For three years running, Dwayne has gotten me Christmas gifts that I didn't ask for, didn't want and wasn't the least bit excited about at first. But, for three years running, I have eventually had to humble myself and confess to him that I really do love the gifts he chose, that they are perfect for me and that they have ended up making my life much more pleasant.

Two Christmases ago it was my apple-peeler-corer-slicer from Williams-Sonoma. I felt jipped out of a decent present that year, until apple picking season rolled around the next fall and I peeled the apples for my first pie of the season with it. It makes the whole pie-making process so much easier and fun and pie-making is a very important tradition to me, so this, naturally, made perfect gift #1.

Last Christmas, perfect gift #2 was a set of gourmet kitchen knives from Ergo Chef. As I was opening them, Dwayne was telling the story of how he "happened by" the store and how they were having an "unbelievable sale" since the manufacturer was located "right here in Connecticut." It all sounded very last-minute to me and I was only thinking of all the things on my wish-list the money he spent on these knives could have purchased and how the fancy wooden knife holder that had to be used would junk-up my kitchen counters... that is, until I used the chef's knife to chop a pepper and an onion and the fillet knife to half a chicken breast... the experiences changed my life. I cook four times as often as I did before Dwayne purchased these knives and I have to believe it is because preparing food is so much easier with high quality knives. I just can't say how much I underestimated the importance of them. I used to think people who spent money on these types of things were just snobs, but it really does make a huge difference in how quickly you can prep fresh food, making it much more practical to cook at home.

This year, it was my Garmin. You may have guessed from the picture above. I was terribly disappointed because I thought this was just something "electronic" that Dwayne was forcing on me and I didn't want it cluttering up my dash board. Before I had this pleasant British woman's voice to guide me to unfamiliar places, I would have to print out Google maps and I'd always get turned around halfway to where I was going. That is when I'd call Dwayne at work and ask, "Where am I? Please help me! I'm lost!" He'd say something diplomatic like, "Umm... I don't know where you are. Can you tell me what street you are on?!" I never could tell him what street I was on, but somehow, from my hints about landmarks and buildings, he'd usually be able to Google a map and guide me back to where I needed to go. God bless him. But, with that in mind, I took two trips to new places this week, one to the Wallingford YMCA and the other to Andie's Bounce Barn. I found both places with ease and I will never have to call Dwayne at work for directions again... Perfect gift #3.

The man knows me better than I know myself! And, I give him credit for having the nerve to buy me something knowing that I am going to be disappointed with it until I can figure out for myself that it really was a perfect gift.


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