Christmas in August
by Ted Tschopp
It’s August already and it seems that yesterday was January. Most of my plans for this year have been dashed to pieces to lay neglected on the side of the speeding highway that this last year has turned into.
Over the last couple of weeks I have taken time to slow down and simplify my life. I have thrown out 6 trash bags of stuff many of which was one of a kind Lord of the Rings crap I had collected over the years when I ran The One Ring. In this process of letting go I have come across things that I needed to pick up and keep a hold of. This story is one of the things I found laying at the side of the road neglected. It was a story that needs to be told.
I’m not very big on gifts, getting or receiving; when I do get a gift it’s a big deal. This last year I exchanged gifts with a couple of friends. One gift that stood out was a book from my friend Nikki.
Nikki got me a book for Christmas, a non fiction book; a book I had seen several times in the book store, but it seemed to only be mildly interesting too me. Well seeing the book, I thanked her for it and threw it into my car with every intention of adding it to the stack of books I am reading. Time passed and the book stayed in the car. I would come across it in manic bouts of car cleaning. The book soon rotated to the trunk.
One day around May, I found myself in my car, waiting on one of my other friends to show up for something. I fired up my iPod looking to listen to another pod cast. Curses! I had listened to all my podcasts. I saw my bible and thought about doing my homework for my bible study. No, I could put that off. Then the thought occurred to me. I could go to the trunk of the car and get Nikki’s present out of the trunk. I got the book and read the cover “Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything”. It asked a couple questions.
- What do sumo wrestlers and teacher have in common.
- What does the KKK and real estate agents have in common?
- Why do crack cocaine dealers live with their parents?
- What effect does legalized abortion have on the crime rate.
Well, that sure seems interesting. I cracked the book, and I couldn’t put it down. About 30 minutes later my friend showed up and I had to put it down. Over the next week I would race home from work and devour the book. It was the best non fiction book I have read in a long time.
Then it hit me. I had totally overlooked this gift. These hours of pleasure and enjoyment had been given to me by Nikki and I had not trusted her to know me enough to get me a good book. I had not thanked her for it. I had made a mess of one of the best gifts I had been given in a long time.
Over the next couple of days I finished the book. The next time I met with Nikki I thanked her for the book and told her how bad I felt about not reading it sooner. I also told her I would post a review of the book to my web site.
Time has passed and it is no longer late spring, it’s now late summer and I have yet to post the review. Let the above be my Mea maxima culpa as well as my review and recommendation for the book.
August is a strange and unfitting time for Christmas, as it is a strange and unfitting time to thank someone for one of the top 10 gifts I have ever received from my friends and family. But like Christmas, thanks and apologies for mistakes are never too late, they are like Christmas in August.