My sisters and I have always loved a good surprise, especially when it came to my parents. When we were kids, Mom and Dad always made sure we had ways to get gifts for our sisters, etc. When I was about 13, the neighbor down the street, who owned a beauty shop, asked me if I would clean it and wash the towels every Saturday. I accepted, and suddenly had my first job.

When Christmas came that year, I had enough money, with what my sisters were able to put in, to buy my parents a nice 4 slice toaster, which our family really needed, and since it was a hot new item, many people didn’t have yet. So, Christmas morning, after all the gifts had been opened, and my parents had received the little school craft gifts from us, and had been told that the big box in the back was going somewhere else. Mom said, “Well, Merry Christmas everyone.” My sisters had agreed that I would hand them the gift, since I had put in the most money. So, I got up and handed them the gift. They looked at us in stunned silence and opened the gift. Then, came the greatest satisfaction a gift giver can receive…their mouths dropped open in pleased shock, and of course, my mom cried. We always knew how pleased she was, because she cried.

Through the years we have given Mom and Dad other surprises. One of the most fun times we had was for their 25th Anniversary. We went together and bought them new living room furniture and had it delivered while they were at the store. When they walked in, their mouths dropped open in total shock. They couldn’t believe we had pulled that off. And of course, Mom cried. It was great fun.

Probably the best surprise gift we gave them, however, was for their 50th Anniversary. We totally shocked them with a cruise to Alaska. They had always wanted to go to Alaska, but weren’t even remotely expecting a cruise. It was probably the greatest gift we could have given them. They had an amazing time. And that probably surprised them the most. They had never considered taking a cruise, and afterwards they wondered why they hadn’t.

Surprises can be so much fun and such a great blessing to the recipient, but in reality, they are at least as much fun for the giver. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. I will always have the memory of the shocked…pleased…amazed…happy faces over something I have given them.

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