Prompt: Your audience needs to get to know you, and be able to connect with you. So, your first assignment is to introduce yourself to them by telling them about a family tradition you have. It can be with extended family or whatever, but it should really give them an idea about who you are.
Becoming an expert gift giver is no easy task. After all, gift giving is not something you can affordably practice every day. To be an expert gift giver, you must wait for an appropriate time to give your gift (birthdays, holidays, significant life events, getting out of jail, etc). Then you must deliver a meaningful, yet appropriate, gift that exceeds any and all expectations. I must confess I was not always an expert gift giver. In fact, at one time, I sucked at giving gifts.
|The Gazelle... how majestic.|
I really liked a girl named Amy back then, and knowing that we would be at this party together, I decided to surprise her with a gift. This was a complicated gift giving scenario as she did not yet know that I was interested in her. I needed something that said, “I like you, but I’m not a creepy stalker guy.” And for some reason, I decided that soap was this perfect gift. Girls like that stuff, right? I was clearly in over my head. I am ashamed to admit that I walked into Wal-Mart the night before the party, and, instead of going to the aisle full of Christmas gift boxes, I went to the regular soap aisle. I found apple scented Wal-Mart brand soap in an apple shaped container – yes, with a pump (which was impossible to wrap, in case you’re wondering).
|Ladies, you know you want some...|
I’m not exactly sure how I managed to pull this off, but one year later, Amy and I were dating. We had actually been dating for four months. So when it came time to exchange Christmas gifts, I got her something nice. But I also surprised her with another gift – soap! I stepped up my game this time. I explained to her that I now realized that fruit scented Wal-Mart soap was not good enough for her. If she was nice enough to give me a chance after that terrible first gift, she deserved the good stuff. I told her I would make it up to her every year at Christmastime as long as we were dating.
Amy got some great soap while we dated in college. One Christmas she got camp soap because she was going to Thailand for a semester and would be spending some time living in a village where there would be no soap available for laundry. The following Christmas, she got a fair trade, hand-made soap that smelled like the incense that was burned at the Buddhist temples she visited while she was abroad.
Two years ago, while Amy was six months pregnant with her first child, she got baby soap in her stocking. That’s right, the tradition continues. Amy is now my wife of six years, and while my first gift to her wasn’t perfect, the gifts that we give each other today – love, friendship, and family – would have never been possible without that first awkward moment when she had to decide whether or not I was a creepy stalker guy after opening her Wal-Mart brand fruit scented soap in an awkwardly wrapped, apple shaped dispenser.
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What do you think? Any constructive criticism? What family tradition would you have written about?