So, I've been thinking about how to do the Christmas retrospect and I'm going to do things in a totally non-linear fashion...just to see if I can. The perfectionist in me will insist on some type of order so I'll try to post each day this week with a theme of the day. Today's theme is D.O.D. - otherwise known as Dear Old Dad.
My dad is 86 years young. The man still works a couple of days a week at the golf driving range owned by friends. And I'm not talking about working inside and selling golf clubs or anything non-physical. Nope. He maintains all the equipment...you know, the ball pickers, the lawn mowers...that kind of stuff. And he builds things. An innate carpenter, he can design and build stuff that will still be around long after the Terminators take over.
Now, the problem with my dad and gifts is that he doesn't need anything. Not that he buys everything he sees (that would be my mom and why she was difficult to buy for) but he doesn't want a lot. Each year he gives me his list of which crossword puzzle books he wants (the hard ones, of course, which he does in ink) and I pick them up at Borders. Sometimes that's all I can think of for him but this year was totally an exception. And boy was it grand.
It's been quite a number of months ago but Dad taped several shows on Italy that he was watching on The Travel Channel. He raved about them and I wanted to see them, too. Unfortunately, I didn't have a video player. So, he bought me one - it plays dvd and video. Okay, well, we tried that with a tv of my mom's that we brought over here. hmm...can't hook that sucker up because mom's tv was too old. So...dad bought me a new tv. Now I'm not talking about a huge ol' flat screen fancypants deal. Just a nice tv for the studio/office/guinea pig room. Well, I watched a couple of these Italy shows and thought, this is cool. I like this guy (and, yes, you may smack me here because I can't think of his name and I can't find out until later today) and, gee, I wonder what else he's done on Italy...oh, look! He has a book! Quickly, I ordered it from Borders.
Now, that was still back in the fall and I had to save this as a surprise for Christmas. And, more importantly, not forget where I hid it. So, I was good and hid all my Christmas presents in one place (family members will remember that my mom used to lose presents that she hid and forgot about). So, on Christmas Day, I actually surprised my dad and he loves this book! He is going to loan it to me when he finishes reading it - can't wait.
In another Grampa coup, I passed along some info to Steve and Heather which I gleaned one day when Dad and I were chatting about movies. Two of his favourites (and mine, also) are The Great Escape and The Sting. I made a mental note of this whilst we talked and told my kids that they should hunt down the dvd's of each. I found The Great Escape at Circuit City when they were going out of business right before Christmas, so I offered it to Steve as a Grampa gift since he hadn't come up with anything else. Then, I told Heather about The Sting - she couldn't find it in the stores so she ordered it and brilliantly printed out a copy of the cover and gave it to dad on Christmas with the date that she should be receiving it in the mail.
Then, totally on her own, Caitlin came up with a great gift, too. Granted, she had to do a last-minute shopping spree but it turned out to be fruitful. She found a wooden tray (sorry, I forgot to take pics) which had slots in it for four photos she then filled with pictures of the grandkids. Dad loved it. I asked Caitlin how long it took for her to find a tray that had those particular pictures in it and she told me the lady at Walgreens was getting pretty impatient with her but she just had to find the one that had her sibs. It became a bit of a running joke which I passed along to Dad.
When I talked to Dad the other day, he told me this was the best Christmas. He was thrilled with his presents. Somehow, it all came together - finally! Finding gifts for my dad isn't easy but this time...it was a very good year.
Addendum - I totally forgot. The picture above is Dad with a cd that Heather made for me - Christmas with the Rat Pack. When I saw it, I knew Dad would love it so I asked Heather if she would rewrap it and give it to him for Christmas then she can made another one for me later. Again, this turned out great and he enjoys listening to it.
I absolutely had to add this. Just took this quiz and I'm thrilled to see what turned up. Side note to Wendy - lookie!!!!
You Are a Ragdoll Cat
You are extremely cute and cuddly. You are downright adorable.
Your personality matches your exterior. You are very laid back and sweet.
You don't really like the outdoors. You prefer to stay inside where it's cozy.
Luckily, you are the perfect houseguest. You are polite and obedient.