One Christmas, when my sisters and I were about 5, 6, ad 10 years old, we bought my dad disposable razors, shaving cream, and deodorant from Rite Aid. -___-
About 6 years later, I bought my dad a paper airplane book because I remembered how he and I would make paper airplanes when I was a kid. The gift was intended to be both useful and sentimental. He laughed when he opened it because he thought it was a joke; he never used it. -_____-
This year, I got my dad a pinhole camera kit. It was slightly outside of my spending range, but it seemed too good to pass up, so I bought it. When we opened out presentes (on Christmas Eve-Eve this year, because we had an early morning flight to catch on Christmas Eve), he seemed to like it... he acted appropriately surprised and delighted and all that good stuff.
Yesterday afternoon and all evening, my dad sat for hours at the kitchen table assembling the pinole camera. I was flushed with pride and happiness (of course, I was also sick, so I might have just been flushed with the flu). I tried my best to sit at the table with him and help him build the camera. I didn't want to miss that opportunity just because of a stupid flu. As we carefully read the instructions, I was reminded of how he and I used to work on projects together. When I was younger, he used to take over while I became a bystander. This time, I found myself wanting to take over. I fought the urge, though, since my dad seemed to be enjoying himself. He became frustrated at times as he read the instructions and as he turned pieces of the camera over in his hand; at these times, I feared that I failed again at picking out a present.
After several hours, he completed it! My help was minimal, unfortunately, but I think that he still had fun... and anyway, we can work together on looking for things to take pictures of.
Present for father, Christmas 2010: success!