Weekend Assignment #248: What’dja Get?

Karen’s assignment for this weekend was appropriately posted on the day after Christmas:

Weekend Assignment #248:
What was the most interesting or unexpected gift you received this holiday season?

Extra Credit: What was the most interesting gift you gave this holiday season?

I really didn’t have any “expected” gifts this year. I didn’t even make a list, since I couldn’t think of much to ask for, and none of it was especially big-ticket stuff: some new earrings for my recently-(re)pierced ears, more Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD (since I only had through Season 3), and gift cards for bookstores and iTunes. I received everything except the iTunes gift cards, and other goodies as well – more TV on DVD, treats, other gift cards, and some actual books (my husband read that book-wishlist post I put up last month – I probably should edit it now and take a few more things off it!).

The most unexpected gift I received this Christmas was one that came in a green envelope that I opened at my mother-in-law’s house on Christmas afternoon. My not having a “list” this year affected her too, since she would normally get some of the items on it passed on along to her by Tall Paul, and the two of them must have had some discussions about what she could do about my gift when I had no specific requests to grant. My husband remembered a couple of things I’d mentioned to him – unrelated to the holidays – and he does read my blog.

I was pleasantly surprised to open that envelope and find a generous check from Mom-in-law, written just to me. Since I hadn’t asked for much this year, a nice infusion of “mad money” to entertain myself with was fine with me! When I thanked her, she said, “Did you see what it’s for?”

No, I hadn’t read the memo line – tacky of me, I know, but I’d just looked at the amount. Not “mad money” after all? I re-opened the envelope, read her note on the check, and gasped. Thanks to my husband’s input, my mother-in-law was paying my way to attend BlogHerCon ’09 in Chicago next July!

I registered and made my hotel reservations the next day. It’s my first blogging conference and my first trip to Chicago! I’m excited but nervous now – “nervous” will probably escalate to “terrified” by summer, but I think it will be worth it and that this is the time. Thank you, Mom-in-law and Tall Paul!

Of all the gifts I gave this year, my favorite is one for my husband. Unlike me, he was able to produce his usual lengthy, detailed wish list, so he gave me plenty of ideas. I looked forward to seeing his reaction to his new Indiana Jones fedora on Christmas morning. He likes it a lot, and I was right; it does look really good on him!

Did you get any gifts that were surprising and totally cool this holiday season? Post about them, if you haven’t already, and leave a link in the comments section of Karen‘s “Weekend Assignment” post at Outpost MΓ’varin!

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  1. Congrats on the mad money – that’s awesome! I think my most unexpected gift was the hideous glass…um…thing my in-laws gave me. It looks like a sacrificial altar from a really tacky satanic mobile home.

    It’s made all the more revolting by the scratch-n-sniff sticker on the box that gives a “hint” as to the alluring “fragrance” within. (Best described as a delightful combination of CHEESE and FEET, by the way.)

    Layer on top of this the fact that they demanded that I give them a list of gifts I’d like – then they ignored the list and bought that thing.



    Thanks so much for linking to the Mad Lib post – you are the coolest, Florinda!

    Happy New Year!



  2. I read the assignment question and then asked my husband if I had any “expected” gifts this year, only to find you made a similar statement to start off your response. πŸ™‚ Even then, I can’t say any of my gifts were totally unexpected either. I am really looking forward to using my husband’s and my joint gift to each other this year, but we’d gotten the tickets for the Broadway shows earlier this month and so that wasn’t much of a surprise.

    I have to say, Florinda, I am so excited for you! Your Mother-in-law’s gift is wonderful! What a treat! I am so glad you will be able to go. You’re going to have so much fun.

  3. You’ll have to send her a postcard from Chicago! πŸ™‚ What a thoughtful gift.
    My favorite ‘suprise’ gift was Obama Blend coffee. I posted on it today, in fact.

  4. April – I’ve never been able to get into knitting myself. Good luck with your projects!

    Anna L – That gift sounds HIDEOUS. Hope your in-laws don’t read your blog so you can post a picture :-)! And yeah, I don’t get why people ignore the gift ideas you give them when they specifically ASKED for them.

    Wendy (Literary Feline) – What Broadway shows are you and Anjin planning to see? That sounds like all sorts of fun!

    I had NO idea that gift was coming! And now that I know I’m going to Chicago for BlogHerCon, there needs to be a book-bloggers gathering a little closer to home some time this year…:-)

    Daisy – I read your description of the coffee; what a neat gift! Just save some for the morning of January 20 :-).

  5. B&B's Mommy – She’s a ridiculously generous person :-). But in all seriousness, I’m lucky to have her as my MIL; my first husband’s mom was the original psycho mother-in-law, so I REALLY appreciate having such a nice one this time around!

  6. Kathy (Bermudaonion) – There will be posts, and tweets too πŸ™‚ – especially considering that I did a recap post on this year’s BlogHerCon without even going!

  7. What a wonderful mother-in-law you must have! Good for her! I hope you have a wonderful time when the time comes. Myself, I want rather badly to go to the Doctor Who con in Feb., and nobody is going to step up with the cash for that!

  8. Wow! That was a very nice gift. That’s okay if you didn’t know what it was for; who looks at the memo section of a check.

    The fedora is a good idea. I always wanted the jacket. πŸ™‚

  9. KFB – I’d never have thought to ask for the conference as a gift; if my lack of a “wish list” this year hadn’t stumped people and forced my mother-in-law and husband to do some brainstorming, I’m sure it never would have happened!

    My mother-in-law is one of the fortunate people; she has both a generous spirit AND the means to be giving – and not just to family. Her donation to our team for the Alzheimer’s Memory Walk this past fall put us in the top five fund-raisers.

    Mike – Heck, who even sees checks anymore, what with direct deposits and online payment πŸ˜• BTW, I hope to meet up with you and Jenn when I’m in Chicagoland.

    Maybe I’ll get Tall Paul the jacket next Christmas…

  10. Wendy (Literary Feline) – Ooh, you got one of those ticket packages for the Pantages – how fun! I’d kind of like to see Grease myself :-). Have a great time at the shows!