21. My Christmas Scarf

21. My Christmas Scarf

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Merry Christmas!

My Christmas Scarf

I never make stupid mistakes. Only very, very clever ones.

~John Peel

Every winter when the winds blow cold, I take out my scarf. It is affectionately referred to as “My Christmas Scarf.”

Before I digress, I will tell you the story of the scarf that brings so much love and laughter into our lives and the lives of people we know. It is hard to believe one scarf could bring smiles to people’s faces and tears to their eyes.

I have a sister who has always bought the most wonderful gifts. Anything she buys is great, but the Christmas presents are always the best. One year, it might be a china plate. Another year, it might be a set of miniature lantern lights for decoration.

The Christmas I am talking about was a particularly cold one. You know, the bone-chilling-cold type when it seems like there is no way to ever get warm.

As the wind howled outside, we opened our Christmas presents. I tore open the brightly colored, beautifully wrapped present from my sister with excitement. I knew it would be special. As I lifted the lid of the box, I saw a beautiful but very unusual scarf.

It was bright red, like the color you associate with Christmas. There were Christmas green tassels at the two ends. In between were woven patches of yet another green, and a few small patches of black and burgundy.

All along were narrow ribbon lines of gold. The gold was a bright shiny gold… almost like it was freshly spun gold.

As you can imagine, each time I wore it I received compliment after compliment. Everyone loved the colors. People loved the width of the scarf. Most of all, there were the comments about the ribbons of “spun gold,” the bright red color and the Christmas green tassels on the ends.

I loved wearing the scarf. It always made me warm and cozy, even on the coldest days. People would come over to me to talk and admire the scarf. “Where did you get it?” they would ask.

To each of them, I would recount my story. I didn’t know where it came from or how much it cost. I only knew it was a wonderful gift.

One Christmas, I decided to tell my sister how much I loved the scarf. I wanted her to know what a wonderful gift the scarf had been and how much I enjoyed it.

As I proceeded to tell her about all the compliments I had received, she had a puzzled and then, HORRIFIED, look on her face.

Finally, in a very serious tone she said, “It isn’t a scarf. It is a table runner.” She could not believe I had not known.

I still have “My Christmas Scarf.” It has never been used as a Christmas table runner.

With tears in their eyes, people laugh as I tell this story. Everyone still thinks it is the perfect Christmas “scarf.”

Even now, years later, I realize I could see my scarf as a table runner, but to me, it is still “My Christmas Scarf.”

~Katie Martin

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