December 30, 2008
THE TOP SECRET BOXES
Every Christmas there is the one gift that seems to steal the show. The one gift that has been dreamed of, hoped for and endlessly wished for. The one toy you would have begged, borrowed or stole for. Over the past couple of years, there has been one toy in particular that my boys have yearned for... An XBOX 360.
They have schemed and devised all sorts of entrepreneurial plans to help them obtain this most coveted of possessions. Somehow they have always come up just shy of their mark. And it has remained just out of their reach.
Before Christmas, I was having the proverbial 'what are you getting the kids for Christmas' chat with a girlfriend. I told her about the boys and their XBOX dreams and how Graham and I were trying to figure out a way to make that happen.
Several weeks later, I was driving home from one of my detox appointments, when my friend called to tell me that they wanted to make the boys dream happen for them. I nearly drove off the road I was crying so hard. I just couldn't understand why they would want to do this for our family. She laughed and told me her husband understood gaming. When she had told him about how much our boys wanted an XBOX, his immediate response had been, "An xbox for a boy isn't a want, it's a need!"
It wasn't long after that conversation that several top secret boxes made their way under our tree. A generous gift from this dear friend and her husband who decided to do for our boys what we could not.
Of course, Graham and I knew what the packages contained. These boxes contained the one gift that our boys have dreamed of, hoped for, wished for over and over again for the past couple of years. We were giddy with excitement for them and all manner of scheming went into how best to wrap them order to maximize optimal delight and shock on Christmas morning.
We could barely contain our excitement at the thought of the boys opening them on Christmas morning. Anticipating an exuberant, jubilant, over the top, rip roaring emotional response, we made sure that the video camera was posed to record every jubilant moment.
However, we grossly under anticipated the shock factor.
Of course, part of that had to do with them being totally confused - thanks to our carefully planned and orchestrated opening scheme....
We told them who the packages were from as we handed them over.
The first boxes they opened contained the xbox games and a controller.
After a moment of awkward silence, Taylor put on a brave face and said,
Feigning total ignorance, we suggested that maybe they should open the accompanying package.
And then we sat back and waited for the granddaddy of all freak outs to occur.
They ripped into the package to reveal, drumroll please, the XBOX 360!
No thunderous response occurred.
They were so beyond surprised to receive the gift that they never, ever expected to get in a million years that they were shocked into total silence.
And I mean complete and utter silence.
And completely dumbstruck.
As in they could not believe their eyes dumbstruck.
It was so completely unexpected that it took them awhile to clue in.
An XBOX 360...THEIR XBOX 360!
Once the shock wore off and the exclamations of "I can't believe it!" and "Is this really real?!" died down, they got down to the business of gaming.
And it has been furiously going on ever since.
I had no idea how advanced gaming systems had gotten. I mean I am not so clueless as to think they hadn't somehow advanced from the Atari Ping Pong of my childhood however I had no idea the extent.
And I certainly had no idea that you can play 'live'. Taylor is now hooked up live...meaning he can talk and compete against his friends from around the city.
It's so crazy. And yes, I'm a little behind the times. At least I finally understand what all the fuss is about now!
Graham and I have spent the remainder of the holidays listening to the laughter and bravado that accompanies boys in all their gaming glory. We are so thrilled for them. And so grateful to our friends.
And it's a good thing the xbox was the last present the boys opened... as I suspect there would still be unopened presents sitting under the tree if it had been the first!