Best Christmas gifts ever

December 29, 2012

Some gifts are so perfectly chosen that they make you feel “known.” Get what I mean? The giver hasn’t just randomly grabbed things but has actually taken you and your life into account.  Such was the case with these recent Christmas gifts.

These two books have so much in common it’s not even funny. Our petsitter gave us the first one–yes, encouraging us to do something with our smart, funny, crazy Riley. Memo received!

The second came from my brother-in-law and his wife, who figured out that having a husband home all day and being home myself can be challenging. Can’t wait to read it and apply some of the suggestions.

{Hubby says he was kind of offended at the thought that he could be a pain in the ass. I responded that I didn’t realize anything offended lawyers.}

And then, this:

It came with a note from BFF that said, in her distinctive hand, “Because I know how you are.” And by that she means that I sob at every sad movie or sappy made-for-TV episode. Perfection in a tiny package.

This isn’t a tour book, it’s got advice to help navigate the cultural norms of India, which will come in handy when we spend several weeks there in November.  I’ve stacked up all my India books for this summer, closer to the trip and when I’ll have more free time to read them. Supposedly.  Thank you, hubby!

Timing is everything–my bah humbug attitude toward Christmas made this a very timely and appropriate present. I NEED to read this. Thank you!

But the single, most inspirational gift was this Christmas ornament. It’s a minaret from the old hotel that is now a campus building at the University of Tampa, where I taught for a few years. It’s a familiar sight in South Tampa, where I lived halftime for a dozen years.

I had cancelled my regular January visit to Florida because of my teaching schedule.When I opened the box with the minaret ornament, and then had so many holiday calls from my Tampa posse, I realized that I badly needed my annual trip to Florida.

It sealed the deal: I just got a ticket to visit during my spring break in March. Yes, this tiny little ornament inspired my 180 degree turn.

And here’s the real thing:

The old Tampa Bay Hotel, now Plant Hall at Univ of Tampa.

Isn’t it amazing? This is what it looked like in 1925:

Nothing like a well-chosen gift, don’t you think? And these were just a few of the memorable presents I got this month.

What were your best gifts this year?

6 comments on “Best Christmas gifts ever
  1. Janie Emaus says:

    I didn’t get much. Just spending time with my family is the best gift ever.

  2. Oooh, you got a lot of awesome gifts! I love anything travel-related.

    My kids have been well-behaved. While I got some other nice stuff from stores, this is what I’ll remember about Christmas 2012.

  3. sylvie says:

    Lovely gifts – happy reading 🙂 Perhaps your husband can teach Riley the 101 tricks?

    “What were your best gifts this year?”

    On the day – peace and quiet (my noisy neighbours are away).

    A couple of days after the 25th – I received confirmation that I made a good judgement call back in 2010 (hard one to make at the time, questioned it for ages afterwards).

  4. Ellen Dolgen says:

    Very creative gifts, you must have loving family and friends :>)

  5. I didn’t get blessed in the “family department” but I definitely got it all in friends–they are so wonderful. Some here in Calif and some in Fla. Seems like wherever I am, I miss the others!

  6. Jennifer Comet Wagner says:

    I always try to get unique gifts for each individual that they probably wouldn’t buy for themselves.

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