Gifts That Money Can’t Buy
By Jeff Salter
This week, we’re talking about the favorite gifts we’ve given to others. When I think of this topic, I often come to that O. Henry story in which the poor young husband sells his heirloom watch to buy a comb for his lovely wife to use on her long, beautiful hair. And — also having no money — the wife cuts her hair and sells it to buy a chain for her husband’s treasured watch. Neither of them can now UTILIZE either gift, but each gave sacrificially to honor and please the other. It’s a touching story — sweet to see how much they loved each other… but sad to see that each sacrificed what they loved.
Well, I ain’t cuttin’ my hair… and my wristwatch don’t need no chains.
I think my favorite (outgoing) gifts have been the “books” I’ve created for several family members. Here are some examples:
For one of my wife’s milestone birthdays, I put together – with my daughter’s help – a photo album with colorful captions. It was before the scrapbooking craze and before we had access to computers — so it was typed directly onto thick pages and the photos were cropped and pasted into place.
For my son’s 21st birthday, I created something similar, though with completely different pictures, of course. As with the one for my wife, the focus was on a humorous framework for each photo.
For my daughter’s 18th birthday, I looked 32 years into the future, when she would be 50 and I would be 75 — and I wrote a sort of “biography” of her life to that point. A lot of it has come true, except she is not yet the Secretary of the Treasury… and she did NOT marry Joey McIntyre of the NKOTB.
For my dad’s 70th (or maybe 75th) birthday, I made a booklet similar to what I’d done for my wife and son — except this one used clip art and the wondrous production capabilities of the (now old) PageMaker software.
After the Caribbean Cruise – which my whole family went on… as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of my Mother-in-Law and Father-in-Law – in 1998, I put together a commemorative booklet entitled, “A Trip on a Ship Can be Hip, if You Don’t Give Any Lip.” I made copies as gifts for the in-laws.
I’m sure there have been other examples. All were fun to do, but each took a LOT of work, time, and planning. I had nearly forgotten about these “book” gifts… until one of the Foxes posted earlier this week about some creative productions of her own.
What has been one (or some) of your favorite outgoing gifts?
[JLS # 361]