Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Christmas Present

When I was about sixteen I wanted a guitar.

I'd wanted a guitar for quite a few months. I wanted a guitar more than I wanted anything else. Christmas was coming. So I asked for a guitar. I would have been happy with a guitar and nothing else. But no guitar shapes appeared under the Christmas tree in the lead up to Christmas Day.

Christmas Morning I went to church with my family. I think I might have prayed for a guitar. Then, after mass, we went back home for breakfast. And, after breakfast, we all sat in the lounge, waiting to begin the present opening. I was already pretty gutted at this point. Still no guitar-shaped presents under the tree. Not even the hint of one (whatever that actually means). But despite this, despite my palpable sadness, there was the merest hint of tangible excitement. Like a joke that was only being played on me. So when it came to handing out the presents it seemed both odd and strangely appropriate that I should be handed the first one.

It was about eight inches long and four inches across. But not rectangular. It was weirdly shaped. And a bit nobbly in places. No audible moving parts - a shake confirmed this. I was perplexed. My face must have been a creative combination of sadness, excitement, and puzzlement.


I opened it.

I opened it, and inside the wrapping paper, there, in my hands, my trembling hands, was a guitar. A plastic guitar. It was yellow, and had a red back. With rubber bands for strings. Three rubber bands forming six strings. I strummed it in my sorrow, fighting back tears. Every twang accompanied by my laughing family.

"Look on the back," my Dad said. So I did. And there. There sellotaped on the back of the plastic guitar was a yellow square of paper. Blue ink. LOOK UNDER YOUR BED.

I looked up at them first. Saw their beaming faces. And ran upstairs. And saw My Guitar. And cried.


Anonymous said...

made me smile

Natasha said...


I read your post and got really involved and then re-read it to my husband! Its a really good description of what happens at Christmas time to lots of us but so well written. I hope you are getting lots of readers.

Take care


Slutbun said...

Aww! I love parents for doing stuff like that. My mum and dad did something similar with my first bike but hid it behind the curtains of the living room.