Open Thread: What's the Best Gift You've Ever Given?
What makes a good gift, anyway?
(I forget where that sticker came from, or what it means.)
It’s the time of the season for … gift guides.
I enjoy a gift guide just as much as the next shopper. (I even considered assembling a TAoN gift guide, though figuring out what that would be quickly stumped me.)
But I also find them exhausting. So much cool stuff! Or at least it looks pretty cool right now. Who knows how a potential recipient — including myself: let’s be honest, gift guides function as general shopping guides; we can all think of a rationale to “gift” ourselves — will feel about that shiny object in a month, a year, a decade?
This got me thinking about gifts I’ve given, and how they went over. Trust me, I’ve given some clunkers. But I want to say something about one that I was pleased with.
Like most couples, I assume, E and I have certain phrases that have specific meaning only to us. I could never really explain to anyone else why one of us will occasionally say “Is that you, mole man?” or “Ham on a roll!” or (with a Russian accent) “Is garbage.” Let’s just say that these words connote memories of our years together, from adventures shared to simple jokes. It’s like a code language.
So three or four years ago, I grabbed one of several notebooks that I have previously acquired and utterly failed to use, and wrote down as many of these phrases as I could remember.
I presented this to E — and then we sat and remembered (and added) more of them. Even now, years later, occasionally one of us will remember another one: “Is that in the notebook?” We keep adding. Lately a topic is whether more recent phrases we’ve latched onto might qualify: “Should that be in the notebook?” Only we understand what it takes to make the cut — and it’s fun when something does. In a way, it’s a gift that really does keep on giving. (If someone finds this notebook after we’re gone, it will read like pure nonsense.)
Again, no shade to gift guides, but everything about this gift that worked could not come from a guide! And again: I’m not a great gift-giver — that’s why this is one that stands out.
So what about you? What’s a gift you’re pleased to have given? (Or received?)