We just got back from my parents’ house, where we had a fun birthday dinner for my brother Kevin and my sister Kelli. (No, they aren’t twins. They just share a birthday. It’s common in my family– my dad and my sister Kristi share a birthday, too.)
I’ve been racking my brain for the past few weeks trying to come up with a great birthday gift for Kelli. It’s become a tradition to bake cookies for my brothers (easy!), but I was looking for something inexpensive, but still meaningful, for Kelli. She is a major history geek, and she had mentioned a while ago that she loved the National Treasure movies, and really wanted to see the second one. I briefly considered buying her the set, but while you can’t put a price tag on love, the recession does put a damper on that sort of gift-giving. I wondered about letting her borrow our movies, but I thought it seemed tacky to let her borrow two DVDs and then ask for them back when she was finished. (Plus, we love them too, and I knew that five other somebodies would not be happy with me if they went missing.)
Hey, Kelli! For your birthday, we wanted to let you take these two movies. They aren’t yours to keep, though. Oh, and if you don’t get around to watching them in the next week, we’re gonna have to come and get them.
Okay, I am cheap, but I’m not THAT cheap. Or tacky. (Please say I’m not that cheap or tacky.)
Then I had a great idea. What if we invited her over and made a movie night out of it? We could watch both movies back-to-back and stuff our faces with tasty movie treats. But why stop there, I wondered. Why not cook a special dinner and REALLY make a night of it? I started thinking about how to present it to her, and I decided it would be fun to make an old-fashioned-looking journal with the party details on the inside pages.
After about an hour, I had this:
I was really happy with how it turned out (and my kids LOVED watching me burn the edges, the little pyromaniacs…), but I was nervous that Kelli would be disappointed. After all, I don’t think I’ve ever given her a gift that wasn’t tangible.
When I handed it to her, she giggled a little bit and said how cute it looked on the outside, all worn out. She untied the ribbon and read through it, and she laughed again and said how much she loved it, and how excited she was to plan a movie night. She hugged me a few times and said it was really special because it was so well-suited to her, and even whispered that it was one of her favorite gifts.
(Um, yeah… Let’s see if she STILL likes it after watching five hours of movies with two other adults and four children. 😀 )
I’m SO glad Kelli enjoyed it. I’m glad she didn’t feel cheated out of a “real” gift, and I’m so happy that we can make a fun memory with her in the future. It will be a gift for her, yes, but also for my family. (I’m also grateful that Kristi kept asking me where HER dinner was, and why for her birthday last October, she only got a lousy gift? She’s such a brat.) (*waving to Kristi*)
This is the kind of simplicity I hope to incorporate into all areas in my life, especially with such positive results.
Minus the fire.
And the all-too-eager pyromaniacs.