As always this past Christmas, members of my immediate family exchanged wishlists prior to Christmas. Because we are a particularly bookish family, most of us had Amazon.com wishlists that were dominated by books. My own included a number of volumes on my various interests: Narrative therapy, sustainable agriculture, vegetarian cooking, etc.
My boyfriend decided to give me a book but picked something that was not on my wishlist - a beautiful hardback, which I consider a luxury, since I never buy hardbacks for myself. "I looked at your wishlist," he said. "All the books on it looked boring. You need to relax and read a good story."
The book is The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. I just started reading it, and thus far, I love it. He's right; it is a really good story, and it's the thing I find myself most eager to reach for when I get home at the end of a busy workday and need to relax.
Wishlists are a great thing, and they can give us a place to start from when choosing a gift for someone. But how often do we really know what we want or need? Often the people closest to us know better than we do, and the best gifts are the ones that go beyond what's on our wishlist.