When our niece Molly, who is fourteen now, was about two, we gave her a bouncing Tigger doll for Christmas. While enthusiastic with the idea, my husband later became less than enamored with this gift. After I had already wrapped the box and slipped Tigger under the tree, he started bouncing—and singing. He wasn’t moving very far, but he was making quite a racket. Naturally, the first time Tigger sprang into action was after we’d gone to bed. We heard what sounded like something banging and a music box playing, so we rushed toward the sound to investigate, with John in front and me peeking around from behind him. We spotted the box dancing under the tree.
It was pretty funny, or at least I thought so. But, hubs didn’t seem amused.
“Odd, because toys don’t usually come with batteries included,” he noted.
“This one didn’t either. But I wanted Molly to be able to see Tigger jumping and singing as soon as she opened it, so I put batteries in when I was wrapping it.”
He stared at me for a moment.
“It’s a week until Christmas, you know,” he said.
“Ooh, do you think the batteries might run down before then?”
“I don’t know, but I’d like to sleep before then.”
I grabbed the box and laid it on its side. It went silent. I felt pleased with myself and we went back to bed. Of course, the quiet didn’t last.
The next time it happened, or maybe it was the time after that, hubby leapt up and stormed into the living room. I called out, “If you unwrap it, you have to rewrap it — and be careful with the bow.” I’d used one of those flouncy, curled ribbon kind of bows that I thought was super cute.
In a minute, I heard the back door open. My first thought was if he threw the box in the trash can, I might have to kill him. My second thought was, “Surely he wouldn’t leave me over a little lost sleep, would he?”
I got up to check and heard a car door slam on the carport, followed by the squeak of the back door. Turns out he’d put Tigger into a timeout in the backseat.
“Feel better now, honey?”
“Much,” he said, just before collapsing back into bed.
On Christmas Eve at Grandma’s house, Molly looked absolutely delighted when Tigger started bouncing and singing and giggling. Hubs shot me a knowing smile, and another big grin when Molly toddled over to give us a hug.
Little ones are so much fun to shop for. Maybe because they like stuff that’s more fun than most grown-up gifts. I mean, while we certainly appreciate sweaters and neck ties, it’s just not the same as a Jack-in-the-box, or a Nerf blaster gun or a Nancy Drew video game – all of which we’ve given as Christmas gifts to our nieces and nephews over the years.
When she was six, I gave my niece Madeline an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas because I thought she’d enjoy it and, more importantly, because I had wanted and never received one as a child. Not that I can claim credit really, but as a high school senior now she still enjoys baking. Of course, I also gave her a Nancy Drew starter set, which led to her collecting Nancy Drew books.
I’ll likely get at least one gift card this Christmas. Maybe I should use it to buy myself an Easy Bake Oven or a Nancy Drew video game. But, if my husband buys himself a Nerf blaster gun, he may end up in a timeout.
What about you? What’s the best gift you’ve ever given, or received? Or maybe a gift that seemed great but turned out to be not such a prize? Please share in comments.