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Archive for December 16, 2012

the most memorable gifts (sunday setup 12/16/12)

< by Jill >

In early December 2011, Nate told me a riddle that, if solved, would reveal my Christmas gift. “I bought your gift, but now I have to order it,” he said, plying me with two bright eyes. I considered the possibilities. Is it a custom dress? Nope. A monogrammed goblet? Nope. A mail-order puppy? Nope. With each guess, he beamed a bit brighter, overstuffed with anticipation. When Christmas arrived and I unwrapped the gift, I found a strand of individually knotted freshwater pearls. Turns out, he had bought a voucher for the jeweler, and then applied it toward the necklace.

That beautiful pearl necklace is one of the best Christmas gifts I’ve ever received. When I’m all alone in my apartment, I slip it on and feel the cold weight of each little orb. It reminds me of the thought, love, and intention that went into procuring it.

In the world of jewelry, pearls occupy a lowly position compared to diamonds. However, both stem from humble roots: diamonds begin as hunks of carbon, and pearls begin as tiny sacs that seal off parasites and other microscopic intruders. Despite ugly beginnings, both carbon hunks and parasite sacs gradually evolve into highly coveted baubles.

I’m thankful that Nate sprung for the pearls rather than the diseased mollusks. That being said, some gifts aren’t appealing at first glance. This week, you’ll read stories that explore this avenue — stories about gifts that appear useless or unwanted, but yield great joy in time. You’ll also hear about some genuinely bad gifts, some perfectly great ones, and some that can’t be boxed or ribboned at all.

Christmas Pearls