is tempered each year by making the wrong gift choice. Who doesn't enjoy a challenge? Not me. After a few years of false starts and thoughtful presents developing cobwebs in the box they came in, I have a sure-fire way of pleasing the man of the house, who just happens to be the most difficult to buy for. That is, unless you have the serial number or at least model number of his particular "desire" for this Christmas.
The ghost of Christmas Past, recently reminded me of past failures, the Mitchell fishing reel that wasn't the right model. The sweaters that itched or were too tight or the wrong colour. The sports equipment usually meant a special trip to Edmonton to return it for the coveted item. Sweaters just gathered moths and dust. I have a memory of sneaking an ice fishing auger out of W. W. Arcade in downtown Edmonton. Apparently the three other vehicles I passed idling in the alley weren't anxious wives smuggling the perfect Christmas gift past the spying eye of their husbands. No, they were the drug dealers waiting to make a connection.
After all these years, you'd think I'd learnt. Nope. Last Christmas, I ordered Gary a radio, old-fashioned, a radio from Amazon. The reason being, the radio he's had for the last millennium and before, which was grease coated from years of living in the kitchen and never being wiped and had crap sound needs replacing. No and no. I now have a radio that I listen to the odd time. And in case you're wondering if I went totally off-list I had also purchased the proper gift and the radio was an attempt to surprise the man.
The Ghost of Christmas Present, hello. Yesterday I was at Canadian Tire to get the gut knife the husband ordered for his gift. You guessed, there is more than one kind of this implement...thank goodness for technology. I called and confirmed the knife to buy. Will there be stocking stuffers or anything not specifically requested? No. There will not.
And in the future, yes, there is ghost of Christmas Future. He is looking a lot like the Grinch and he is waving a list with a familiar scrawling hand writing. I'll take it as a warning. No more purchases that haven't made "the list."
Merry Christmas and happy shopping.
For men of a certain vintage (my husband), this is the question that pops into his mind Christmas eve about 3:00 in the afternoon as we wait for the kids to arrive, and he notices the gifts wrapped and waiting under the tree. It's likely been a fairly exhausting run up to the holidays for him this year, having had to choose a gift for me. Thankfully, if he does it early enough (like before 8:00 PM) on the eve, he can get the helpful clerk to wrap for him.
One recent Christmas, he bought himself a "man cave" clock. Clutching it in his glove-covered hands and with his homeless person toque still on, he stepped into the house and asked, "Could you wrap this and put it under the tree for me?"
I said, "NO."
Now, I know, if I had been in more of a holiday spirit, I could have
humoured him. But I wasn't in the mood for craziness. You can't make these things up.
Now that my daughter is an adult, sometimes, he tries to get her to wrap my gift BUT she usually resists the temptation to indulge her father's childish whims. He has to make the sacrifice and I have to help him find wrapping paper, scissors, tape and maybe a stick-on bow if he's feeling really festive. The ploy to make me feel sorry for him, having to use these unfamiliar tools for an unmanly task, has never worked. The Grinch makes him wrap one gift.
His reluctance to help in choosing Christmas gifts may spring from an unconscious instinct for self-preservation. I did most of my Christmas shopping yesterday and the credit card is a bit more worn. Had he seen the cost of the presents, cardiac failure would have been imminent. He has no idea what gift-giving costs and perhaps it's best being my little secret. Ho ho ho.
The snow would pile along the perimeter of the cleared area and then everyone would skate. The ice might be rough, conditions less than perfect but no one cared. Kids and adults strapped on the hand-me-down skates and tried their skill. Not my mum, though. An English war bride doesn't grow up trying the blades so she would watch. There was a beer or two for the men, thermoses of coffee and snacks. The air was crisp and fresh as it is now and it carried our laughter and shouts across the fields.
This is a picture of my dad, damn cigarette in his mouth, "showing off" a little.
I've been married a long time and often write about everyday events.