2010 will be the year that I rocked the gift giving, though 2011 is already working out to be a killer gift giving year as well.
I love giving gifts. The only problem is that I never know what to get people. I don’t go out shopping unless I really really have to, and by that I mean, I only have two pairs of pants, and I’ve finally ended up on a day when they’re both dirty so I can no longer avoid the fact that I must go buy new pants. In which case, I drive to Macy’s, make a beeline for the pants I want, try them on, buy them, and leave. I don’t browse, I don’t look at other stuff. So I never know what’s out there, what cool stuff is calling my name.
So when someone’s birthday comes up, or Christmas is finally right around the corner, I’m kind of at a loss. But not in 2010.
In talking about gift giving, I have to mention the hat I gave my husband for Christmas in 2009. I had been knitting for a year or a year and a half by then, and he’d been constantly bugging him about making him a Steeler’s hat. So a couple of months before Christmas, I found a pattern, bought the yarn, and learned to knit in the round. I knitted him this hat while he was gone and when I’d go to my knitting group. When I finally gave it to him to open on Christmas, the last present he would open, I thought he was going to cry. That said more to me than any words he could have said.
Then in 2010, a friend of mine, a new mother, was complaining to me that all she’d wanted for her birthday was a massage. Her husband, for whatever reason, hadn’t gotten her the massage. I’d been wanting a massage, so I scheduled both of us for a massage (not a couple’s massage — separate massages), and took her on a surprise outing to get the massage. That was one of the best ideas I’ve had, since I got to benefit from it too. 😉
A couple of months ago, I was reading a local comics’ blog, Pearls Before Swine, and he’d mentioned that he’d autographed a bunch of books at a local bookstore, and if you wanted one, you should call and buy one. They sell out pretty quick — I know, because I’ve tried to buy one before, and I’m local! So I checked his FAQ page, emailed him, and asked if he’d mind personalizing one of his books for me for a friend, who I knew would LOVE it. After hitting send, I went back to his FAQ page, read it more carefully, and saw he doesn’t personalize books. *headdesk* So I emailed him again, and was all, Sorry, I’m lame, didn’t catch the part about not personalizing books, ignore my email. Because isn’t it annoying when you specifically say, I don’t do this, then someone says, Hey, can you do this for me? Imagine my surprise when I get an email 2 minutes later, asking me where I’m at. After a couple of back and forth emails, he says, If you can come to Copperfield’s in 15 minutes, I’ll do it. I drove over, and we chatted for a half hour, he personalized the book for my friend, and I tried not to faint (he’s rather good looking). He said he really doesn’t personalize books, but I happened to catch him when he was already at Copperfield’s, and he’d given an interview that day, so he was feeling chatty. SCORE! The only thing better than the perfect gift for someone is the perfect gift that is otherwise impossible to get.
Fast forward to Christmas. Dave, myself, and his mom all tell each other specifically what we’d like for Christmas…within reason. 😉 Dave’s mom is always concerned about how much money we spend on her, while I’m only concerned that we buy her something she needs and/or loves and/or will use. When Dave and I told her the gender of the baby at Thanksgiving, we also showed her all the sonograms we’d gotten, one of which was a side view of the baby with his arm up near his face. She told me later that she didn’t sleep well for a few days after that because she would just lay awake thinking of that one sonogram picture. So one of the things that I got her was a framed copy of that particular sonogram picture. I figured if she was that moved by it, she might as well have a copy so she can look at it all the time until the baby comes. I knew I’d get a few tears out of her for that gift, but had no idea the other gift would be such a winner!
In chatting with Dave’s mom sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, she mentioned how she’d really like an iPod someday. She’d never ask for one because it’s significantly over any unspoken Christmas limit, but I knew that would be the perfect gift. We didn’t spend Christmas together because she was down with her daughter and grandchildren in San Diego, so we got together yesterday to exchange the last few gifts we had. I could have bought the iPod and sent it down with her, but I was concerned she might make a big deal out of how much it costs. Yes, it’s on the expensive side, but I decided that this year was not the year to scrimp on gifts, since there’s only two of us and we have three incomes. Next year, when there’s three of us on two incomes, we’ll get her something more modest. But this year? Spoil her!
I knew she’d cry over the sonogram picture, but she cried even more over the iPod! She was so happy to get it! She can’t stop talking about it and can’t wait to get it loaded up. And that’s how I knew it was worth it. I got her exactly what she wanted, even though she didn’t ask for it.
I’m hitting a dry spell with gift giving ideas, though. My hairdresser, who I consider a friend, is finally opening her own salon tomorrow. It’ll just be her and another girl to start out, but she’ll be on her own and she won’t be renting a chair from anyone again. But what should I get her? What would be a nice gift for someone opening their own hair salon?
And what are some of the best gifts you’ve ever given or been given?