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Great gifts over the years.


I see all types of Christmas memories and special gifts showing up on social media this time of year, so I thought the world needed to hear about mine. Let’s begin with presents I gave or received over the years, most of them memorable and some not so much, and some I wish had been affected by the supply chain fiasco. Don’t ask me about the bread maker.

When I was a kid, my earliest Christmas memory was 1954, in England. The city of London was still recovering from the devastation of the German bombs, and there were large piles of debris scattered around the city, food was in short supply, and we had more fog than snow.

Dad was a Master Sargent in the Air Force, and he was in charge of the Officers Mess at the Air Base outside London. Dad made sure we always had an abundance of food at home because we always had neighbors over for meals. All meals. I am sure they didn’t all show up at once, but I don’t remember ever eating without some very hungry guests. It was just how people treated one another. We had extra, so we shared. But I do wish Dad would have shared with my Catholic grade school. Being Catholic meant fish was the lunch every Friday, and the overworked cook only seemed to know how to BOIL fish. It even smelled fishy.

I argued with the Nun’s constantly, saying it made me gag, to the point my mom had to intervene and insist I be allowed to carry my own lunch on Fridays. They agreed but they made me sit by myself, so I didn’t cause a riot with the other kids.

Because it was Christmas time, my dad took me to the base PX and said I should get my mom a gift. My almost 5-year-old eyes were not very far off the floor, so the statues in the glass case in front of me caught my attention.

The statues turned out to be, Hummel figurines, and I really liked “the Merry Wanderer”, so we bought it and my mom made such a fuss over it everybody started gifting her Hummels, and so her collection began. She actually added to her collection on a trip we made to Germany in 1991, so I guess she really did like them. I inherited over 40 of them. See what my dad and I started.

How many people get coerced into collecting things for the same reason? I met a lady who had a collection of Cow milk pitchers. Seems her grandson gave her the first one, and naturally she made a big fuss, so her husband thought this would be the perfect gift because she loved it so much. It truly is the thought that counts though, and she confessed that she was just so happy that he remembered their special occasions and her birthday, that she never, ever, let on she thought they were tacky.

Over the years I gave out many pairs of Isotoner driving gloves, a lot of Chanel #5, White Orchid and Paris parfumes. One year I got my girlfriend a coral ring that I had fretted over for weeks, only to be upstaged when she gave me a gold pinkie ring with a 10-point diamond.

Many years later when I was shopping for my wife’s gift, I found the perfect white gold and diamond cluster ring with a marquis stone. To present this special gift, I realized that it really didn’t need fancy wrapping, so I dangled it on a twirling Christmas light ornament hangar. Just switch out the bulb for the powered hangar. It really dazzled with all the lights and tinsel we had that year, and it took my wife about 2 days to realize something was really sparkling and go investigate. She really loved that present, and the presentation. I’m just glad she didn’t feel the need to become a collector.

It seems we have transitioned to that place in life where you don’t fret over the perfect gift. We are, each other’s perfect gift, plus we seem to buy things all year that we need or just want and say that it’s for your birthday or anniversary, and yes Christmas comes early, and often.

Definitely not a Christmas gift, but a very special birthday present, I sent my wife 49 Long stem red roses in a large basket on the day before her 50th birthday and had them delivered to her office at work. I signed the card Love, F.G. which was a running joke about me being a freaking genius because I tried to clean a hot BBQ grill one time with a nylon scrub brush. Not so smart. You notice I did say, one time.

So, everybody thought she had a secret admirer, which added immensely to her enjoyment.

As I mentioned, now our gifting is like a never-ending story, no pressure, and no conceivable end in sight. We do save a ton of money on wrapping paper. Did you ever try to wrap a riding mower?

We both really appreciate the little things that make life so much easier. A good example is the garden kneeling bench I got her last spring. Marie loves to garden and sometimes doesn’t know when to take a break, but with this padded kneeling bench, she can get up close and personal, for a longer time, and it even flips over to become a padded garden seat, so you can admire your work. After we got it delivered from our buddies at Amazon, I realized it has so many other uses for my projects too. Detailing car tires, scrubbing the bathtub, replacing or painting baseboards, even looking under the beds. I just hang on to the handles to ease myself up and down without my knee screaming at me. I feel a little bit younger and a whole lot smarter.

And if you want to talk about the least glamorous of all, how about shower slippers? Functional, mundane, and filled with love. You just announced you don’t want them to fall or even feel uneasy, you show you care in gestures, not dollars.

We have made it easier to shop and look up stuff right from this blog if you just go back to home page and use the Amazon, Walmart, or eBay buttons. And here is a little tool I use either as a hint on a gift idea or to test the waters on a new gadget. If you share your shopping accounts with someone, just put something in the shopping card and save for later, you know they will see it and half your work is done for you. You can see stuff they looked at also through their search history. Nice thing about it, is with Amazon’s easy return policy you have until the last of January to return it, Absolutely Free so there is no hassle. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, so, after listening click Back to Home and read the blog because it includes pictures, and then why not check out some of these gifts on Santa’s List. The buttons provide links so you can browse today’s stuff on Amazon, easy pick up stuff from Walmart, and the part I really enjoy is finding toys from my childhood on eBay.

So, shop ‘til the last drop of wine in your glass and hit add to cart, then when you come back sober, click buy now. Or if you like living in the moment, just buy right away. You will be amazed how satisfied you will feel.

Thanks for listening, remember to share with your friends, and if you enjoyed this podcast just support the show, maybe buy me a coffee.



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