Rhymes With Fuchsia

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ten on Tuesday

The Ten Best Gifts I've Ever Given
  1. When I was eleven, I think, I gave my sister, then four, a stack of different colored pads of paper, about three by four inches, that I'd bought at the dime store for about 50 cents. For some reason all little girls seem to love colored paper, and Becca was no exception: she was thrilled right out of her gourd. Never before or since has any gift of mine been so well received.
  2. Our first Christmas in our apartment in Waltham, I gave Grant a wool sportcoat with leather elbow patches. It's the only time I've ever succeeded in giving him any article of clothing that fit perfectly and that he really liked without in any way consulting him during the process. (Much later I gave him a bomber jacket of which he was very fond, but I called him from the store to ask, hypothetically, if he were to get a bomber jacket for Christmas, what color and style should it be?)
  3. Two years ago, I think it was, I gave Marjorie and my dad matching socks — same pattern, different sizes, different colors.
  4. I happened to be with a good friend of mine who was also my boss at the time, as she had recently rescued me from the depths of unemployment, when she saw and vigorously admired a stained-glass nativity scene, but didn't think she should buy something purely ornamental just for herself. This, I knew, is exactly what friends are for.
  5. I always had a lot of trouble finding a gift for my father-in-law, Ernie, and one year the best I could come up with was a box of handkerchiefs that played "Jingle Bells" when you opened the lid. It appealed to his rather odd sense of humor, and at that moment we took a huge leap from being a little wary of each other toward becoming friends.
  6. When Miss B was 20 months old we gave her a stuffed red plush bear bigger (but considerably lighter) than she was. She still sleeps with it and recently herself sewed up the places where the stuffing was threatening to leak out (having tired of waiting for me to do it).
  7. I gave Grant's elder niece a baby blanket shortly after her birth, but her younger sister didn't get one until she was six months old; it was quite elaborate, with embossed hearts and intarsia cables. When C was three she carried it with her everywhere and refused to be parted from it even long enough for a laundry cycle; she is now 15, and I believe she still sleeps with it, even though its main color changed permanently from white to gray during the lovey phase. (Note to self: choose a main color other than white for baby blankets.)
  8. The first lace scarf I ever made was for Grant's sister, made with bright red Cascade Indulgence. It promptly came unblocked (note to self: garter-stitch borders are good), but she doesn't care.
  9. During my freshman year in college I went to a Christmas craft fair where I encountered a man with some very fancy brass coffin plates (or more likely replicas thereof) and materials to make rubbings therefrom, and I made a big one of a knight for my dad. For several years it sat on his desk, rolled up, until I absconded with it and had it framed. I would have felt a little guilty about giving the same gift twice had the framing not come out so well. The knight is now on sentry duty in their upstairs hall.
  10. Speaking of recycling, in my crochet post I told the story of making an afghan for my stepgrandmother's church fair after she taught me to crochet. I don't know if this counts as a gift, exactly, since she didn't get to keep it, but she was most pleased to be able to sell it at the fair.
Not that you asked, but the best gift I ever received? Definitely the Trad. Grant had taken great care, and not entirely for deceptive reasons, always to heap scorn on my obsession with all things fibrous, so finding a wheel under the tree was truly gobsmacking.

What were your best gifts, given and received?

5 Comments:

  • Fun read!

    By Blogger Laurie, at 8:40 AM  

  • Best gift given? Quilt to DH while we were still courting. Best gift received? DH went into my favorite clothing store (no longer in business, more's the pity) and asked them what I needed. I'm still wearing that skirt 18 years later. I've replaced the elastic in the waistband twice. He also bought me several POUNDS of bubblebath once. Squeeee!

    I really love unwrapping, pretty papers, shiney bows. Nicely wrap your old galoshes, and I'll even cherish those.

    By Blogger Roxie, at 10:01 AM  

  • This was fun to hear your stories!

    By Blogger Danielle, at 1:14 PM  

  • the best gift i remember giving was to my brother who has the nickname poopy (long, involved family joke). it was one of those cheap plastic pooping reindeer, you pull the tail and a brown jelly bean pops out the butt. he tore it open and laughed till he cried. and a year or two ago, everyone was broke so there wasn't many presents but they were almost all for my parents. that was such a cool reversal of the christmas norm, and we were all happy anyway.

    the best received gifts that come to mind are silly little things from my family, like my sister's empty bubble bath statue of beauty and the beast, the used box of crayons from my brother, the miniature guillotine my dad found after being on my list for 5 years, just the little things that meant my family loved me.

    By Blogger the boogeyman's wife, at 5:47 PM  

  • I gave my brother a rock for his birthday last year. Now mind you, when I was four and he was six, my parents scolded me heartily for even THINKING of giving my brother a rock (which he totally deserved, to my 4-y-o mind) for his birthday.

    Thirty-six years later, in May, we were hiking and found a patch of petrified wood. There was a HUGE knot of wood, petrified with a splinter, partly crystalline, about three or 5 pounds and ten miles from nowhere. I admired it, schlepped it painfully home and presented it to him the following January.

    It was perfect because (a) he loves interesting stones, rocks, fossils, crystals &c; (b) knew I had schlepped it all that distance; and especially (c) I GOT AWAY WITH GIVING MY BROTHER A ROCK FOR HIS BIRTHDAY!!!!!

    My inner four-year-old is still shrieking with glee.

    Gwyndolyn O'Shaughnessy

    (PS -- my verification word is "acked." Hopefully as in "Ack and ye shall receive.")

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:38 PM  

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