02 December 2006

appreciating the smallest things

Headaches, shopping, and dollies. Oh, my!

I suppose I should appreciate that my headache is a small one. All things considered, I'm not sure what has prompted this headache. My stress has depleted a fair deal since this morning. Why? Because I've managed to tick off three names on my gift list. Well, three and half of two people--so it's kind of like I've managed four people if we put the two halves together.

Who are the incompletes? My parents. I solved half of the parental gift-giving puzzle today. They asked for clothing, and I will get them clothing. But I also wanted to surprise them, get them something they wouldn't expect and didn't ask for. And this morning I finally figured out something that seemed fitting.

In summers long past, my folks and I used to go camping in New Hampshire near a town called North Conway. The town had lots of little stores and one of them was a three-level Annalee's shop--a clearance basement, and a first and second floor show-room. It became my family's habit to visit there once a year during our stay to look at the new display of poseable figures.

What are Annalee dolls? you might ask. Poseable, hand-painted, mostly felt-and-wire dolls of all kinds--people, animals, holiday-oriented and otherwise. If you have an occasion, Annalee's probably has a doll for you. The history of these dolls goes back to the 1930s, and I could attempt to relay the details, but they have an official site that will probably do a better job at that.


Before I left North Carolina this Thanksgiving, I was going through the holiday decorations and found a few of the dolls--but we didn't have a lot of Christmas-related ones. Three or four, I think. And this morning I was thinking about them again, and I can't say what prompted that either; but I decided that it's something my mom and dad will never expect but probably like a lot, given its sentimental value.

Yeah, I know. They're dolls. But I feel secure that my dad is a modern fellow who can appreciate the artistry of these weird little creations.

My first attempt at ordering from one site might have incited my headache; I got an error message before the checkout could go through. I didn't want to chance something like that happening while "completing" the order, so I went to another site that had a similarly large inventory--and the exact thing that I had wanted in the first place.

And, if you're curious, these are the three I'm sending them:

Yuletide Santa
Mrs. Jinglebell Santa
and Tobogganing Bunny

Now I just have to do the clothing thing, which I intend to get to tomorrow while JCPenny is having some special Sunday sale online for "friends and family." I forget the specifics of the sale, but my mother sent me an e-mail and it's still in my inbox, so I'm not worried about it.

My dad asked for a cardigan, and that's what he'll get, but I think my mom may be getting some kind of sweater from them as well.

So, with three and two halves done, I have ... [looks at list] six and two halves to go. I'm appreciating those two halves right now--they're small, and after tomorrow I won't worry about them anymore.

Other small things that I appreciate--my credit card. So small, so light, ... so damned important this time of year.

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