Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Greatest. Gift. Ever. Given. Period.

I feel I have a talent for giving fairly decent gifts. They're not necessarily (read: ever) expensive or particularly unique. What they are is this: perfectly picked. That's right. I feel I have a knack for picking out really excellent gifts to suit particular people(s). How does one cultivate such a talent? Well, you can start by trying to pick me out the perfect gift every month and I will give you feedback on a scale of 1-10 of how perfectly the gift fits me. Who's in??!??! Anyone?... ... ...

Okay, another tip for picking the perfect gift is to listen and observe. I guess that could be categorized into two separate advices... advice..i... but, nevermind that. You listen to what people say they want, and you observe what they may not HAVE but rightly SHOULD have (clearly for more advanced gifters). The latter advice is an art really, an art that one must painstakingly cultivate by constant observation - particularly around special personal days and Christmas. I increase me gift-dar scans immensely around such times. I also really really ENJOY the process of picking out an excellent gift for someone. Think about a time when someone pegged exactly what you wanted/needed and gave it to you for your Birthday/Christmas/Just Cause. Right? Usually the best gifts are things you've been wanting for awhile but haven't gotten yourself or from anyone else (cause they don't have the talent I... and now we... possess). Or their items you never knew you wanted but when someone gave it to you - you think "Wow! That's really perfect!" I love that look on the faces of friends and loved ones - particularly when it's cultivated by something I've given them. It's a veritable natural high. I proverbial pat on the back. And who doesn't need proverbial pats on the back? Uh huh.

Thus...

In contrast, nothing gives me MORE pains than having absolutely no idea what to give someone. You know the types of people I mean; the ones who are impossibly hard to shop for. Socks? Gloves? Shirt? Even such simple generic gift-fall-backs are difficult to pick out with confidence for certain people. It's likely these individuals have been gifted more gift receipts than gift cards (ba dum chi!). (Speaking of gift cards - an excellent gift in my mind - particularly to Nordstrom, Banana Republic, or Urban Outfitters (hinty hint hint hint... October 12th Birthday... hinty hint...)). My Grandpa Petty is one of these individuals. He's really hard to shop for - and furthermore - he's such a fantastic guy you really want to get him something special! It's offensive to think socks or a tasteful (and otherwise... cough) flannel button up will truly convey how great you think this man is! But phew... what do you get one of the greatest people you know who also happens to be incredibly impossible to shop for? ... ... .... exactly. You have that person in your mind too, right? Well fear not! I bring you a story of hope. Settle in.

A few weekends ago, I went home to Emery County for my grandparents 70th Birthday, Birthday Party. They both turn 70 within about a month of each other - so we thought a combo party in the happening town of Emery seemed just the ticket! And just the ticket it was. Of course, I can shop for my Grandma Jo. She has fabulous taste in clothes and naturally, I enjoy shopping for fabulous clothes/jewlery/any general shoppery myself, so entering Coldwater Creek and selecting some lovely earrings to fit her classy style was enjoyable and effortless. However, as previously mentioned, Grandpa P was a different story. I called my mom, my brothers, what were we going to give Grandpa? No one knew. Everyone guessed at those "generic" gifts (gift cards to Cabalas... Olive Garden... socks? Gloves? Cowboy paintings? IOU something better than what I got you? Alas!), and every suggestion was received with a "meh.. yeeeah... I guess." Nothing was hitting home - and as a very serious giver of gifts - this was a very difficult week in my first-world life. I appreciated the prayers. ;)

Well, as it was inevitably going to do, the day of the party arrives. Seth, his new wifey Emily, and I decide we are going to drag the dregs of Price (and if you want a town to drag dregs... Price is it) and find Grandpa something at least tolerable. We found ourselves at the "Farmer's Store" and shifted through leather wallets (has one), Cowboy paintings (meh...), and various zoo animal figurines (what the?). We had all but decided on getting him a painting, when we both stopped in front of what would become, the greatest gift of all time.

There was a pause....

An observation...

A squat...

A light touch on the box...

A an exchange made across sibling wave length... a confirmation... this was it. Thee gift.

Seth and I both had an excited glint in our eye as we realized... not only was this probably the most perfect gift we could've found, but it was likely to beat my Aunt Chris's gift hands down! HA! Now listen, Aunt Chris has also been given my talent for picking out gifts... particularly for Grandpa. She's on the wave length! She always gives something that brings that sparkle to his eye. SHORE she's his daughter but that point is moot! We wanted the sparkle in his eye THIS time and by heaven, this was the gift to produce it! The Sparkle! The excitement! We added a little ribbon and loaded it in Seth's truck. What glee! We were giddy school kids!

When we arrived in Emery, it's all Seth and I could do to refrain from giving out our perfect gift immediately upon arrival. The anticipation was suffocating! But wait we did... through pre-chit chat... Zumba demonstrations (thanks mom)... and dinner eating before it was finally time. The cake was ready! We were ready! The gifts were poised! And Seth raced to the truck on my urging to bring over our genius masterpiece as Grandma opened her earrings (loved them... ooooooof course) and read the combo-card (signed by all Cox children, Mom, and Snoopy the Beagle).

Finally! The moment had come! Oh... Grandpa's eye had begun to sparkle while Seth totted the box across the lawn. I could see it begin to glow as he set it down in front of him, "Happy Birthday! From all of us!"

I held my breath...

He looked it over...

Touched it's box...

Suppressed a gleeful grin...

He spoke...

"Well... isn't that just perfect."

Huzah! The rest was a whirlwind!

The pocket knife was out... grandpa was opening our gift immediately! He was a man on a mission. He wanted this amazing gift out and put together pronto. He wanted to caress the clay encasing... personally witness the horse and horse shoe engravings upon it's cylindrical face. He even seemed (did!) to forget that there were still a few more gifts to come from OTHER family members. The only gift in his eye that night was OUR excellent gift. (Okay fine... so Aunt Chris gave him a GPS  and lets face it... was pretty stinking clever too... a close second ;)). As he hungrily cut strings, tape, and begin piecing together the greatest gift ever given, it was all Seth and I could do to not grin ear to ear at our triumph... to beat our chests and yell "We are Spartans! Er... Geniuses!" to all who would listen!

 Later, while helping Grandma in the kitchen, she told me, "That was so perfect! We were looking at those just the other day and I really wanted one but we didn't get it!" I glowed with pride, "Yes well, we couldn't believe you didn't have one already!" Seth mentioned Grandpa had told him the same thing as he put it together. On! On to the victory!

I guess you want to know what this perfect gift was, right? Well, it was genius, I tell you, genius (did you get that? GENIUS!). Both Seth and I wondered aloud, while we totted it from the Farmer's Store, "Why do they not have one of these already? It's basically perfect!" And it WAS perfect my friends... truly... Alright, I'll stop the suspense.

BEHOLD!



The Greatest Gift Ever Given
(deafening applause ensues)

4 comments:

Craig Barlow B. said...

Very well done. Giving the right gift is an excellent feeling.

I feel like I'm sort of hit and miss on this. I'm excellent with certain family members. However, I am easily discouraged on the hard cases. I think, "Gee, why won't they be a little bit more transparent about what they want?"

Also, I find it very indimidating to give a gift to a good gift-giver. I think, "They'll know I'm a fraud if I don't try extra hard."

jaime said...

Nice gift!! I love it when I hit it on the head as well. Scott is my Mt Everest of giving a gift to. He's near impossible cause whenever he wants something he just buys it! So frustrating! I have to tell him to not do that in December (which houses his b-day and Christmas). Throughout the year I make a list though. It's on my handy dandy little IPhone and write things down as I hear people say them or as an idea comes to me. I sometimes buckle under pressure so it's nice to have a list to fall back on.

jaime said...

Ps- I'm totally stealing your gift for your grandpa idea and gonna give it to my parents for Christmas. It's perfect! Thanks pal! :-)

Andrea Jolene said...

Jaime- the list is genius. I also make such a list