Pam, Adam, and Noah seriously kick butt when it comes to gifts. More than a decade ago we as a family started following the 4 goals of Advent Conspiracy for our guidelines for gift giving. Then when we got to be a part of starting Tapestry we led the church in those guidelines. The 4 advent Conspiracy goals are:
- Worship Fully
- Spend Less
- Give More
- Love All
So when we give gifts to each other as a family we really try to focus on the thought behind the gift. We want our gifts to each other to reflect something of ourselves and to reflect that we truly know the person we are giving the gift to. To be honest I am nowhere near as good at this as Pam and the boys are. They each amaze me each year with their ability to find simple gifts that do an amazing job of reflecting who they are and who the recipient of the gift is.
I thought I would quickly share their gifts because I think they are great.
First, Pam’s gift to me.
The hat you see on my head is a Stormy Kromer. Pretty much the quintessential Mid Western Winter hat. I have wanted one for years but I simply could never bring myself to spend $45 on a hat. Forty-five dollars is not a ton of money, it isn’t really an extravagance, but I am a very cheap person. Therefore, $45 is more than I could ever convince myself to spend on on a hat that probably won’t keep my head any warmer than a $5 toboggan (Wisconsin friends, we Southerners call knit caps toboggans). Pam told me several times to just go ahead and buy one, but I have felt stupid for wanting to spend that much on a hat. So Pam bought one for me. She knows me.
I’ll go with Noah’s gift second since as the youngest child he usually gets mentioned last.
Noah bought me a painted tile of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” with a basset hound in it. Noah knows that Van Gogh is one of my favorite painters and anyone who knows me should have found out early in our relationship that I love basset hounds. Last year Pam had the great idea of making a corner of our den the odd basset hound corner. We put photos and prints in this corner that are weird basset hound images. Like a basset hound with antlers and a civil war basset hound portrait. The tile is a wonderfully odd addition to the corner. Noah knows me.
Finally, here’ Adam’s gift to me.
That is a hatchet that is presently on my wall. Actually it isn’t just any hatchet, it was my dad’s hatchet that he kept hanging in his shop. It was covered with dust and grim from decades of work. Adam took it from Dad’s old shop when we were there to help Mom pack up stuff for moving. I was with him in at the time and was glad that Adam wanted the hatchet. What I didn’t know was that he was going to put some serious work into cleaning it up, bringing out the patina of the metal and the wood, sharpening it to a very fine point, and then finish it off for me as a gift. It is wonderful. Adam knows that such nostalgic items matter to me because Adam knows me.
These gifts weren’t real expensive but each one reflects a great deal of thought by the gift giver. They didn’t simply go out and buy a gift that cost a certain amount. They thought about who I was and what type of gift would reflect that they knew me. Like I wrote earlier Pam, Adam, and Noah kick butt at this.
SIDE NOTE – I regularly listen to a podcast about serial killers (The podcast is titled simply enough “Serial Killers“). Thanks to this podcast I now understand that the main reason that there were lots of people killed by serial killers using hatchets in the past and not now is just because every house had a hatchet for cutting kindling for their wood burning stove. The hatchet was a handy weapon that was usually found at the house. Obviously it isn’t a handy weapon anymore and thus you don’t hear of modern day hatchet oriented serial killers. I assume Adam’s gift doesn’t put us at risk. 🙂