Blowing the Christmas Bonus All at Once

[From the archives.]

The Bible tells us it is better to give than receive (Acts 20:35), and I have a treat for you below that exemplifies this in memorable British fashion; this is Boxing Day after all. But first I thought I’d tell you of one of the better gifts I was able to give.

My wife and I don’t do presents much. One year, though, back when I was still an associate at my law firm, I received a Christmas bonus. It wasn’t much as law firm bonuses go, because the economy hadn’t been doing well that year, but still it was enough to go shopping for something I thought my wife might like. I took another associate along with me for advice, Christine, because she knew my wife and she had good taste. So we went coat shopping.

Kind of like this one (source)

Kind of like this one

Not just any coat, mind you. I wanted a wool overcoat for my wife. Black wool, heavy enough to handle the cold north winds that can blow through here in the winter. Christine was a trooper, going from store to store with me. We found a really nice one that blew the whole bonus, but it was perfect. I took it home and hid it away.

Christmas morning, I brought the package out. My wife was not expecting anything, so this was a surprise right off the bat. She opened it, and the surprise increased. Then she tried it on. It fit like … well, like an overcoat should. And it still does. I am glad I spent the whole thing on that coat, because it looks as good now as it did the day I brought it home 20 years ago. She wears it all winter long still.

So I have a question. What is one of the most successful gifts you’ve ever given, and why? (OK, that’s two questions I suppose.)


And as promised, for your reading pleasure (and I do mean pleasure, since this is hilarious), and in celebration of that grand British tradition Boxing Day, I direct you to read Brian Sibley’s “And Yet Another Partridge In A Pear Tree”. First performed by Penelope Keith on BBC, this has now become one of my personal holiday traditions.

It’s a hoot! (If partridges can hoot, that is.)


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