"Wouldn't it be a shame if something this nice caught on fire?" said my nephew. "We've had so many unexpected fires around here lately."
"I think that's called comprehensible combustion," said my brother. "Or is it sacrificial incineration."
"The term is spontaneous combustion," I said. "And it happens with people, not things."
"I'm sure there's a term for it," he insisted.
My nephew pretended to be writing a letter. "Dear Aunt Karin. Thank you so much for the lovely hand warmer. I only wish it would've burned slower so I could have enjoyed it even longer."
"Hey!" said my husband. "Isn't this the year we vowed to donate our gifts to charity?"
What my family doesn't recognize is the gift I've given them that goes beyond the gifts (and gift receipts) in their hands. For each of them, Christmas will be lasting just a little bit longer. They'll get to visit the malls again, stand in long lines one more time, reflect about presents and family just a little bit longer.
They might not realize just yet what it is they've been given, but once they do, I expect they'll be grateful.
If for nothing else than that I only choose gifts for them once a year.
Reach Karin Fuller at karinful...@gmail.com.