Back in the early years of our marriage, before we had so many kids, Christmas shopping was something we enjoyed doing together. Of course after a few years and five sons our shopping habits all changed and I would stay home and Madeline would mostly go it alone.
In those early days finding the perfect gift wasn’t always easy when shopping for our fathers. It was hard buying for them and staying within our budget. Nothing frivolous for either, they just weren’t that type. They were men of substance and practicality.
At the mall at one of the department stores we saw a display and unison we said “that will be perfect, a wine making kit for each of them. They’ll love it”.
We were so proud. That concluded our shopping for the year. We were almost giddy with our choices. There was everything one would need contained in the box. Nothing left to acquire. Just start making wine.
My dad, loved to make home brew and experiment with just about anything like that. I really wouldn’t have been surprised to drive up one day and Cec would have a still fired up making some corn mash whiskey. This wine making kit would be right down his alley.
My father in law Ted loved wine and also loved tinkering around, cooking and doing things like that. So this wine making kit was the most perfect gift.
When Christmas came around we were with each when they opened their gift. Neither were the kind that would become too animated at opening gifts. They would open a gift and quietly set it to the side and not say much. We thought so much of the gifts we had presented, it wouldn’t have surprised us if they had each broke and run to get the wine making started. But in the reserved way they each were, they set and didn’t say much.
They thanked us for the their gift. I was sure they didn’t either want to make a public display of their own exuberance. They hid it well.
As far as we could ever tell, neither of them ever unpacked their wine making kit.
So for the past almost 50 years we have had a running joke with each other when trying to find the perfect gift for someone. “Let’s get them a wine making kit, they’ll love it”.