My grandparents always gave the greatest Christmas presents.
Now, looking back, most of those gifts were exactly what most kids our age were unwrapping. Toys that matched our interests. I seem to recall a couple of monogrammed sweaters. But, it always seemed like they'd hit the nail on the head. They got us exactly what we wanted, and sometimes things that we didn't even know we wanted. We were always so excited to open them!
There was the year we got Cabbage Patch Kids. That was exciting stuff in the year when EVERYBODY had to have Cabbage Patch Kids. There was the year they had "surprise" presents for us after everything else was unwrapped -- a collector's Scarlett O'Hara doll for me, and a 10 speed bike for my cousin. And then, there was the year of the fur coat.
Oh, y'all. A rabbit fur coat. From Dawahare's. Now, as every good Kentuckian can recall, Dawahare's was just about the best store ever. When you unwrapped a package to find their iconic bugler logo, you just knew that box was going to contain something really good!
As an adult, I try to think about those special Christmases at my grandparents' house as I buy gifts for the people on my own list. I want a present to reflect the recipient's interests and style. I don't want to give generic gloves or socks. I want to see an actual smile of appreciation when the present is opened. Like Mia, the comically saucy secretary in Love, Actually, I try to remember that Christmas isn't for things you need, it's for things you want -- pretty things.
Every year, my goal is to capture the joy of fur coats and Cabbage Patch Kids. That makes for gifts that are amazing to give and (hopefully) to receive.