I thought I’d tell you about two of my Christmas presents: the tourmaline necklace and emerald ring (no, it wasn’t my usual hyperbole; I really did receive a ton of gifts).
Our story begins a long time ago in a continent far, far away…the Hub was in Madagascar on business. He was always away on business, which meant he spent half his time shopping for guilt presents for me and then only child Baby Boy.
Browsing a huge market, he came across a stall selling precious and semi-precious stones. He bought four for around R10 (roughly 2-3 pounds/dollars), including the tourmaline and emerald.
When he first gave them to me, he promised to have the emerald set in a ring as soon as we had some spare cash. That was twenty-four years ago.
Life happened: we bought a house; he started his own business; we had another baby; we left South Africa; he became ill, etc., etc. The stones languished in my jewellery box, forgotten, I thought. I wasn’t particularly bothered; he bought the stones on a market stall – I wasn’t convinced it was even a real emerald.
Fast forward twenty-four years. It was three weeks before Christmas. The Hub raided my jewellery box and took the two stones to a local jeweller. He figured that if he was getting one stone set, he might get a deal on another. The jeweller was impressed by the emerald – rare colouring these days, apparently; and of very good quality.
The Hub was specific about the setting, because he knows I’m specific about jewellery – I don’t do big or bulky or fancy or showy. I have a small frame and small hands and I like delicate and dainty and not too much of anything.
He went to collect them the day before Christmas Eve. The tourmaline necklace was perfect. The emerald ring…not so much. The setting was fancy; too fancy for this Hub’s wife, he knew. He was adamant that it be re-set in time for Christmas.
It took the jeweller three weeks to get it wrong and 24 hours to get it right. The Hub collected the ring in its new setting on Christmas Eve, packed it in a giant box to throw me off the scent, and had one spectacularly happy spouse on Christmas morning.
It took twenty-four years but the man kept a small promise he made to me. That was the real Christmas gift.