Kansas Snapshots by Gloria Freeland - Jan. 11, 2013

Christmas lite

Husband Art and I have reached the age where we usually buy what we want sometime during the year. So we long ago quit trying to come up with big Christmas gifts for each other.

But that doesn't stop either of us from getting smaller gifts. Art sometimes replenishes my supply of batteries for my digital camera or provides a stack of writable CDs for storing my digital pictures. Some years I've given him tickets to events at McCain Auditorium or a book.

But this year, neither of us had spent much time shopping for each other - or even thinking about what the other might like. The fall had been a particularly busy one and, to top it off, both of us had been sick off and on. So by the time Christmas rolled around, we were scrambling for ideas.

My problem was compounded by giving away most of the ideas I originally had for Art. I told Mom, daughters Mariya and Katie and daughter-in-law Lacey that he needed a good set of kitchen knives and an extra-large bath towel and that he probably would enjoy a gift card to Culver's restaurants. Since Mom and the girls often struggle to come up with ideas for him, they jumped at my suggestions.

Yet unwittingly, Art had given me a few ideas I could act on.

I wrapped one in a large box and labeled it "To my snuggle bunny from yours." It was a queen-sized blanket. Art had mentioned several times the last few weeks that we needed another blanket for our bed.

Some years we've used Christmas gifts to push us toward some home improvement project we've discussed. This Christmas such discussions led to two more gifts. One I gave him was a sample book with drapery materials along with a gift certificate:

"This gift certificate entitles Arthur R. Vaughan to draperies/curtains/valances in consultation with his wife Gloria Freeland. Signed: Gloria B. Freeland. Dated: Dec. 20, 2012."

"A gift for me, but in consultation with you, huh?" he said. He chuckled and shook his head.

Another was labeled: "To the light of my life from the light of yours." It also bore a gift certificate:

"This gift certificate entitles Arthur R. Vaughan to a table lamp and a floor lamp in consultation with his wife Gloria Freeland. Signed: Gloria B. Freeland. Dated: Dec. 23, 2012."

Again, Art chuckled.

I did the same when I opened his gifts to me. They were in four separately-wrapped boxes. One had three clear 40-watt bulbs. The light by the garage had recently gone out and I do like the area to be lit when I arrive home after dark.

The second had a string of 210 LED miniature Christmas lights. The third had two 70-LED miniature lights sets. Our tree lights were getting a little old. We usually have a tree that requires somewhere around 300 lights.

"This way, when I drop dead, you'll have the right number of trouble-free lights, whether it is a small, medium or large tree," he explained.

"Oh, Dad, don't talk like that," Katie protested.

The last package had battery-operated outdoor icicle light strings. I had often commented how lovely I thought the draped icicle lights look on homes at Christmas time.

So, when all was said and done, our gifts were very simple. I guess you could call this year "Christmas light" ... or "Christmas lite."

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