Tuesday, December 10, 2013

*"It's the Thought that Counts," Right?

I try; I really do.  Nothing makes me happier than selecting the perfect gift for a loved one.  I enjoy shopping, and then wrapping the presents.  My mom is the same way.  You know what they say about the best laid plans, though.  Mom and I try, but sometimes Mom and I totally miss the mark. Mom has more excuses than I do; she has many, many children and grandchildren for whom to buy gifts.  I have only a few.  So what's my excuse?

Um, I tend to rush.  My speed-reading gets the best of me.  I THINK I know what I'm ordering, but I have been proven wrong more than once. Sometimes there is simply a miscommunication; sometimes we simply don't understand a request.

Remember when there was a major shift in videos, changing from cassettes to DVDs?  My brother Eric was making the switch, and had requested some DVDs to replace his favorite shows on cassettes. Mom had offered to take care of that, and like a good shopper, went on eBay, and found a good deal on one of the movies Eric wanted.

Thanksmas afternoon, during our annual gift exchange after our turkey dinner, we were opening presents.  Eric was given a very large, flat gift.  When he removed the item from the wrappings, he asked aloud what it was.  Mom asked, "Isn't that the movie you wanted?"

"Well, yeah, it's the title, but what IS this thing?  It's so...BIG." he said, holding up what looked like a 33 record album.

"It's that disc thing you asked for." Aah...there it was.  Video disc/laser disc.  All the same in mom's head.  "We only have cassettes, so I thought this must be the latest thing."  We chuckled, and chalked it up to another near-hit in the gift exchange.

A couple of years ago, my book-loving son had requested several titles.  The teacher in me loves supplying my kids with books, and I happily went on Amazon, ordering every book he desired.  And some he didn't want, apparently.  He had thoughtfully included title and author names, and had said that used books were fine.  Into the Wild was an easy title to find, but unfortunately, it is a title used by more than one author.

What he wanted was THIS:  Into the Wild, written by Jon Krakauer, a story of action, adventure, a story of man vs. nature, if ever there was one.  The perfect book for my outdoorsman son.

What he received was THIS: a lovely children's book written by Sarah Beth Durst, a story of fantasy and adventure, sure to please any little girl during the holidays.
Close, but no cigar.

This year, in my online ordering frenzy, I was trying to find ammo for my brother-in-law.  Now I'm no hunter, no gun aficionado, but I don't live under a rock.  I was very aware that ammunition is very hard to come by right now.  The gun enthusiasts, preppers, and hunters have been stockpiling their bullets and shells for months.  Stores sell their supplies as soon as they stock their shelves. So it was with enthusiastic delight I discovered .22 ammo on Amazon.  The price was reasonable, and I quickly clicked "buy it now," and checked Rick off my list.  When the large box arrived with all of the gifts I'd ordered, the last little package I removed from it was the ammo.  It was so LIGHT.  These were not bullets; they were pellets.  There's such a thing as .22 PELLETS ?  Who knew?  Dang.  Another miss.

There was the year my dad received multiple copies of the Pink Panther DVD.  What can I say? Great minds think alike.  The siblings were on the same wavelength that year.

Here's to the holiday mishaps, and the smiles they bring in their retellings later in life.  Thank heavens, it's never really about the gifts.   When they say, "It's the thought that counts," I hope discombobulated thoughts count, too.  I seem to be having more of those with each passing year.


  1. I once had a gift sent directly from Hong Kong because it was not available in the US--awesome programmable, techie aircraft-type something for Kyler. He had tried his best to explain something he had seen in a commercial ONCE. Paid crazy shipping, probably brought technology with it into the US that would get me arrested, wrapped it up with glee. He had no idea what in the world it was. Not what he'd seen on tv. I miss the catalogs with the unmistakeable childish circles penned around the desired object. So much easier. :)

    1. I read your response to Bridger while we were driving around Richfield. We both got a chuckle out of it. I get the same response OFTEN with the gifts I buy my husband. I hang on his every word before his bday and the holidays, and purchase what I feel, are the deepest desires of his heart. It makes me sad when he opens a present with that quizzical expression...I'm about ready to give him cash in an envelope. LOL.


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