„Festivals are the way you make them,“ I thought the following morning, after Christmas Eve, „just like in the rest of our lives.“ And we had done well. Quiet and thoughtful and peaceful. Probably because we had the same expectations that we fulfilled. Now I sat there and turned a vase in my hand, one of the kinds usually found on the mantelpiece or, if there was no mantel, the closet of an old lady. Dainty white porcelain with pretty flowers on it. There it fit, somehow, but certainly not to me. Still, you gave it to me. I could not believe it. What had you come up with? Had we not known each other so well and long, we would not have been so close friends, I would have somehow understood, but that was us and it just did not fit.
Finally it rang at the front door. I went to open.
„Good morning!“, you grinned at me, with that boyish, winning smile that could seduce me to forgive you everything. Except for this vase.
„Good morning!“ I replied, still turning the vase irritatingly in my hands.
„What is, you do not want to offer me coffee?“ you called me.
„I do not know if I want that,“ I replied provocatively. And I knew exactly that I wanted it. Just like you. You should at least get the chance to explain this to me.
„Listen,“ you said, as we sat by the fireplace with coffee and biscuits, „The vase is not for you.“
„That calms me down a lot,“ I explained with relief, so that I now had the right to return this nasty thing back to the packaging, „because when you told me you had something very special for me, that was not quite it what I expected. “
„I can understand that, too,“ you said. „You know, I really wanted to bring the gift before December 24th. But my daughter had this accident. That completely upset all my plans. So, I sent a friend off. I pressed two presents into his hands, sharpening him, which belonged to whom and let him go, and as the devil wants, he confused the two.“ With that you pressed a small packet into my hand, which I opened without much penmanship tore. It certainly was not a vase. That was reassuring. Instead, I held a packet of papers in my hand that looked like diary entries. Each was titled „Today, …“, then was an empty field, which was probably intended to enter the date, then to follow with „we have …“ and to end with some activity. The remainder of the paper was blanked. And finally, I understood.
„You have noticed all this?“, I asked dumbfounded.
„Well, notice is exaggerated,“ you replied laughing, because you realized that I had finally understood, „I wrote it down, everything we talked about, what we would like to do, and did not make it all year, somehow. That should not be forgotten and I hope we can do it next year.“
Not only did you not forget it, it also showed that you had obviously listened to me, even though I had the impression here and there that that was not the case. What’s more, you took my wishes seriously, wrote them down to you and now I saw a year full of experiences that were absolutely worth a diary entry. It really was an extraordinarily thoughtful gift. Silently I hugged you. It was no more necessary for you to understand. Then, however, I took out one of the notes titled „Walk in the Snow“, put in today’s date where it was intended and said, „Come on, let’s do it.“ It felt so very good experience that you are taken seriously and accepted. Life could be so beautiful.