As our very first anniversary approached, I was at a loss for what to give Markus. He is ridiculously tough to buy for because he is not a stuff guy, he doesn't want much, and his needs are pretty well covered. Birthdays and Christmas drive me mad scrambling for ideas, and forget suggestions when other people ask me for help! So an anniversary gift was looking really tough. I turned to tradition. In the US, tradition dictates a specific gift for each year of marriage. I don't know anyone who follows this list anymore, but it gave me a great starting point and we've stuck to the list ever since. This year was "wood". Despite teasing on both sides, saying we'd wrap up sticks from the backyard, we both came through in style!
Markus gave me two beautiful, local art (my favorite!) gifts. One is a collection of miniature treasures (the frame is wood), and the other is an aboriginal carving on a nut from the boab tree.
I gave Markus a wood kaleidoscope, and I wish I'd made a video of him opening it. First, he unwrapped the base. He looked at it very carefully, set it gently on the table, and gave me a very polite "Thanks, honey, it's really nice wood" comment. That's not the gift, it's the base, I assured him. Oh, the look of relief! Then, he opened the main gift, carefully unwrapping to reveal a tube of wood with a glass bead on top and a small metal plate with a central hole on the bottom. There was an unmistakeable "WTF?" look on his face, which he was valiantly trying to suppress. You could see the wheels turning: "Did she give me a pepper grinder? What the hell?" Then, he lifted it to his eye and became a boy again: "WOOOOOW! WHOOOOA!!! Looooooook!" and so on for many minutes, as I lost him to the simple joy of a kaleidoscope. Thanks to the miracle of technology, I can share it with you too:
Last but not least...wouldn't you know that the cubby house fits right in to this grand scheme? Delivered and assembled on our anniversary, it is only natural that it also be a gift of wood.
Note: the music on the kaleidoscope video is "El Corazon" by Arno Elias from the Buddha Bar Nature CD