Christmas 2009…..Part 4…at last!

I am so not good at keeping secrets.  But this Christmas I totally out did myself.  At last I can share the details behind two very special gifts that were made possible by two very special friends.

D and I have been email/web board/FB buddies for about three years now (or is it four?) Our friendship began with a mutual interest in ‘ER’…and Maura Tierney’s work.  She has been a god send in being a totally non-involved friend that cares.  Someone to grouse to.  Someone to share things with.  Someone to have dinner with and go to a play with in NYC a year ago.  I remember thinking that our first face to face meeting was going to either make or break our friendship.  But  it was like we had been friends forever.  Seriously.

When the Prince received his varsity letter for soccer in November, we told him that he would have to wait until his February birthday for his jacket.  The going rate for such a jacket was in the $300 to $400 dollar range.  We were looking at a trip to Florida to visit my parents after all.  And he was okay with that.  But D wasn’t.  She wanted him to have it for Christmas.  Well, actually SHE wanted him to have it for Thanksgiving!  Thanks to her husband’s line of work and a few phone calls to the local pro shops that provide these things, a jacket arrived in my school mail in November.  Free of charge.  A gift from a friend.   All we had to do was get the letter and the patch and the soccer ball and words stitched in place.  And all the while we kept telling him that a varsity jacket was not possible until February so what would he like instead?  Imagine his surprise….

My sister and I have been fans of Ree Drummond’s web site for several years now.  She is an Oklahoma cooking, homeschooling, ranching wife, mom of four who writes www.thepioneerwoman.com.   She has been working on her cookbook for a while now.  It came out in late October and she has been doing the ‘Griswold Book Tour’ thing for months.  She didn’t make it anywhere closer to my state than Chicago.  So, in September, I cooked up this diabotical plan to have a friend in Oklahoma stand in line – in late October –  to get an autographed copy as a Christmas gift for my sister.  Unbeknownst to me I was taking my friend (and one of her friends) TOTALLY out of her comfort zone to do this.  And neither of us had ANY idea that she would be standing in line for over six hours with 500 other people to meet someone who was getting a freaking ‘Christmas list from everyone she talked to!’  But she did it for me.  Because she knows how much I love my sister.  The really funny thing is that about a week after I had made the arrangements for C to do this for me, my sister emailed me and told me NOT to buy the cookbook because she was getting it for me for Christmas.  I told her that I only wanted an autographed copy. 

And I stood my ground about that.  Hee hee.  She was so worried about my gift.  In fact, she almost autographed it herself!  It was fun to have her open her own copy….to find the autograph (“Are you KIDDING me?!”)  and a Christmas card from C…as well as a copy of the email outlining the evening C  had spent bringing  my diabotical plan to fruitation. 

Oh there were a few other neat things.  My dad looks forward to the book I select for him every year (Ernie Harwell’s Biography) and the Princess got clothes and a new snowboarding  jacket and enough money from enough directions to get the same i-pod thingy that her brother had sprung for.  The hospital had WiFi and things were awfully quiet when they had their thumbs going.  And the doctors were bringing my mother out of her sedated state very slowly.  Her surgery to remove the infection was sucessful and she had color in her face again.  All in all, a great Christmas Day!

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