The Man and I agreed that we wouldn't exchange large gifts at Christmas a few years ago. Neither of us want for anything. And when we do want something, we are fortunate enough to be able to get it.
I'd like to own an island in the Caribbean. But that is not reasonable; therefore, I can't have it.
Instead, we exchange small items that fit into our stockings. Little things like Chapstick and snacks, favorite mechanical pencils, boxers, books, things like that. Nothing too big. But when I came up with a fantastic gift idea for the Man this year, I knew I was going to buy it.
He's always wanted a telescope. He talks about getting one. The Man loves, loves, loves to stargaze and is a wee bit obsessed with the Moon and NASA's space program.
I think he wants to be an astronaut.
Mom and J and K and I all decided to chip in and get it for him.
Christmas morning. We decided to open presents a little differently this year. I gave everyone a die and we took turns rolling. The highest die got to open a gift. Sometimes it was the same person two or three times in a row.
It was a lot of fun. And it took a while to open all our gifts, which was the whole purpose of rolling the die. To make the morning last a little longer.
So we opened all our gifts and the Man realized that J hadn't given him anything.
"Didn't J buy me a gift?" the Man said quietly. Looking a little upset that his son hadn't thought of him at Christmas.
J overheard the question and played it cool. "Oh, Dad, I got you something but it's backordered. It'll be in later this week."
"And I told you not to get me much this year, Mr. Man," I said to him. Eyes downcast, he assured me that he understood our agreement. "I have all I need right here," he said, gesturing towards us.
The kids snuck upstairs and carried the telescope down. Hiding in the foyer, they waited for my signal.
"Hey, I forgot. I have one more gift for you but it's not really anything much. So don't expect anything big," I warned him.
J and K came out with the box and put it down by his feet. I have not seen such a big smile on the Man's face in a very. long. time.
And when he opened the box and realized it was a telescope? I think he had tears in his eyes. He was so happy. And surprised.
The best part was the surprise.
I assured the Man that I was fine with the small gifts he purchased for me. I had already gotten my Christmas gift earlier in the year.
My macro lens.
I'm having so much fun shooting with that lens and all this ice. Jack Frost paid us another visit this morning and I was outside early, shooting the formations on J's car windows.So it all worked out in the end.
The Man has his telescope and is really enjoying seeing all the stars in the great, big enormous night sky. And I have my macro lens and I am really enjoying seeing all the teeny, tiny details in everyday life.
"Different snowfalls bring different kinds of snowflakes. Needles and columns are frequent in warmer weather; stellar crystals appear at lower temperatures. Often the forms change from one hour to the next, as the cloud conditions change."
~from The Little Book of Snowflakes by Kenneth Libbrecht