My husband is a master gift disguiser, beginning with our first Christmas together in our lower level one-bedroom in the shadow of the Rockies. While our upstairs neighbor was getting high and coming up with new schemes to try to borrow money from us, and our kitten, Haley, was cometing around our Charlie Brown Christmas tree, he was wrapping up nuts and bolts for masterful plots of deception. This year is no different. Let the games begin.
I take a different tack – especially when it comes to wrapping up the plots themselves. This year I’m intentionally going out of my way to make them obvious. Whether you asked for a book or not, you’ll be able to tell that you’re getting one. Your eye will spy it and you’ll be tempted to laugh at my inept skills in the art of surprise, but as you handle the rectangular packages with the tell-tale indentation on one side, you’ll be sucked into unraveling my own little yarn. You’ll unknowingly be reading the unwritten message on the back of the package. You can’t see the words, but with Braille-like finesse you’ll be reading them:
“Herein lies a book. It may or may not be one from your wish list. It may have been especially selected because the giver spied it on a shelf or a bin in a bookstore and lovingly perused the contents and thought it would be the perfect one for you. As your imagination grapples to get its bearings, picture yourself reading this book – a Mystery for now – cuddled up in that overstuffed chair in the dimly lit corner opposite the twinkling, fragrant tree. While everyone else is at the kitchen table destroying one another in a raucous game of Skip-Bo, you’ll be lost in your own little world – whatever world that is – whatever world you are holding in your hands right now. You’ll sense the presence of your loved ones and that will comfort you and embolden you to unreservedly strike out on a new journey through pristine, unsullied pages – or perhaps through pages a little yellowed, a little musty, a little marked with a mysterious stranger’s inky scribbles. No, you can’t precisely judge it by its wrapping. Its size and feel have told you enough to hook you. Like every good story, you won’t really know where it will take you until you unwrap it. That will happen soon enough, but for now just keep rereading this teaser, this prologue to hours of happiness. The more you do, the more you’ll wonder and the more enthralling will be that moment when you finally know to which world you’re headed.“