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thoughts on previous holiday gifts

November 18th, 2005 at 04:58 am

It is that time of year again. Hassle and headaches and second guessing myself on gifts for everyone. But reading the forums and reflecting on things, I have come to a few realizations.

1. Being married 23 years, it has actually gotten easier to think of gifts for my hubby. And vice versa. When we were first married in a whirlwind, I really didn't know the deeper side of him, and the things he truly valued. We've also had so many experiences together, good and bad. But there is always something new. This summer, we were looking at CDs in costco, and I asked about a Jimi Hendrix CD. I was surprised when he responded that the only Hendrix CD he really really wanted was Rainbow Bridge, an old album he had as a teenager, which had never been converted to CD. Said he had been looking for it online for three years. I had no idea. I did my own google (experienced shoppers beware!) and found it. Actually last copy ever made. Wasn't that expensive, and totally made his birthday.

Another year, we had just moved to take our first real jobs after grad school. We didn't have the time together, or much money yet, but we both had a deep concern for helping others. In grad school, we had often gone walking along the university's stream, taking our old stale bread to feed the ducks. It was a horrible time, but these moments together kept us sane. So, I bought him a "flock of ducks" from Heifer International, Heifer project, with a note about those special times. He loved it!

Sometimes even the practical things can be special, just because you noticed and did something. Last year a pair of lined nylon waterproof pullover pants were the hit. We had SO much snow, and instead of being out in his jeans, getting soaked, plowing snow, he wore the coveralls and stayed warm and dry. Okay, I cheated alittle, I bought two styles, one with bib and one just waist high. I got to use the waist highs and stayed dry too!

We have the money to buy anything we want. But the gifts that touch our hearts and make us smile are the ones that show we know each other, we notice each other during the day, and we care.

The best gifts I received last year? Actually, a matching set of potholders and kitchen towels. I AM conscious of money, and I never spend money on quality potholders, even though I cook every day. The guest towels may be the finest Egyptian cotton, but I don't do those things for myself. Also, a new set of weight lifting gloves with a bit of padding on the palm and strength around the wrist, since I tend to push myself harder than my hands appreciate. These weren't expensive things, but they were very personal to me and my life.

The best gifts don't make you broke, they just show you care enough about the person to notice the things that mean something to them.

Wish I had appreciated that BEFORE we bought my Mom the big screen tv that wasn't good enough and we dumped a fortune on. What she really loved? A bottle of bath soap that smelled like cinnamon rolls, the smell of our home growing up every day, with a note that I cherished her and these memories.

2 Responses to “thoughts on previous holiday gifts”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Very nice post. Definitely important things to keep in mind.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Absolutely lovely. The Heifer Foundation is a wonderful thing.

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