Today is my wife’s birthday. I woke up early, put the dried dishes away, made the coffee and picked a bouquet from the garden. I never know what a good gift would be so I went the safe route with a Nordstrom’s gift card. I’ll also make breakfast and dinner. Lunch? Well, she also has a day to herself and I imagine will go for a massage so I really don’t know what she will do for lunch just yet.
For birthday’s I think the most important thing to show love and appreciation and provide some type of fun experience for the day. They say that experiences are much more rewarding than gifts and I’ve lived my life that way. It seems in our culture there is always something else you have to buy and it never ends. We accumulate massive piles of stuff and that is something I really don’t like to do. I’m especially focused on this point as I just finished Walden by Thoreau and he couldn’t even keep two rocks as the thought of having to dust them on occasion horrified him.
But such a mindset puts one into a thousand dilemmas on a yearly basis as culture dictates there is always another occasion where one much purchase a gift, and new occasions are added each year. I hope that eventually I can establish a tradition of gift giving only for the kids whereas for the adults it would be some sort of experience. And by experience I’m talking about something as simple as a nice phone call, or a visit to share a bottle of wine. I don’t receive phone calls anymore. The only person I chat with on the phone for more than 30 seconds is my Mom and even the duration of those has significantly lessened over the years. Society has been conditioned to communicate with a “like” or a two sentence comment if one feels like putting in effort.
The only exception to this is that plague, work e-mail. Then people suddenly discover that they can write pages upon pages of boring!
But today, since the most valuable experience my wife could have is some alone time without the kids that’s the real gift I’m giving her. That and a really spectacular “Hello Kitty” card with overwhelming red sparkles that cover the entire surface and an absolutely blinding, sparkly kitty. Papyrus also provides an elegant sticker with which to firmly seal the envelope which is a very nice touch.