.
Sometimes giving is incredibly rewarding, as a number of law enforcement officers who recently made a trip to Virginia may attest.
Sometimes, it's kind of funny, as in an experience I had a few years ago: The summer of that year, my mother, sister and I had taken a trip to visit family in England. While there, The BBC aired a film from the Carry On series,low-budget comedies made between the '50s and '90s which my mother had loved when she lived in England.
Some quick research on Amazon turned up a boxed set of those movies; the perfect Christmas gift, I thought. I couldn't wait to see the look on her face.
Fast-forward to December: gifts around the tree, stockings hung by the chimney with care. As my family settles in to demolish hours of hard wrapping, I pick up one package and unwrap it--it was a boxed set of the Carry On movies.
I was baffled, and certain my expression showed it. For a second, I panicked, thinking I had unwrapped the gift I'd bought for my mother. A few minutes later, as she found my parcel, we learned that we had both had the same inspiration (and stolen each others' thunder).
"Great minds think alike," as the saying goes.
And as my mum never hesitates to add, "but fools never differ."
So, whether it's Christmas, Hanukkah, a birthday, or just because, let's hear some of your stories of gift-giving gone rewarding or awry. Share them in the comment.