Monday, November 21, 2011

About Christmas

It is hard to believe that there is only about 4 weeks left until Christmas and now that Funrazor is done and dusted, I'll need to really do something about our planning.  I'm actually a bit behind to be quite honest.  I've been meaning to make the little boxes for the kids' advent calendars again and come up with activities for each one, but I've simply not had time to work on them. 

This reminds me of the time (many years ago) when I came up with what I thought was a brilliant idea for a present for Terence. 

Now there are 2 things I should say here - I'm very good at keeping secrets. If I have something in mind, there is no way you are actually going to get me to give away what I have in mind (it doesn't matter how curious you get - and in fact, the more curious you are the more fun it is for me...).  The other thing I should mention is that Terence is nearly impossible to buy anything for.  He is into computers.  But my knowledge is rather limited and if I had to choose something for him that has anything to do with computers it will likely already be outdated, be wrong for our setup or something.  So I steer away from this.  Books is another one.  He likes reading and reads way faster than me, but he has such specific taste that I won't be able to choose the right thing.  So I usually either have to look for something completely weird and arbitary or I need to include him in the process.  But this one year I came up with an idea...

For weeks Terence has been looking for the Mission Earth series (of books) at the library and he could not find every single one in the series.  And he felt rather disappointed.  It was the kind of series he could quite happily read over and over again. And so I broke my own rule about books and thought this would be the perfect Christmas present for him.  I set about looking around on Amazon and wow, what a mission, but I managed to find every single book in the series.  I was extremely careful too and I only searched for this at work and ordered them using my own credit card (we had our own bank accounts then) from work and I didn't get any credit card statements.  I kept the books hidden away at work.  There simply was no way Terence could ever know what I had in mind.

Then one day as we stopped at the security gate of the complex where we lived, Terence turned to me and said "I know what you're getting me for Christmas".  I should have said "I don't want you to guess", but instead I said "Really?  What am I getting you for Christmas?"  And he said "The Mission Earth series".  Now I'm pretty good at keeping a "poker face" and pretending when I need to so I acted as if he was just soooo wrong and then asked "Really?  Now where would I get this from?" and he said "you're ordering them from Amazon".  And I said "........."  - that's right, I was speechless at that point (which might be hard to believe because I am never speechless...).

To this day I have no idea how he figured it out.  Up to that point I've never bought him books.  I didn't ask him about the books.  I searched for them from work (we didn't even have internet at home), he didn't have access to my bank account or my credit card and I didn't get any credit card statements sent to home.  So I am baffled at how he not only figured out what, but also where I was getting it from... And he insists he was simply taking a guess.  Which I don't believe for one minute.  Hmmm, maybe he has special mind reading powers....


Paul Forster said...

An interesting story of problems with buying presents. You're right about the keeping a secret thing. I'm still trying to work out the reasons for the handwritten songs! I suppose I will just have to wait impatiently.

Marcia (123 blog) said...


First at Terence's insight! and secondly at you for being such a good keeper of secrets.

I'm fantastic at real secrets - Fort Knox!!! - but I can't wait to give presents so that I suck at.

That's why I buy D's as late as possible because I'll just give it to him :)

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cat said...

Wow he is good! Did you see my advent calender? I am sure you will get a container - have a look I can mail it to you. Also look at Harassed mom's (Laura) - great one