In our family, we had a different problem. Mother wouldn't hide our gifts, but she'd forget them in various places and then send us looking for something in that place. "Cicada, please go downstairs. There's a pile of bags by the computer. Look for a sticky note pad and bring it back to me." In looking for the sticky note pad, I'd come across a baseball cap with an American flag on it that was pretty much precisely what I had dreamed of receiving for Christmas (my tastes have changed dramatically since then; although it was the perfect gift at the time, I realize now that the hat was hideous and I curse the 80s).
I'd come up the stairs dejectedy, holding the sticky notes. I'd give them to my mother and explain what else I had found in the bags downstairs. Christmas had effectively been ruined.
The other kids had similar experiences and it was time we worked out a new system with Mom. We all decided that from then on, all our Christmas gifts would be found under her bed and we would simply never, ever look under her bed around Christmastime. We all knew the reward of suspense when the gifts were finally opened on Christmas day. And the system worked.
December 15th is my birthday. Since college, I've known what I was getting for my birthday because there has been a need and it has been filled. My freshman year, I needed a shower robe so that I could walk safely to the community showers every day. I received a shower robe that I still use daily and still looks brand new. My junior year, I received bedding since my down comforter at the time had lost too many feathers and was little more than a couple of sheets sewn together. I still have the blanket that she sent; it's on my bed, still comforting me.
The next two birthdays were spent on the mission. The first birthday, the gift was a surprise. She sent me a gold necklace. She explained that next birthday, she'd be sending me a fish charm for the necklace, since I was spending a year and a half as a fisher of men. As you can see from the picture, I wore this necklace at all times during my mission. I didn't take it off to shower, sleep, or play mud soccer. It was a perfect gift for a missionary since it was small and meaningful.
Last year, my first birthday home after the mission, I received a digital camera, which has taken most of the photos you've seen on my blog.
But this year... There are many things that I want, of course. This ends up happening every year. I want something, and my wish is fulfilled. A couple days ago I was talking to my mom on the phone and I facetiously asked her what she was getting me for my birthday. My intention wasn't to find out what I was getting for my birthday, but to gently sway her in the direction of a sewing machine. She replied, "Something you've never asked for." I suppose what she didn't realize at the time was that that severely limits the possibilities, for I am a greedy, greedy girl. But it's made me start guessing. Here is a list of some things I've never asked for. Feel free to contribute to the list.
- a car
- a bicycle (I'm currently using my sister-in-law's)
- a ticket to Rome
- a new television with HD capability
- a couch (with our current futon, you can feel the bars underneath you and have to decide whether to allow the bar to go right between your butt checks, or whether to sit slightly to the side of the bar)
- a dryer (we've been without one for a month)
- a boyfriend
- a $500 gift certificate to Red Robin
- an elliptical machine so I can work out in my own home
I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the boyfriend...
(Lest you think I'm really spoiled, all of the things listed above do not fit in the b-day budget. I feel comfortable in posting them because I know that I'm not actually going to get any of these things. Please feel free to contribute guesses about my potential b-day present, but keep the guesses out of the realm of possibility.)