Sunday, January 3, 2010

Back from Christmas

and well recovered!  Hawaii was excellent, and gave me time to make things I wouldn't have had opportunity to otherwise.  For what must be a record, I actually finished everything I was making for people, and made a few extra things in the bargain (the tea wallets proved such a big hit, several unintended people got them as well).  Himself will have to wait until his birthday in February for his sweater, but, as he doesn't remember he's getting one, it's all well and good. 

The best gift story of Christmas:

the Tuesday before, my grandfather said that what he'd like for Christmas was, "a white scarf, not too long, like we used to wear in the Army."  He was Army Air Corps, stationed in Okinawa at and after the end of the war.  (With good timing, he graduated from West Point in June of 1945.)  He's not overly easy to get things for, and the photo book I'd had made for him didn't turn out at all, so I figured it was worth a try.  Drove all around town that night and the Wednesday, finding out that not only did no store have a white scarf, but no store had a man's scarf at all -- everyone was sold out.  "Like we used to wear in the Army" stuck in my head, so I called around to some army surplus places in town, and all they had was Army Green.  Everyone I'd mentioned the request to, though, instantly said, "have you tried Col. Bubbies?"  I called them up, they said they had a few, and that if I came down early enough on Christmas Eve morning, they'd still be open.  So, a pleasant drive down to Galveston (with the King's College guys singing to me on the radio - very nice) later, and I had what was actually a white scarf like he used to wear in the Army -- actually an Army Air Corps scarf!  (A bit yellowed around the edges, but still good.) $5 later, and I was set. 

I gave it to him with an explanation on Christmas, and he seemed somewhat tickled, but not overly excited -- a bit tired, I'm sure.  The next day, though, I found out that he'd mentioned the request to someone else, and that the someone else had gone out and gotten some snazzy silk or cashmere scarf from Nordstrom's or something... and that mine was preferred, because it was literally exactly what he'd wanted.  He put it on, and I saw him smile the best smile I've seen from him in probably three years.  Definitely the best gift of Christmas.

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