November 17, 2005

What to give the man who has everything

Okay, Tom doesn't have everything, but he's a pretty content guy who seems to have everything he needs and wants, which makes finding Christmas and birthday presents for him an annual difficulty for me. He doesn't collect anything other than tools, about which I still know next to nothing (I bought him a lovely English chisel set from Lee Valley for our first Christmas together, only to find that he already had three similar sets), and isn't interested in much that's technological, so that rules out a whole host of giftable "toys." (Which, of course and thank goodness, is what gives me the freedom to blog about it lol.)

I tend to think that a book is always the perfect gift (especially because it's the one I most like to receive). But though Tom loves books and loves to read, between long days of building and farming he just doesn't have the time to read as much and as often as he'd like.

Well, I just figured out how to give him time.

Last month he finally bought a new, okay, newer, truck to replace his collapsing 1978 Ford pickup. It has a moonroof, controls to move the pedals, heated leather seats, and all sorts of other luxurious and handy dandy features, including -- ta da -- a six-cd changer. One of the first days driving the new truck, he happened to hear part of a CBC rebroadcast of Ronald Wright's A Short History of Progress. Unable to hear all of it, he asked if I could get the whole set from the library. I did, and we were able to listen to the entire thing, with very patient kids in the back seat, on our six-hour odyssey to pick up the laying hens.

So it occurred to me the other day that for Christmas I could get Tom a cd holder, maybe binder style, and fill it with audio books he would enjoy and could listen to while driving. I'm thinking of Krakatoa by Simon Winchester, Collapse by Jared Diamond, A Short History of Myth by Karen Armstrong (which I hope to blog about when I get the hardcover from interlibrary loan), and (the unfortunately abridged) Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea by Thomas Cahill, which I would love to be able to discuss with Tom. That should get him through the first part of 2006.

If and when I figure out how to give myself the gift of time, you'll be the first to know lol.

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