Last night was the annual office holiday party. We did the annual white elephant exchange. The rules of the ritual: pick a prize, open it and decide to keep it or ‘steal’a previously opened prize.  Some of the more coveted or outrageous prizes were stolen a few times (although there was a limit of 3x stolen).

I was #6 in the line.  #5, the wife of the Boss-man, opened this:


It is a metal ‘tree’ with green and red candle votives. My eyes widened. My face was suddenly lit with joy with the radiance of a brilliant sunrise. I could not believe The Fates had delivered such a gift. I stole it in a second. I told this tale:

When I met Someone he had this decoration. He hated it. He explained he got it at a time when he could not afford better trimmings or even a tree. It reminded him of bleak times; he thought it cheap christmas trash.  Before I knew this I fell in love with it. Every holiday I got it out and he would roll his eyes and ask why.  This mild fracas was an annual Christmas tradition.  About five years ago some of the votive candle broke. I was heart broken; Someone smiled a bit.

The white elephant Christmas tree votive was a must-have-or-perish. I host malevolent looks at anyone who dared consider stealing it.

When Someone came home from ushering he asked what I got at the party. I told him to brace himself and close his eyes. I was relieved he didn’t weep or clutch his chest in a heart spasm but laughed out loud and thought it funny; he understood in a flash.

Alas, it is missing a votive candle and it wants cleaning but these are small matters. Synchronicity has us maybe without a tree this year. This cheap little one will do. I hope it brings us tidings of great joy, or at least warm memories of dating twenty years ago.