What Makes The Best GIft

I’ve been thinking about gifts, lately.  My anniversary probably triggered it.

What makes the best gift?  An intriguing question because the answer is as different as every person reading this post.

I was a high-flying executive for years.  I got expensive jewelry, trips to Napa, Lacque de chine pens, vacations in Bermuda and dinners at 5 star restaurants.  I enjoyed every one of these gifts but I bet no one will believe what my favorite gifts were — the ones that made cry and laugh, sometimes, simultaneously.

The first was an old oak rocking chair that my husband and my father-in-law found in the bin, refinished, recovered, put a bow on and slid next to the Christmas tree.  They worked for hours on this chair, lovingly bringing its wood back to life and recovering the seat.  A gift from their hands and hearts, this rocking chair still has pride of place in my living room, 20 years after I first saw it and started to cry.

Then there was the gift that made me laugh out loud, jump up and down and hug my husband until he couldn’t breath.  He hid it in the garage and led me out there one Christmas morning.  Taking off the blind fold, turning on the garage light, he uncovered it.

NOT a shiny new car….not for me.  A shiny new John Deere rototiller.  I could not believe my eyes.  I danced around it.  I danced around him.  I read the manual and longed for the snow to melt, the ground to soften, for the right day, the right time to fire up “Tillie”.

Then there was this year’s anniversary gift.  The box was small.  I thought it was another necklace or bracelet destined to join last year’s jade pendant and the gold, silver, diamond, sapphire and lapis lazuli ornaments stuffed in my jewelry stand, worn on special occasions only.  Stalling, shaking it, trying to put on my game face, I gently began to unwrap the gift.

Pulling paper off the bottom of the box, fanning it out on either side and turning the package over.  I gasped.  Something more precious than gold or jewels fell into my hand,

Secateurs.  He gave me secateurs.  I could not believe it.

Right now you’re probably asking, “What the heck are secateurs?”  To a gardener, they are a precious metal, a jewel without comparison.  And I was holding the top of the line — Felco secateurs.  In every day language, secateurs are pruners but that is way too simple a description for these jewels.  Felco says they will change your life.  They will be passed down from generation to generation — family heirlooms,

They are a work of art.  When I try pruning bushes, vines or even small trees with loppers, I often whack off a limb you didn’t mean to.  And I have to use brute  force — something in low supply in my 63-year-old body!  With the secateurs, it’s a bit like slicing butter – soft butter at that.  So this was a gift of extraordinary value to me.

My man knows me by heart.  His gifts show that.  He’s had to figure out that a rocking chair, a rototiller and a pair of pruners would have me singing about the best gifts I ever got.

Which gift made you laugh out loud?  Which one made you cry.  What makes the best gift for you?

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