Like most people, when Christmas rolls around I shop for family members and close friends. I've always pretty much stayed in the traditional box in that regard.
Back in the 80s (whoa, that dates me), when I was working the small newsroom at the Wapato weekly, I got a wild hair and decided to purchase a gift for the young son of a couple I knew very well. I think it was a basketball, although time has made my memory fuzzy and can't really say for sure.
I wrapped it, slipped over to my friends' house Christmas Eve well after they had retired for the night, and left it on the front porch. The tag simply read, "To Michael, from Santa."
I got a lot of chuckles the next few weeks, listening to Dave and Jeri wonder aloud about who left a present for their son on the doorstep. And, it made me feel a bit fuzzy inside when they related how special Michael felt Christmas morning, the only one in the family who received a special 'Santa' gift that no one could explain from where it came.
I don't recall ever revealing to my friends that I was the culprit. Don't think I've ever done anything similar, either.
Why, I don't know. Because quite honestly, I believe I got more out of it than Michael did.
Maybe it's time to step out of that traditional box again...you know, giving a Christmas gift to someone who least expects it. Heaven knows, there are plenty of folks who could use some extra holiday cheer. Heck, there are plenty of people who'll make out just fine when it's gift-opening time, but will go to bed Christmas night without really having experienced any Christmas magic.
It's been awhile since I've experienced it. Don't wait 25 years as I've done to put on your Santa suit. Create a little magic of your own for someone and, ultimately, for yourself.