The Scarf


A family Christmas gathering is fertile ground for humorous stories…especially when a “white elephant” gift exchange is involved. If you aren’t familiar with the custom, it involves utterly useless and sometimes hysterical gifts being passed out, traded, and “stolen” until they are all distributed. My wife and I were lucky enough to earn hosting duties for her side of the family last Christmas Eve. We had opted for a white elephant exchange, saving the more traditional presents for our separate family celebrations the following day.

The game went on as usual until my wife received a hideous knit scarf from her sister. Everyone laughed as she modeled it and made wisecracks about the “seventies colors” and ugly frills. “I could use that for Halloween,” someone joked. My wife said something about it “scaring the dog.”

We all got a kick out of the scarf and my wife’s reactions but nobody was laughing as hard as my fifteen year old son. When he regained his composure, he went to his room and retrieved a present he had personally picked out, paid for, and wrapped as an intimate and thoughtful gift to his mother…the hat and gloves (sold separately) that, by total coincidence, matched the scarf! He handed the present to her and said, while still laughing, “Here Mom, I hope you like it.”

(photo courtesy of Garsya/