Thursday, December 13, 2007

Best present

My son will be 24 on Monday. Although he was born on the 17th, because of complications we were still in the maternity ward on Christmas of '83. That morning, the nurses dressed the babies in little Santa hats like the one in the picture, and then put wee Santa bibs on them before bringing them into us moms.

I guess you don't have to try to guess what was the best Christmas present I ever got. :) Oh, and did I mention that my first book went on sale within the same twenty-four hours when my child was delivered?

Of all the gifts you have received for any occasion, do you have a favorite? Or was there one that ranks as the worst evah?


Nancy P said...

Good morning, she said before she went to bed.

AndiF said...

I'm not really big on getting presents though I like giving them (I especially love buying stuff for kids). Jim doesn't like it either so we stopped doing gifts for any occasion by the 3rd year of our marriage.

My favorite gift I gave was actually one I got for Jim's mom to give him. I called up a bookstore in Moab, Utah and got them to send me a t-shirt to replace the much-loved one that Jim had bought there and worn out. It was great fun to see him so completely surprised.

Worst gift is easy because I got it year after year for Hanukkah -- pencils with my name on them.

Beth said...

What a great gift, Nancy! Hard to beat that one.

I appreciate anyone making the effort to give me anything, so most gifts are wonderful. The first Christmas with my ex (we met in September), he bought me a long black cashmere/wool coat. I had wanted one for years, so it was the perfect gift. I still have it, btw.

Nine years later, he gave me hand weights, so I could tone up (I thought I looked fine). And then a big heavy box that had me all excited, until I opened it and found all-weather car mats.

The marriage didn't last ten years. :-)

Nancy P said...

Pencils with your name on them! That just has to be from your mother. #2 pencils, I presume?

Beth, I shouldn't laugh, but lol anyway. From cashmere to car mats. My ex, bless his heart, was good at giving me things I expressly didn't want. I didn't want fur, so he got me a rabbit coat. I said, "Get me anything, just not a watch." He got me a watch. I was so stupid! Why, why, why didn't I ever say, "Plese don't give me money." said...
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Family Man said...

Morning Nancy and Andi.

The best Christmas was when Daddy had to leave to go find work, and he wouldn't be home for Christmas. Christmas Eve we were all at home with Grandma and Grandpa and no presents. Daddy did get home though, and had trudged up the mountain through the snow drifts to get home and he bought us all presents. All my sibling, John Boy, Mary Ellen.....

Wait that's the Walton Family Christmas. I need more coffee. ;)

Family Man said...

Morning Ghost and Beth. Y'all are fast. I didn't think I was typing that long. said...

Favorite Christmas gift is an easy one.

I was 8-years-old. My grandfather made me a cowboy holster out of the tops of an old pair of work boots. And he carved a wooden pistol to go in it. He painted the pistol red (barn paint) and painted the barrel black.

He died when I was 10. My grandfather was great about Christmas. Every gift he gave was either something he made in the barn or food (that would be an orange, btw).

AndiF said...

Wow, good guess Nancy (yeah, as if anyone but a mother would give you pencils for a gift). ;P

And see how smart Jim and I were to stop trading gifts -- all that angst and aggravation avoided. said...

'Morning, all.

The best Christmas was when Daddy had to leave to go find work, and he wouldn't be home for Christmas.

FamMan, I read this a little differently than the way it ended. :-) My dad boomed construction. Winter was always slack (little money) and my surly father tended to be home.

On year my dad dressed up as Santa Claus and went door-to-door through the neighborhood and gave kids the gifts their parents had bought for them. He was the hero of the block that Christmas.

Our house was last on Santa Dad's list. My cousins were ther with my older brother and sister. I think I was six.

The fat, jolly guy did his little ho ho show in our house and handed out some gifts and as he did so I announced to my aunt that this was notSanta Claus. I told her it was my father.

She asked me how I could tell. I said, Because he's being mean to me.

katiebird said...

Oh, Ghost! I'm so sorry.

My mom hated Christmas and could never set that aside to let it just be fun for us kids. My dad has a more playful spirit, but he was at work a lot of the time so he didn't have much control over the miasma of doom that swept over the house as the reality of That Day drew closer.

My best Christmas memories were the times I went Christmas shopping with my Dad. It was always raining so the Christmas Decorations were reflected on the ground (perfect for a little kid.) And the clerks were always very nice to me.

And (unlike my mom) my Dad really loved to buy toys and things for people. He's never been too worried about whether they like what they get. He just likes thinking about people and getting them something.


Nancy P said...

Ach, Ghostie. I haven't felt the same about Santa since I took my son to sit on the lap of a drunk one. Here's my Xmas gift to you: I have sold a ss story in which Santa is a vampire.

FM, too funny!

This day's thread could take VERY interesting turns. :) said...

sold a ss story in which Santa is a vampire.

Cool McCool, Nancy!

Nancy P said...

Katie, I'm still jaw-dropped over your story of your dad saving you in the snow storm. And then his story on top of that.

My mom hated the trouble of real trees, my dad loved them. Every year. . .you can imagine. She finally won, even though he was the one who shopped for (with me), put up, decorated (with me), removed, and cleaned up after the trees. If I had been the person then that I am now, I would have battled for him instead of remaining neutral. said...

...the miasma of doom that swept over the house as the reality of That Day drew closer.

Aw, Katiebird, you are such a little charmer. Let me give you a kiss for Christmas. :-)

Speaking of kissing Katiebird, did anyone's Christmas Tradition include mistletoe over a doorway??

Nancy P said...

Ghost, I had the MOST fun writing it. And I mean, think about it. . .he works at night, he never dies, he wears red (to cover the blood stains, of course). . .etc.

Nancy P said...

"Wrap up the cat."

I just now understood that, lol! I thought you somehow meant, as a present.

"Take your life in your hands, and wrap up the cat."

katiebird said...

Nancy, smiling I haven't thought about those stories in years. It's thanks to you that I remembered them.

Ghost -- I'm always ready for a kiss. And me? I've never seen actual mistletoe. said...

Nancy, I was kind of sort of thinking about the older aunt in Natl Lampoon's Christmas Vacation who asbent-mindedly wraps up the cat as a Christmas gift...

Coming down the chimney is pretty much a Vampire trick, too. said...

Mistletoe. Ok, this IS the last thing I'll say bout my father before they shovel the dirt in.

My dad had to hunt it. Mistletoe. And shoot it down. He made my brother and I bundled up and ride out into the woods with him like we were duck hunting or something.

It was mistletoe! Up in trees. We had to be quiet. But it couldn't hear us. Aw well, family traditions. He usually used half a box of .22 shells before he got one, btw.

& this. One year, my father cut down a little cedar at a highway reststop for our Christmas tree.

My brother and I had to go with him. He woke us up at 2 a.m. and made us go. We rode in his pickup truck with his name painted on the doors.

Not the best way to comment a crime, I thought. My dad to pay the 35-cent toll to get on the turnpike and, as we drove away with the little tree, he said, "Not bad for 35-cents huh? Not bad at all."

Nancy P said...

Shooting mistletoe out of the trees!! Oh, Ghost, it explains so much. :)

That would be a good name for a story: "Shooting at Mistletoe."

Kb? I'm so glad you mentioned the reflection of Christmas lights on wet pavements. One of the prettiest sights in the world, along with sunshine on ice-coated trees, like yesterday.

Conda said...

Oooh my, talk about your emotional holidays! Nancy, no way can I top your story and congrats on the Santa vampire ss, I so want to read that one.

Growing up, I knew a girl born on Christmas day. Yes, they did name her Noelle, BUT, instead of combining her birthday (and gifts) with Christmas, she was allowed to choose a day every summer to have her birthday party. Cool, huh?

Nancy P said...

Cool, indeed, Conda. I handled the bday/xmas conundrum with my son by dictating that nobody was allowed to wrap his presents in Xmas wrap and by always waiting until after his bday to decorate for the holiday. The 17th is just far enough away from the 25th that this worked pretty well. By the way, speaking of Noelle, he's named Nicholas, but he was named after a grandfather who was no saint. :)

Nancy P said...

I hope I didn't set the bar too high with my Christmas present story, lol. Really, it's okay for you guys to tell about your, ahem, lesser gifts.


Jen said...

And I mean, think about it. . .he works at night, he never dies, he wears red (to cover the blood stains, of course). . .etc.

That. is. brilliant.

Nancy P said...

Thanks, J. I wish I could make an emoticon smiley face with fangs. said...

o . o


Nancy P said...

^ ^
- 0

Lol!! Thanks, Ghost. said...

^ ^

Nancy P said...

Cute! Under the mistletoe? (Watch out for flying bullets.)

FARfetched said...

Maaaaan... you guys were off to the races before I even got up!

Ghost, what do I win for guessing right? Funny that the cat was so defensive, but I guess when there's whoopie involved they become… well, animals. I wouldn't buy a book called "Kill the Cat," but others would.

Christmas presents. Hm. Mrs. Fetched & I got married in January, so I had 10 months to not worry about it. Then she told me: "NO APPLIANCES AS GIFTS!" Sure, I was fine with that, even if guys like getting power tools as gifts (I've asked for a Dremel set almost every year for 20 years & haven't gotten one yet). Then a few years later, after she melted an iron by leaving it on all day, she *asked* for one of those irons that shut itself off. I guess she was trying to atone for a mistake that could have caught the house on fire. Being a dutiful husband, I complied.

Mistletoe. Yup, my brother-in-law does the shooting. The year that Opal blew down the big oak tree, its large collection of mistletoe (that was formerly high up in the tree) survived into the Christmas season. We filled a large garbage bag and took it to Florida with us, where we passed it out like candy.

So Nancy, who bought the vampire story? We wants to see it, we does!

Oh… and there's a new FAR Future up. said... FAR Future up

Great news!

Nancy P said...

Well, Far, Mrs. Fetched needs to understand that her dictum, No Appliances, applies (pun intended) only to gifts from you to her! Would you like us to work up a petition this year to get you your Dremel? :) I have friends who swooned over theirs more than they ever swooned over romance. You need one!

Sold it to an anthology edited by Charlaine Harris. Right now the collection is called Mistletoe and Wolfsbane but that may not be the final choice. Coming out next autumn, in time for, uh huh, Christmas.

Beth said...

Boy, a girl drives across the state and misses a bunch! Back home, drove through downpours. Life gets back to normal for the weekend, then a quick trip on Monday/Tuesday. (Stop laughing.)

Mistletoe! I used to see the real stuff in stores, but it's been years. Now it has the white plastic berries on it. Maybe if I put some up, someone will show up to kiss me! Does it work that way? :-)

Nancy P said...

Welcome back, Beth.

Beth? Beth??

Where'd she go?

(What, us, laugh?)

Beth said...


Nancy P said...

* *

Kelly McCullough said...


Late to the party today. Home late from my writers group last night and not entirely awake until very recently.

Not a huge fan of Xmas myself, and apparently very hard to shop for--at least that's what they tell me. I can only remember true delight at a few presents when I was very small. And, honestly, the best present I ever received was one I felt very dubious about at first--my first cat (kitten really).

He was adorable, but I come from dog people and was still unsure about this whole cat thing at the time. He was also painfully stupid and quite grumpy and I loved him dearly anyway. I've had better cats since, most of them even. But I never would have met any of them if my then girlfriend hadn't decided I needed a kitten. So, despite all his flaws and my initial lack of enthusiasm, I have to say that little Moonshadow was the best Xmas present I've ever gotten.

FARfetched said...

Maybe if I put some up, someone will show up to kiss me!

Don't. Tempt. Me. :-P

FARfetched said...

Well, Nancy, you'll just have to let us know when it's on the shelves… hey, I know what I want for next Christmas!

Beth said...

Aw, far, you devil you! :-)

Kelly McCullough said...

Zombie emoticon

0 0

Vampire 1

() |-
< |
() |-

Vampire 2


Nancy P said...

Kelly, those are soo funny! I adore the zombie one, even if it does look more like Frankenstein's Monster.

Still laughing at the second vamp, too.

Do we have cabin fever, or what?

Nancy P said...

Kelly, are you sure Your Grumpy First Cat wasn't the one in Ghost's story?

Kelly McCullough said...

Grumpy cat could indeed have been Ghost's cat, at least for attitude. The first two emoticons got a little scrunched by the html. I had a much better vampire, but I need some sort of invisible character function to make it work on blogger. Something a bit like this, minus the dots.


Cabin fever? No, never. said...
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Janet said...

Let me know when you're coming to Portland, Oregon, that is. Bush and Cheney call it "Little Beirut" :)

Meeting you would be a true gift.

BTW my 13 yr old daughter the true activist in this family - is a fan of yours now. She's into the Percy and the Gods stories by Riordan and yours.

I've missed you.

Nancy P said...

Janet! I've missed you, too. I think about you out there on the front lines. Please tell your gorgeous daughter that I'm delighted to be on her reading list. I'll have to look up that other author.

Next time I'm in Little Beruit, Ore., I'll remember you're there and I'll contact you. Some goes for you if you ever come my way. Stay well. I hope your friends are as okay as they can be.

Thank you so much for saying hi!

Much love,

boran2 said...

Happy birthday to your son! My son will be 9 yeas old on the 18th. How time does fly.

Nancy P said...

And a happy to your son, too! :)
Nine years old. . .nice age. 24's not bad, either.

Janet said...

Hey there Nancy!

Doing okay. getting into some trouble but me and my daughter know our Bill of Rights front and back now LOL

My pink friends are doing "okay". Some who are also in the Surge Protection Brigade, they are the grandmas who sit in rocking chairs in front of the Army Recruiting Center - they've been arrested because the Army feels "Threatened" by them and they committed the heinous crime of "graffiti" - they TAPED up the notorious "Closed Again" sign on their door.

Court all week and awaiting the verdict. Some of these ladies are fairly old and ill and any time in prison will be awful on them.

Medea Benjamin and others were carjacked in Pakistan at gunpoint and kidnapped.

Me... Well me and my 13 year odl daughter both have FBI files.

Hey... Portland has this great thing called... POWELLS BOOKSTORE ;) I work two doors down from it. Besides book signings, I'd love to tak you out for lunch like we did Manny.

Nancy P said...

Janet, you're two doors down from Powell's????? I could kick myself. I was there last spring and I totally forgot you're in Portland now. My publisher could have bought us dinner. :) I was only there one night--for a thing at the mystery book store. But I dropped by Powell's to sign stock. Kick self, kick self, kick self.

Next time I won't forget. And that's either a promise or a threat, depending on your point of view. :)

Your life sounds hard, but right. I send love.

Janet said...

Yup just two doors down. Main reason I'm slightly enjoying some gift shopping consumerism this year - because some of Powell's people come into where I work and I treat them very well -- so now they are giving me the golden treatment while I try to fumble through this "Holiday" with some sanity. :)

Double damn! I missed you this spring?!?!?! That will have to be rectified :D

Actually we are doing okay, the family and me. I LOVE where I work and live. So do the rest. Been very healing. Both my kids are doing well is school. Funny though be they are becoming verbally rebellious about some studies in school regarding social studies, history and political science.

Danni has been very outspoken in Social Studies lately because they are learning about the Bill of Rights... and she keeps interjecting... "free to assemble" with "but then why did my mom get sprayed down while on a sidewalk?" and other such things.

Her teachers love her :) Her teachers told us at the first parent-teacher meeting that they were wondering what her parents "do" and such as they'd been hearing some wild stories and tidbits from Danni. LOL

HOckey night in Canada still on. I've got to run. xoxo

OH and I love the daily coyote blog!!!!