Christmas, Valentines, and Birthday Presents

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I always get upset when I see commercials on television around the holidays...they are always for really really expensive gifts. Like a new car, or super duper lingerie (who wants to see a commercial for that?). All I can think of is for goodness sake, who can afford these things as gifts! 

This Christmas was particularly odd, some people gave Robbie a hard time for not getting me a gift! We tried to explain that he was getting me a gift, just that it wasn't built yet and it couldn't fit under the tree...and we wouldn't want to put it under the tree just to move it outside anyways.

I'm all about practical, and sincere...and thoughtful.

For Christmas Robbie got me a gift that keeps on giving.
 Raised garden beds. 

Last year the only thing that grew in our awful Fresno clay soil was zucchini. Each box cost $25 to make, and $80 for really good potting soil from the Riverside Nursery on Golden State between Shaw and Herndon (if the 10 commandments hadn't told us not to swear, I would swear by this nursery. It's fabulous!) 

Needless to say, I love my gift. Sure, I didn't get them at Christmas, but that didn't matter. It was thoughtful, sincere, and showed that he really loved and listened to me. He knew what I wanted, and he went and got it. Yes, a nice piece of jewelry would be wonderful, but that's the great thing about gifts. Sometimes you just want something a little more practical, and showing each other that we're responsible not to go out and spend our money foolishly is one of the ways we show each other that we love one another. 

I always think of that story of the man and the woman, it always makes me cry. They were very poor so she sold the only thing she had, her beautiful hair, to buy her husband a nice chain for his pocket watch. He sold the only thing he had, his pocket watch, to buy his wife beautiful combs for her hair. Now their gifts were useless. 
Sad that they weren't a little more practical.
Sometimes surprises aren't good at all.

For Valentines day and my birthday I got $100 to go and spend at the Nursery to decorate the front yard with.
I ended up spending $99.78
He was so proud of me that I had stayed in my budget, and the fact that he was happy with me made me ecstatic.

 It doesn't look like much...some lithidora, african iris, dwarf starbursts, daffodils, and dahlias. $100 doesn't really go very far...which is why I got plants that would keep giving. I really don't know what it is about annuals but I don't like them, I don't like that after all of that hard work they wouldn't come back next year. Perennials on the other hand are much my liking. 

Again, they didn't come on the actual day, but should that really matter?

Here's some of the finished products.

My garden so far
 Broccoli, cantaloupe 
 Lettuce, strawberries, carrots, green beans
 Broccoli and cantaloupe today
Lettuce, strawberries, carrots and green beans today

My front yard a couple of weeks ago
The dahlias hadn't sprouted, but they are planted in between the daffodils. The dwarf starbursts will grow outward like a small bush. 
 The african iris behind the japanese maple will grow out, the blue lithidora will also grow out like a small bush, about 1ft high and 4 ft wide on all sides. Eventually, there will be more flowers (different bulbs, I'd like to add tulips to my daffodils and dahlias, and some others. I love bulbs) there in the front of the maple.
The rose bushes have really grown in the last couple of weeks, so this picture doesn't do them justice. The lithidora should connect together, so it should be a 1ft tall lithidora hedge with roses coming up to the window so when you look out the window you see a wall of roses :)

It will take time...years probably. But I'm excited. I love my presents. Every time I walk outside into either the front or the back yard my heart just smiles with joy. 

So I guess what I'm trying to say, is it doesn't matter how much money you've spent, or if the gift comes on the exact day it's supposed to. What matters is that the gift was thoughful, and somehow shows how much you love the receiver. And that it's practical. Sure a new car might be nice, or a pearl necklace, new phone, etc...but spending money you don't have or could be better spent elsewhere? Creating any kind of financial stress on you or your marriage? It isn't smart, and it isn't wise. So next time the holidays come around, be more thoughtful and practical. 

I hope you like my gifts too!

*I don't know if the words I've chosen have adequately expressed what I've been trying to say. I wasn't thinking of anyone in particular, mainly the commercials that try and get you to buy really really expensive gifts that aren't practical...