Tale Of A Christmas Present

I’m writing this post before Christmas, and I may publish it later, after Phillip gets his present.

This year, like previous years, Phillip and I agreed to give each other little presents and/or make contributions to charity. It’s the anti-consumerism attitude we have. Phillip had earlier mentioned having some difficulty having tea at his desk, since it’s a long walk to the kitchen to heat up water, leaving the front desk unattended.

So, that’s what I decided to get his for his little present – some way to make tea at his desk. Online searches showed me that actual tea makers were too expensive to qualify as a “little” present. I began looking for some sort of desk-sized electric kettle.

On the Thursday before Christmas, I still hadn’t found quite what I was looking for. My coworker Jaime recommended a brand that her mother-in-law has, and is pleased with. Jaime looked on Target’s website (there’s a Target on my way home from work) while I looked on Amazon. Target didn’t have it, but Amazon did. Amazon’s price was good, and the kettle qualified for shipment to an Amazon Locker. It was perfect. I put it on order, and chose delivery to the locker on Broadway.

Even before I submitted my order, the website told me that the locker on Broadway was full, so I’d have to choose another place for delivery. That technology impressed me. I chose the Downtown locker closest to my office. The website told me I could expect delivery on the Saturday before Christmas. That seemed like a problem – for a moment or two. Was I going to have to sneak back Downtown on the weekend to pick it up? After looking into it, I learned that I had three business days to pick up a delivery. So, it was back to being perfect. I could pick it up on Monday, during or after work. I submitted the order. That was Thursday afternoon.

Friday, before leaving for work, I checked on my order’s status. It had left for delivery at 5:30 that morning. I really do live in some sort of delivery vortex.

I checked on the delivery status at random times during the day. It was out for delivery. Was it possible that I could pick it up before I left work? I checked at 3:30. It was in the locker, and I had my pickup code.

As I left work, I took that big canvas bag the company had given me right before the big move Downtown. The contents of my desk fit in that bag – a desktop kettle should fit in it nicely.

I made a detour on my way to the bus stop. The package was bigger than I was expecting. (I’m a bit worried about that.) It fit nicely in the canvas bag – but stuck out the top of it. There was a space next to the back seats on the bus that was a perfect fit for the package.

As I carried it home, I realized that there was no way I could sneak it into the apartment unseen. But, we’re both adults. I’ll just announce something like, “It’s your Christmas present. Don’t look.” Besides, if Phillip did catch a glimpse of it, all he’d see would be an Amazon box in a canvas bag.

It got home. Phillip was taking a nap. Perfect. I hid his present in the living room. If he looked hard enough, he’d see it – but all he’d see would be an Amazon box. We don’t wrap presents for each other. It’s the anti-consumerism attitude we have.

On Saturday, Phillip asked about the canvas bag he didn’t recognize. Before I had a chance to answer, he recognized the bag. Fortunately, he didn’t ask me why I’d brought the bag home.

On Sunday, Phillip told me he didn’t know what he wanted for Christmas. I asked him what made him think I hadn’t bought his present already. He replied that I hadn’t had anything delivered to his office, and I hadn’t had to go to the Amazon Locker on Broadway.

So far, this is working out perfectly. I’m still worried about the size of the box. Maybe it has a lot of packaging.

Meanwhile, I’ve made a contribution to Heifer International, in Phillip’s name.

It’s now Christmas Day. The kettle is bigger than I was expecting, but Phillip says he can make it fit at his desk.

And, I have a new book: You Are Here, by Chris Hadfield. (It’s a collection of Earth photographs from The International Space Station. Cool!) And – a gift certificate for the University Bookstore.

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