Monday, December 20, 2010

The What's It Gift

open source gift guideImage by pt via Flickr
I don't know about your family, but for mine it was Auntie "M". Every Christmas Aunt "M" gave each of us a very thoughtful gift, a gift that made each of us ask, "What is it?" None of Aunt "M's" gifts were thoughtless, mean or picked from the display aisle while waiting in line at the grocery store. No, they were personalized and special, each and every one.

My earliest memory of the "what's it" gift from Aunt "M" was when I was eight years old (to the best of my recollection) and I open my brand new left handed (I was right handed, I think she thought you wore the glove on your writing hand?)baseball glove for maybe a one or two rear old baby. The next year it was a World Atlas! Of course I had told her a NFL approved football would be perfect. One of my "favorites" was the year I open a brand new shiny 1" x 4" metal thing with about a 12" handle. At the other end were my initials. Before I could ask, "What is it?" my mom said (with a firm warning) "If I see ONE dog or ONE cat with your initials on them..." My very thoughtful aunt had given me a custom made branding iron. It was great. But, since I was not allowed to play with matches and we lived in a suburb not a ranch, I never got a chance to fire that baby up and see what it could do. 

As the years rolled by Aunt "M's" gifts were always something to look forward to. I wish she would of lived to see my children's births because I would have loved to have the video camera on to film their first "What is it" look. 

When I was in my early twenties I decided to return the favor to dear Aunt "M". I looked far and wide and finally found what I was looking for in the back pages of a Rolling Stone Magazine. It's name was "Earl, the Dead Cat." He even came with a death certificate! Her face was...priceless. I was, of course, the hero that Christmas because I had given everyone in the family the joy of watching Aunt "M" ask with an exquisitely bewildered look, "What is it?"
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