Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas gift

What's the best or most clever gift you ever gave anybody that didn't cost anything?  OR that YOU got and it cost the giver nothing?   Please share that with us!  Thanks...


Z said...

I guess one could say I gave Mr. Z our tree every year...usually, he'd come with me and we'd pick a nice tall noble pine. I like the space between the branches for things to fall down into, not the type where the ornaments are sitting against the tree.
Last year and this year, I've simply got a 4' tree and put it on a small table in the living room...There's freedom in not using ALL the decorations for the tree and it looks sweet.
My gift was when Mr. Z was upstairs in our office working and yell "Come on down, honey, and see what you think!" He'd come down and he'd love the tree so much........

Among the beautiful, thoughtful gifts he DID give me every Christmas *on Christmas Eve which is German custom, were sometimes IOUs written into a card. A few never materialized but I've always cherished them........

And, when things are finacially tough, I'd paint him something and he'd buy me a Christmas card "extravaganza" really was fun!

Always On Watch said...

The best no-cost gift I ever gave: In 1990, my beloved cousin Jack, like a brother to me, was hospitalized for weeks with a staph infection from just after Thanksgiving until after New Year's Day; he was confined in his room, more or less in isolation. I took in my portable electronic keyboard and played Christmas music for him.

The best no-cost gift I ever received: my aunt, the aunt who passed away last month, gave to me a gift that my mother had given her on my aunt's birthday in 1984 -- wine glasses. But the glasses weren't really the gift. When my aunt gave me those glasses in 2001 (some 4 years after my mother suddenly went to the Lord), my aunt included with them the note my mother had written to her. Just yesterday, I retrieved those glasses and my mother's note from my upstairs storage area after years of its being too painful to use them; I washed those lead crystal glasses and put them on prominent display in my three-cornered cupboard -- along with the note, too, of course. I will drink a toast to my mother and my aunt this New Year's Eve and use one of those glasses.

Z said...

thanks,Always...terrific comment. I'm glad you and Mr. AOW can toast to the fact that you've both survived such a tough couple of years and that he's doing so well. God bless you both. Enjoy using that lovely crystal.

COME ON, PEOPLE! Didn't you ever promise 10 car washes in the coming year? Or something else like that?

I gave a Hungarian bible to a Hungarian friend of mine and a Romanian Bible to his Romanian wife one year at our house over a Christmasweek dinner....He was so touched he wept because he is a Hungarian Catholic but the Leftism he was raised under prohibited Bibles there! She was fairly cool on it; she was in Romania when her life was turned upside down by their nightmare dictator and had no faith to cling to.....
just seeing my friend Tony's eyes (he is a strong believer) was gold...a Christmas gift I gave but got SO MUCH more in return. I still feel SO GOOD about that. Mr. Z was extremely touched by their reactions, too.

When we lived in Paris for four years, we didn't come home for one Christmas of 2001.....For gifts, we found attractive images and Mr. Z mostly did the drawings of the images (from magazines or books or our own photographs of landscapes) and I watercolored them.......I have to admit they turned out very well; we did about 20 of them! And we sent all in one manilla envelope! I love walking into homes and seeing our art framed on the wall! Didn't cost us more than maybe $6 for the paper! And it was so joyous to do....actually, I should post one of them here, I think I have a few in my PICTURES file...

Z said...

I just checked and the pix look pretty good but they have both our names at the bottom :-)
sometimes this anonymity thing stinks!
I'll send a few to you, FB, via

Anonymous said...

Just cover up the names with something that goes with the colors in the pictures. I'd really like to see the pictures.

Karen Howes said...

My brother framed a picture of our mom, who had passed away, with me at my high school graduation. Very special and meaningful!

Hope you're feeling better, Z!

Always On Watch said...

Mr. AOW is indeed improving.

But I won't kid you that things aren't difficult. Not as difficult, but still difficult. Huge adjustments in our lives.

Z said...

Anonymous...I can't figure out how to hide our names.......I only have them in my pictures file on my computer (looking at them makes me wish I had the originals again, I feel kind of sad about it)...I'm not that good on the computer to figure out how to alter an image.
Thanks for asking.

AOW.......I guess you know how I feel, having lost mine. I know you have difficult adjustments together....God bless you BOTH.

Karen, thanks...this thing is BAD.
I love what your bro did.

Anonymous said...

Well...the spineless senate just repealed dadt.

New song for the chief..."Hail to the queers"?

Bring in the queers sung to bring in the clowns?

Gates says we might lose 22% of all enlistees and officers.

Anonymous said...

The Paint program could make you a copy without the names, if you have it, but if you don't know how to use it I guess that's no help.

Z said...

I keep listening to the left discuss the crash of The Dream Act ...and, even the last few days, they've touted it as a bill that is for the 'wonderfully talented' children of illegals.
WONDERFULLY TALENTED? How do they know that? Just cracks me up.
Sure, some illegals are probably WONDERFULLY TALENTED if this stupid hyperbole makes everybody have a hand to forehand moment with "Gosh, why didn't I Think of that?" :-)

I'll look for PAINT, Anonymous...I don't know where to look for it, but I"ll try ..or ask Elmer's Brother, my blog partner.thanks.

Z said...

Oh. I forgot.
Don't Ask Don't Tell.
I don't really know what to think.
There are dignified gays who I'd have thought wouldn't even want their sexuality broadcast...
there are queens who'll tout this and prance, we all know that. I've had gay friends of both ilks.
Personally, as a girl marine in the open showers, I might prefer I didn't know who I might be turning on naked :-)

Anonymous said...

Z...send them to me. I'll fix them in Photoshop.

Z said...

Imp, you're the best.
Just emailed you five or six.
I Hope once you email them back, I can figure out how the heck to get them here again :-)

Stanley Kowalski said...

I know I want...

So, if you haven't done your Xmas shopping yet, Z, you'll know what to get me. ;)

Anonymous said...

I composed this for my daughter in French script to celebrate her retirement from work.
Her true name has been omitted to protect the innocent! I did pay for a frame:

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

It is proclaimed on this day,
September 1, 2006
That henceforth,
Jane Ann Doe
Having been granted
Shall bear the title
Lady of The Manor.
So say we all.

Also our son designed and made our invitations to our 50th Anniversary party and a collage of all our friends and family, for them to sign. He's a commercial graphics designer and artist.

Mr. Pris fashioned a chess table for me one Christmas.

Another Christmas long ago, he refinished a used tricycle for our son. When finished it gleamed like a new one.


Z said...

Stanley, that is wonderful. Apparently, it's made in Canada so I'm sending this to my sis and her husband in London, Ontario.......thanks! They'll love it.
I love that '..and a beer..' "we need more there" because the beat was so wrong! Hilarious.

Pris, lovely memories. And very clever proclamation!

Last Christmas, or maybe the year before, a very dear girlfriend who's a staunch COnservative gave me a little red/white/blue frame with a flag on the corner and she wrote inside "God BLess America..Thank You "Z" for Loving America! Thank you for geeeZ"
I keep it here by my desk.

The more thought that goes into a gift, the more special they, that is FOR SURE......and, in this economy, it's worth a lot of thought :-)

Ducky's here said...

I filmed m bothers daughter with my first movie camera, a 60's Bolex and edited a montage on a small flatbed Moviola. Ah, the good old days of sequential editing.

He still has it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Z, yes, lovely memories.

Sometimes, as Mr. Pris's contributions I mentioned, arise from times of very little spending money, and a lot of loving creativity. These are true treasures.


Z said...

ducky, that sounds great...tell me about sequential editing........not sure what that is or what the difference is it that you couldn't cut in something from later into now, so to speak, so it was a bit "purer" filming?
I'm curious...
Have just slipped into the DVD player a Janet Gaynor film called, I think, STREET ANGEL, which I got from Netflix.
Yesterday, I watched Joan Crawford, very young and SO BEAUTIFUL, in a film called SADIE, how gorgeous can a woman be?

Leticia said...

I got Christmas hugs and kisses from my boys and to me those are the best gifts ever.

Z said...

Leticia, I think that wins, hands down! :-)

Ducky, the Janet Gaynor film is a silent film...I didn't disappointed because I"m not big on them but it's not terrible. Will go watch the end now.

Susannah said...

Oh, so many, too many to count...

My paternal Grandmother (died in 1999) gave me most of the flowers that I have in my yard...When you have a few spare moments, come see @ the label "flowers." I still feel her with me when I tend them, & talk to her as I dig into the earth. She's there.

My other Grandmother, who turned 96 last Tuesday, dropped what I thought was a dirty napkin (to throw away) in the palm of my hand - on Labor Day 4/5 years back. What she put in my hand, however, was her white gold & diamond(s) ring which had been her mother's. She casually dropped it into my palm, & said simply, "I want you to have this before I die instead of after." Imagine my stunned silence, then the tears & laughter that followed!

My husband one year (before we were married) organized boxes of his family's photos into albums for his parents. He was very proud of that work (as were they) and our children now look through those books.

Z, I'm thinking of those ties of Mr. Z's going to Africa...perfect!!!

Anonymous said...

OT but I had to comment on DADT:

"Not one who voted for it will ever have to serve, or die, due to the degradation they foisted upon our Armed Forces. Hopefully, they sleep well tonight; I’m sure our soldiers and Marines in Afghanistan will not."

Once gain these POS in Congress have passed a law....that they DON'T HAVE TO LIVE WITH!

But I'll bet they all feel squishy and smart tonight. I hope that 50% of our enlisted and officer corps resign ASAP.

And let these smart asses ( who have chosen to ignore the advice and counsel of our most sage, informed and experienced command officers ) in Congress man a post, walk a fence, stand guard, go without a hot meal for weeks at a time, forget about a hot shower for a month, face hostile fire from Stone Age savages while riding in their Limos down Constitution Avenue.

I'd like to settle them on MRE's for the next few months.

Then when they're fully acclimated to military dining in the field...send their useless bony asses off so that the Taliban and Al Queda can pick through their bones.

Major said...

"there are queens who'll tout this and prance, we all know that."

Not in the Marine Corp, they won't. Excuse me Ms. Z...but they'll have their asses drilled out like a holiday, carved pumpkin.

No queen will dare dance and prance if they want to survive Paris Island. In case you don't understand Paris, ask a few Marines about it. And if they manage to survive Paris, they'll fail in the showers when they'll have to stand out ( cause they might not be able to control themselves ) and the "touters" will get fragged. Trust me, we've on;y seen the beginning of this fiasco.

It will NOT work. Marine are all men, not pseudo men. Not queens, not drag queens, not trannies, not above all, very tolerant of a swish in their ranks.

Of course I'll defer to Mustang on this too. I welcome his opinion as to how the Corp "will compromise and adapt" to this military abortion from the "feel good" sissies ( besides McPain ).

I hope you let this comment stand too. I know I'm not that welcome here for my straight commentary.

But I'm, going to presume that you've never been a Marine in combat nor a legislator who decided what's best for our fighting MEN, of the Corp.

And I'd rather let men who have served, in combat, or in the Armed Forces have their say about this disgusting act by a weak, wimpy, wussified, girly man...congress.

Z said...

Major, I'm not sure what 'fragged' means, but when you mention showers, you're not saying your 'real men Marines' will be attacking the gays, are you?..and I don't mean sexually.

You're welcome here with as straight a comment as you like; I just don't get why you don't see why I want to maintain some decorum here.


Anonymous said...

My son likes to write letters to me. Little Sis will "wrap" up her favorite toys in wrapping paper and give them to me as gifts. It makes me cry every time.

I love her excitement and anticipation as I unwrap her gifts.

Big Sis can tell when I need a hug, and she's more than happy to give me one.

My grandmother gave me her mother's sweet sixteen ring on the day of my wedding. That ring was given to my great grandmother in 1905 and traveled across the Southwest in a covered wagon. I love to wear it.

Z said...

Jen, how SWEET...
and, oh brother, would that ring mean a lot to me, too..I'm so glad you have

Ducky's here said...

z, sequential or linear editing is simply editing using mechanical equipment to assemble the final print. As opposed to , wait for it, non-linear editing which is simply computer controlled.

Janet Gaynor, I know some fans who prefer "Street Angel" to even "Sunrise". Myself, "Seventh Heaven".Now that the lost footage to Lang's "Metropolis" has been found, the grail of lost films is Murnau's "Four Devils" starring Gaynor. Her work in 1927-28 was just spectacular.