Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Gifts Galore

Yule and Christmas were both fabulous! There are tons of stories to tell, but I figured the gifts would be a great starter post, especially since some of you are chomping at the bit to know why I was so excited about the gifts I got for DTTF. Because there is a back story behind each one, let me break the gifts down in the order of their unveiling.

The Book

My dear husband is a huge fan of James Bond. He often boasts about his knowledge of the Bond movies and insider trivia. A couple of years ago we invited Deborah Lipp, the author of several Pagan books, to speak at Festival of Souls. While she was here we discovered she was publishing a book on the James Bond movies. The book was titled The Ultimate James Bond Fan Book. Of course DTTF was very interested in the book. Well, the book was released about the same time as the movie Casino Royale starring Daniel Craig, which was last November. We saw the movie in the theater, and though I had to get up several times to visit the bathroom due to a very active Tree Faerie kicking my bladder (I was almost 8 months pregnant), I LOVED the movie. Nothing more was said about the book until we were discussing ideas for birthday presents for DTTF.

When he mentioned the book, I loved the idea for a Yule present. I really wanted to have the book signed by the author, however contacting Deborah Lipp would be a big step for me because I was harboring a little bit of animosity over a comment she made to me. I have since come to better terms with the comment and know why I took offense to it, so I'll save the story behind that for another day (though I should also add that I don't BLAME her for my reaction to her statement - she's a brilliant woman). So I contacted her.

When he opened the box on Yule and saw that not only did he get the book but that it was personalized and signed by Deborah Lipp, he was ecstatic. He immediately started reading through it, occasionally laughing and reading passages aloud to me. The gift was perfect.

The Movie

In case you don't know by now, DTTF is a movie buff. One of his favorite movies is Bell, Book and Candle starring James Stewart and Kim Novak. It's one of the few movies he owns on VHS, and the copy he has was recorded off TV years ago. We've watched it a couple of times, though the tape is getting old and a little worn. I thought it might be time to replace it with a DVD copy.

When I placed the order on Amazon, I was given the offer to buy a print copy of the original play for only a few dollars more, so I did. His reaction, once again, was perfect when he opened the box Christmas morning to reveal not only the movie, but the play as well.

The Surprise

I received a sudden jolt of inspiration Thursday when flipping through a recent issue of Readers Digest. I saw this cartoon, which gave me the brilliant idea to give DTTF an air guitar for Christmas. Together we own six guitars, so I knew he didn't need another one. This was just for fun.

I called and found out that Yarbrough's Music store here in Memphis just happened to have a couple of guitar boxes for guitars they no longer had in the store, so I went to pick one up. While I was waiting on the kid to come back with the boxes, I perused the guitar straps. I knew DTTF wanted a guitar strap as well, but I wanted one that would fit his personality and was preferably leather. When the kid brought me the boxes, he helped me find the perfect strap - an Eddie Ball black and white with skulls and demons, which was perfect for DTTF.
When I got back to the office, I packed the box with packing material and the strap. I wrote the following poem, printed it, and taped it in place on the packing material:

Throughout the year
You tried to be nice
So I bought you an air guitar
For a really great price!

It never needs tuning
And you won't break the strings.
The volume is perfect
For all kinds of things.

You can play all your favorites
And learn new ones with ease.
Your fingers won't tire -
Playing is a breeze!

So strap on this beauty
And play us a song
Because with this guitar
You can never play wrong!
© Andrea Sumers, 2007

I wrapped it up before leaving the office and put it in the back of the car with the boxes I'd been collecting for wrapping presents. When I got home, I asked him to take the boxes out of the back of the car. He came in with the wrapped box and immediately started trying to figure out what the box contained. He determined it was too light to be a guitar, but it looked like a guitar box. He even tried prying the information from his sister, whom I had let in on the gift. It was a lot of fun listening to him try to work out what was in the box. On the way down to his mom's on Sunday night, he really got on a roll. He told me not to hype it up too much because he didn't want to be disappointed, but I don't think I was doing the hyping. He was doing it all for me. I did tell him that by this point it didn't really matter if he liked the present, though, because by this point it had been so much fun that it was well worth it.

The mystery box was the last gift opened on Christmas morning. We all stood around while he ripped off the paper. He saw the acoustic guitar box, and his brow furrowed.'

He cut the tape.

He lifted the lid.

He picked up the piece of paper. His sister made him read it out loud.

He was disappointed. I could see it on his face. He loved the guitar strap, but he was still disappointed. Then his sister pointed out that I wrote the poem. Somehow that made it more special to him, even though it didn't erase the disappointment. His mom wants the poem printed on parchment paper and framed, which I think is a great idea.

I did not realize until typing this post that his enjoyment or disappointment really does matter, though I still had a lot of fun putting the gift together. I still think it was a wonderful idea, and several other people agreed. A co-worker of mine is borrowing the idea (which is why I picked up a couple of boxes).

Despite the slight disappointment with him being disappointed and not finding it as funny as we did, Christmas and Yule were still fabulous. We all got great gifts and had loads of fun. I'll tell you all about it later.


TTQ said...

How thoughtful your gifts are! I love when I've pegged everybody's presents just right....

icanseeclearlynow said...

i love how much thought went into your gifts. and i think the poem is definitely a keeper. glad you're getting if framed. and glad you guys had such a GREAT holiday!



Monnik said...

Those are some great gifts. You have a good talent for picking the perfect ones. And even if DTTF didn't appreciate the air guitar as much as you'd hoped, you at least entertained everyone else with it!

Heather said...

OMGLMFAO! I'm so giving my friend John the air guitar for his birthday!

Awesome idea.... :-)

Glad you had a great Yule and Christmas as well!

Annikke said...

After giving my 6 year old a guitar I am wishing he had an air guitar! That is great!

carrie & troy keiser said...

It's too bad that he didn't find the humor in it.... it was a great story! Glad that all went well and wishing you all the best in the year to come.

Patti said...

he will remember this forever...that is the best gift you could have given him!

Swishy said...

Very thoughtful! I am so glad you had a good Christmas :)

Heather said...

Your husband is a lucky man. I love the air guitar gift. It sounds like you're a bit like me, and enjoy the reactions of recipients of your gifts more than you like receiving gifts.

Andrea said...

Thanks, ladies. I know he liked the idea, and he loved the strap. I'll tell you guys what he got me soon. He put a lot of thought into his, too.

Mrs. Wilson said...

looks like you had a great Christmas!