Thursday, December 13, 2012

Finding that Silver Lining

Things Are Not As They Seem.

Last night my wife and I attended my company Christmas Party.  It was a fun evening.  Part of the festivities was exchanging gifts and playing Dirty Santa.   

For those of you who haven’t heard of Dirty Santa here are the rules:  Everyone gets a number and then in turn walks up to the gift table.  Number one opens a gift.  Number Two then gets a choice, take the gift from Number One, or open a new gift from the table.  If Number Two picks a gift from the table, then Number Three gets a choice, open a gift from the table or take one of the already opened gifts.  If Number Three takes Number One’s gift, then Number One can take the gift from Number Two, or go back to the table and open a new gift.  The stolen gift can only be stolen three times, after that the gift can no longer be stolen and has a home.  As you can imagine some gifts are more popular than others.

I didn’t steal a gift, I opened a gift.  Someone took pity on me and stole my gift, as it wasn’t a fit for me.  So I took a tool.  Later my tool gift was stolen.  Someone else told my wife which gift I should open next, so I did. 

It was a lump of coal Christmas decoration that said “Naughty” on it.  Well, I am a good sport and thought, it will make a great conversation piece hanging on the tree.  However, one coworker loves to play gags and such.  I knew this and trust my coworker, but everyone was laughing and having fun, and I guess I did show disappointment on my face.  I tried not to, like I said, I try to be a good sport about things.
Needless to say, my gift was never stolen again, but when it was done, my coworker came up to me and said, here, this is the real present.  It was a bucket full of DVD’s candy, and pop corn, with nifty plastic theater type popcorn containers; enough for the whole family to fill with popcorn when we decide to watch movies at home.  It was the perfect gift for me, and for me to share with my family.

Last night’s party illustrated something I’ve thought about over the years.  Things are not what they appear to be.  A lump of coal turned into a tradition of fun nights with family and friends with home theater accessories.  Life is full of things that at first look like disasters, but as time goes on turn out to be blessings in disguise. 

I wrecked my car several years ago.  Bad deal.  But I now have a better car, one I really enjoy driving, and more fitting my needs than the car that I wrecked.  Good Deal.

Our friends had their home burn down while they were out of town for Christmas many years ago.  Bad Deal.  However, no one was home, no one was killed, no one was injured.  They lost everything.  They now have a beautiful new home, filled with new furnishings, new wardrobes, new everything, a fresh start.  Good Deal.  Family and friends had photos and were able to restore a lot of the things lost, true some things can never be recovered, but the important things, were not lost.

I have a hole in my roof.  Bad deal.  Water came in and damaged a few things.  Bad Deal.  But now I have to clean things up, and when I am done, I will have thrown away a lot of junk I’ve been hording over the years and the place will be cleaner.  Good Deal.

There is a positive and a negative side to most everything.  Happiness depends on how you look at things.  If you try and look for the positive, you may just find a window into happiness in your own life.
Have a Merry Christmas, and enjoy the holidays.  May you find time to spend with family and friends, and find that silver lining in those storm clouds. 


Unknown said...

Very good points! Sometimes when you're in the middle of the crap it's hard to see the good, but it does come. Great post!

Michelle 4 Laughs said...

A good thing to remember, especially when sending those query letters.

Dean C. Rich said...

J A Bennett,

So true. There is a line from the book, "The Greatest Salesman in the World" that I repeat to myself when things are going wrong, and before I find that Silver Lining.

"This too shall pass."

Thanks for your comment!

Dean C. Rich said...


Another good point. Finding that agent is a business partnership, so the no replies are just that much closer to the yes you are looking for. Keep at it!

Anonymous said...

I love playing tricks!!! Glad, you liked your gift. Merry Christmas!

Dean C. Rich said...

Tha.k you!

Terri Bruce said...

LOL - must be a southern thing because we call that game "Yankee Swap" up here (not Dirty Santa) :-)

Dean C. Rich said...

Amazing how things are the same but different. Thanks for the info, love knowing all these little tidbits.