This Week in History – Bought on a Whim


Further proof that men and women think differently. Today marks the 100th anniversary of what could be considered the worst gift ever given.

Stonehenge.

gloomy-stonehenge

That’s right. Stonehenge. The ancient site had been on private property since the middle ages. The last heir to the land was killed in World War I, so the whole estate went up for auction.

Sir Cecil and Mary Chubb

Sir Cecil Chubb, a wealthy resident in the area, just happened in on the auction held September 21, 1915. He hadn’t planned on bidding on anything, but “on a whim” he bought 30 acres that included Stonehenge.

Why? He thought it would make a nice gift for his wife.

She was not impressed.

Men, repeat after me: “If I buy something on a whim, it is probably not a good idea. And if I buy something on a whim for my wife, it is definitely not a good idea.”

Three years later, Sir Cecil deeded Stonehenge to the country of England with conditions preventing any changes to the site. Historians and archaeologists were elated. But I bet no one was more elated than his wife.

I side with poor Cecil. I’ve given my share of bad gifts—and I’ve come to appreciate those who are great at giving just the right gift. Above all, I appreciate God’s gift-giving. He has given me something far more ancient that a pile of rocks in England.

God has gifted His love to me.  His love is ancient—it’s eternal–and it endures. I like that.

As for Mary Chubb, she probably became the only woman in history to be pleased to receive a toaster—only a toaster—as an anniversary present.

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