Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Christmas Gift

Once a year, in December, Will and I go shopping for my Christmas present. We meet downtown and wend our way through the storm and swirl of Christmas crowds to a favorite design store, a bookstore, or jeweler. Shopping doesn't takes long - I plan ahead and we're never more than fifteen minutes.*

Purchases made, children otherwise busy, and work on hold for an hour or two, we're free and together on a week day. No gift tucked away for the tree tops this moment. One magical year we walked through new fallen snow to a cocktail bar in Mala Strana, where we toasted the holidays with Old Fashions. Another December found us in a favorite French patisserie splitting a chocolate tort. This year, we climbed the steps to the first floor of Myšák, a coffee shop near Václavské náměstí, and sipped coffee and cocoa in Cukrárna Myšák's old-is-new splendor.

Night falls close to 3 these days, so it was dark by the time we left Myšák to head back to our offices. "See you at home!" I called, before running down the metro steps to catch the train to our neighborhood. "Thanks for the present!"

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* Though this year, price negotiations threatened to push us past my time limit (if you hesitate and hmm a bit, jewelers here start dropping the price, opening the floor to further discussions and making me wonder just what type of margin they usually enjoy!).

6 comments:

Roderick Robinson said...

Jewellers' margins. Think of the symbol eight-on-its-side and you're into the ball-park. Pity you're welded into tradition though it's a rather delicious tradition (Reminiscent of us first Christmas married in London: to the Cafe Royal - bottom of Regent Street - for martinis which come in tiny glass jugs; then across to Wheelers fish restaurant for Dover sole and a huge glass (bucket size) of Chablis; thsn, all inhibitions cast aside, the gift shopping) If you are able to postpone your visit close to closing time then hearts that are as hard as the diamonds they are selling tend to melt. But it's just money in the end and your quick indulgence, slotted in to a working day, is far more valuable. All we as your acolytes were short of were a few fragments of W-J conversation to make it perfect.

Paola said...

Love these almost stolen dates ...

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

You have a great tradition! D and I used to shop together one night in Dec. for the boys--and then have a romantic dinner somewhere. But this year it never happened.

Roderick Robinson said...

And a snowy, creamy moustache to you and yours given the season. Or did you decorously wipe it all away with a paper towel before you hi-ed back to your office? Pure rubbish, I'm good at that.

Julia said...

Robbie, I remember one liners, but not dialogue - perhaps that could be a nice challenge for next year! The cream I gave mostly to Will for his cocoa. I admire it but don't eat much. (The best part about cream in the Czech Republic is that it is called smetana.)

Paola, Almost stolen dates are wonderful

GG, I think you should steal one in January since you missed your December night!

Lucy said...

How lovely, sounds like a movie!

Hope you're still enjoying the holidays, belated happy Christmas and a very happy New Year.