Monday, October 10, 2011

The Perfect Present!

by Anna Campbell

I LOVE getting presents!

Yeah, I guess that makes me really unusual.

But I also love buying people presents. I love matching up the perfect gift with the right person.

Recently I was in Brisbane, which counts as the big smoke for me now I've moved to the Sunshine Coast, and I had a stack of birthday presents to buy. I was happy as a pig in mud. And even if I do say so myself, I think I picked up some beautiful, completely apt gifts for my friends.

Friends, even if you don't agree, don't tell me!

As many of you know, this year also marked a significant birthday for me (oh, thirty is such a lovely age, snork!). I collected a swag of lovely presents including some beautiful bouquets. Actually for me, flowers are a perfect present. I always love them.

One of my absolute favorites is the subject of today's blog. Recently I had wonderful Bandita Anna Sugden and her delightful husband to stay at my place in Australia. I've had a Bandita drought this year because I didn't make it to America for RWA Nationals so it was such a thrill to host our English Bandita and feed her to the koalas at Australia Zoo (Steve Irwin's place) which isn't far away.

By the way, no koalas were harmed in the devouring of my English visitors!


Actually, given koalas are herbivores, no English visitors were harmed either. I only put that in for a bit of dramatic tension. And speaking of dramatic tension, how shocking is this picture of Anna and me fighting off a vicious, blood-sucking kangaroo in the jungles of south-east Queensland? Scary, huh? I bet you have nightmares tonight!

Anna and Keith arrived bearing gifts, including one of the loveliest presents I've ever received. It's a commemorative teacup from Queen Victoria's 60th jubilee in 1897 - hey, how cool they did royal souvenirs back then! For a history geek like me, they couldn't have come up with anything nicer!

The teacup is really pretty - transfer printed with the British coat of arms of the lion and the unicorn and lovely roses, thistles and clover to symbolize England, Scotland and Ireland as the United Kingdom. Isn't it lovely?

Something that blows my mind is that this fragile piece of china is 114 years old and it's in perfect condition. I suspect it's been sitting in someone's granny's china cabinet as a treasured object since it was made.

Right now it lives in my bedroom and it never fails to make me smile. Think of how the world has changed since 1897 and yet this little piece of beauty is as fresh as the day it was made. That's one of the reasons I love old things - they give you such a window on the past.

Thank you, Anna Bandita and her lovely husband. You couldn't have come up with a better present! I hope you realized when you gave it to me quite how much I adored the cup and saucer.

So when was the last time someone gave you the perfect present? Or you gave someone else the perfect present?

Seeing we're in a gift-giving mood, I'm awarding one lucky commenter their choice from my backlist today. If you need help choosing a book, check out the books page on my website:
http://annacampbell.info/books.html Good luck!

*********************

Don't forget we're kicking off Trick or Treat in the Lair with a BIG announcement on October 14, with a special treat to follow on Halloween.
The Golden Rooster is poking into the corners to find out what's going on. He even asked Ermingarde the Dragon what was coming(from a safe distance, of course). But Ermingarde doesn't know, either.

102 comments:

Jane said...

I love it when you get the perfect present. I've had many including a Tiffany's necklace, a plane ticket to Amsterdam and many toys from childhood that I coveted.

Anna Campbell said...

Jane, you go the chook again. Not sure he counts as the perfect present!

Wow, a Tiffany's necklace and a ticket to Amsterdam? You've got the right sort of friends!!!!

Patricia said...

I love to receive presents, The nicest gift I was ever given was from my sister. It was nothing like jewels or a trip, it was just a doll. I do not know if you are familiar with the show "Family Affair", there was a doll the little girl carried everywhere Mrs. Beasley. I had one as a child, well my sister killed her when she operated on her, so when I was 42 she tracked one down and gave it to me for Christmas. It was so sweet. I cried.

Bron said...

Hi Anna

I must admit, I prefer to give. I get so much joy out of it.

I remember when I lived in England and had a rather good job, one of the solo mum's in my English netball team told me about her son. He was saving up for a new computer game for Christmas and was twenty pounds short. Since he needed new shoes mum couldn’t help him.

So I got a Christmas card and without telling his mum or anyone, I posted him the card with twenty pounds in it from Secret Santa. To this day he doesn't know it was me but boy did it make his Christmas!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Patricia, I hate to say I'm laughing at your poor doll being murdered through your sister's medical malpractice. I'm sure it was AWFUL at the time but it's kinda funny! LOL! Isn't that lovely that she remembered and got you another one? Keep her away from reckless surgery!

Anna Campbell said...

Bron, what a LOVELY thing to do. It's one of those random acts of kindness, isn't it?

Tona said...

I love books, so those are probably the best present for me. But I also like surprises. My daughter got me a few years ago a set of earnings and the necklace that I always wanted and I think so far that was one of my favorite. But the very best was when I had her, my baby :)
I have not been lucky giving presents to some people like my dad or my husband, I don't know why, you get them something and they always find fault with it.
But I do like to give also.

June M. said...

My favorite gifts have always been given to my nieces and nephews. It is so much fun finding the perfect gift for them. Now that they are getting older, it is way too hard. Generally, they get cash (which they love).

My grandfather, before he passed, was taking blood thinners. I know from my experience with them that there are times when you get so cold because of your blood being thinner. So I crocheted him a blanket, that he loved.

LilMissMolly said...

My husband is the worst gift giver ever. My mother in law, who is usually just as bad as her son, got me a set of 3 Irish Celtic designed plates for Christmas last year. I loved them!

Anna Campbell said...

Delia, don't you hate it when you try and get the right present and all people do is gripe? Grr! I've got a couple of people like that - they get money these days. No imagination required and it's something they'll use. The jewelry sounds great!

Anna Campbell said...

June, what a lovely thoughtful gift of the blanket. My mother was on blood thinners to and she was freezing even on the hottest day. Poor thing. Yes, I loved buying presents for the family when they were little kids. They're a bit old for plastic dinosaurs now!

Anna Campbell said...

Molly, the plates sound lovely! I've got a blue and white Scottish plate in my bedroom that's designed like a Celtic cross and it's one of my most treasured possesions.

Annie West said...

Anna, lovely post and a terrific gift! Can't wait to see it!

I'm like you, I love finding the right pressie for each person. I was recently away on a long holiday and had a ball looking for gifts for people. I lucked out as I kept finding the 'perfect' gift for my dad - on the first day, then a few days later, then several days after that and so on. I suppose because he has so many interests. Others were more difficult to buy for (naming no names) unless I wanted to burden myself with a huge weight. Finally got it all done.

Lovely gift recently was the surprise accommodation my husband sprang on me on our recent trip - luxurious and very, very special! Bless him.

Love the sound of your prize, Anna.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Fo!

I'm GREEN with envy over your gorgeous teacup and saucer. And EVEN BETTER, our VA delivered it in person! I missed seeing everyone at National this year too and I'm jonesing for a Bandita fix! ;-)

One of the best gifts I've received in a long time was a Mother's Day gift from my son. While doing some genealogy research, he discovered a very old photo of my grandfather and his older brother. My son had the picture blown up and framed as my Mom's Day gift. SO SPECIAL!

Enjoy the GR, Jane. He's really frustrated at being unable to figure out THE BIG SURPRISE, so he may be in a peckish mood! (Sorry Fo, couldn't resist.)

AC

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, it's Annie! Back from her wild travels in Europe. Everyone, Annie's coming to see us in November when her latest masterpiece THE SAVAKIS MERGER hits the shelves. Huzzah!

I always have fun buying presents when I travel too. In fact, my very first trip, I didn't buy anything for me. I decided I wasn't doing that again so I always buy myself a present too to remind me of where I've been. Can't wait to hear all your travel stories!

Anna Campbell said...

AC, what a wonderful present. It's really touching when people go that extra length to get just the right thing, isn't it? That's how I felt about Anna's gift. It was lovely seeing her - I really missed catching up with my Bandita sisters this year. It makes it a long time between drinks when I don't get to RWAmerica!

Kelly Proellocks said...

Hi Anna,

I tend to give myself presents because I can be a total cow to buy things for (although chocolate can be a huge hit, no one has invented the never ending block of Cadbury Caramel chocolate yet and this would be the perfect present), so the best gift I have given myself is a blue and purple bow with a cat's head (not a real one) glued to the middle of the bow. It is so adorable and looks really funky with my new glasses.

When it comes to giving gifts to other people especially at Christmas and on birthdays I just ask what they want, try to get it and also throw in a little something something to make them smile. My mum doesn't know it yet but she will be getting the first two seasons of Packed to the Rafters to go along with the Teddy Bear cookie jar that was in the Avon catalogue this campaign. That reminds me I need to look on the Koorong website to see how much a large print concordance will set me back . . .

Anna Campbell said...

Kelly, that's one way to make sure you get what you want - buy it for yourself! Sounds like your mum's getting treated for her birthday. And good thing too. I used to love getting my mother presents. She tended not to indulge herself so it was fun to indulge her on special occasions like birthdays and Christmases. The male members of the family were always MUCH harder to buy for.

Eli Yanti said...

wow, wonderful question because i just gave my friend her birtday gift although i'm late give the gift to her and since she's likes dog, so i gave her knitted dog keychains =D

Jo's Daughter said...

I just blogged a bit about a gift I got a long time ago :D So this is what comes to mind..

I was always crazy about French fries, but the fat is not good for you. We all know that, but sometimes I couldn't help myself and ate them anyway. (Sometimes being code for too often....)

So I got this perfectly PERFECT gift, a machine that makes fries with only 1 spoon of oil. I had a: I'll believe it when I see it attitude towards this.

But it really works! And more important is perhaps, that it tastes just as good as the "REAL" thing :d

So last week I made us a snackmeal with dad's help. Homemade French Fries, beets and mini meatballs. I tell myself it's pretty healthy, but even if it's not... It was delish and a lot lower in fat!

Anna Campbell said...

Eli, gift giving when people have obsessions, isn't it? I must say I love old china so this cup was right up my alley! Hope your friend likes her present!

Anna Campbell said...

JD, that machine sounds great! I have to say I'm too lazy to cook French fries which is a GOOD thing. I often buy them when I'm eating out though. Like you, I loves 'em! Bet the meal was scrummy!

Anna Campbell said...

Actually you know the Scottish plate I was talking about? You can see a corner of it behind the cup in the first photo on the blog.

Denise Z said...

It is so funny, my idea of a perfect present is a book or coffee. I was given a gift card for my favorite coffee shop and I cannot express how incredibly pleased I was with that :) Thank you for the fun today and for the wonderful giveaway opportunity, your lovelies were very nice indeed.

dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com
@ZDz59001

marybelle said...

My best friend knows we so well. For birthdays she always gives me a stack of craft materials: wool, crochet cotton, fabric thread, buttons etc. She knows my mind is immediately transforming these into SOMETHING. The perfect gift for me.

Helen said...

Well done Jane have fun with him

Anna

That tea cup and saucer are beautiful I collect tea cups and saucers and have about 12 of them now and one of mine was given to me after my Granmother in Law passed away and it was bought out to commemorate the birth of Princess Margaret Rose and it has budgergairs and flowers on it so lovely and the date on it is Aug
21st 1930 (a few days before your birthday).
Some of the best gifts I have been given in recent years have been the birth of my grandchildren LOL

Have Fun
Helen
BTW Anna looks great with the kangaroos

Sonali said...

I received one of the the best birthday presents last year from my bestie. She made me a scrapbook for my birthday. It had some amazing things in it because she went around to all my family and friends collecting tid and bits of photos, mementos, and memories which she then used to compile a scrapbook. Along with that since it was my 21st she gave me an engraved champagne flute. I loved both her gifts.

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Denise! Is this your first visit to the lair? If so, pull up a cabana boy and make yourself comfy. Actually a book and a coffee shop voucher sound like a pretty great present to me!

Anna Campbell said...

Mary, I think that's one of the lovely things about best friends. They pretty much ALWAYS come up with great presents. I know mine do. And I love buying presents for them because I basically pick up something I'd like myself so can't justify buying. Lately classy chocolate has featured strongly!

Anna Campbell said...

I love that photo of Anna with the kangaroos, Helen. We had such a great day at Australia Zoo. I didn't realize you could really close to the animals there. My overseas visitors absolutely adored it. The cup commemorating Princess Margaret's birth sounds just lovely.

Anna Campbell said...

Sonali, what a fantastic present. And what a fantastic best friend. That's wonderful because she thought hard and then she did the hard yards to get you something really special that you'll treasure. That's the kind of gift I'm talking about - the sort that means someone knows your heart. Beautiful!

Anna Sugden said...

Aww - what a lovely post, Anna. We had such fun visiting you. Especially enjoyed cuddling that man-eating koala!

You're very welcome - we had fun finding the cup and saucer for you. Carrying it all the way round Australia was a little hairy - we were terrified it would get broken!

As you can tell, we love finding presents for our favourite people. I'm lucky enough to have a wonderful husband who is great at finding the perfect gift. I couldn't pick out a favourite from him as they're all wonderful.

One of my favourite birthday present this year was a cross-stitched picture of one of the Moomins (Snork Maiden for those of you who know them) made specially for me!

Deb Marlowe said...

Morning, Anna! What a lovely present--as was a visit with Vrai Anna! The perfect combo--memories and something to trigger them!

I find that my writer friends give me the most amazing presents. Old prints and research books and dvds, fascinating and useful little doodads for my purse and amazing finds like a real old Bedecker's guide that no one else would find as fascinating as I do!

My dh occasionally gives me jewelry--which I love! And my kids tend to give me plants, which is also always appreciated!

I love to give presents,too. It's so nice to see someone light up when you give them something that reflects their interests!

Cheryl Leigh said...

Anna, what a gorgeous cup! I can see why it has pride of place.

One of my favorite presents is an old blue and cream platter that belonged to my grandmother. She brought it with her from England when she moved here, and my mother gave it to me many years ago. The platter is an inexpensive piece, but I love the aged look of it and have it displayed in a glass cabinet.

Mozette said...

The most perfect gift? Well, Mum and Dad went to Salzberg in Austria some years ago and they know I love Mozart (thus the twist on my name) and so Mum bought out the town of souvenirs for me - she got me everything but a t-shirt and a beach towel... :D I was absolutely thrilled!

runner10 said...

I love presents. My dad is the hardest to buy for. I can't think of anything to get him.

Gail said...

My husband just bought me a copy of one of my favorite books signed by the autoras a suprise I cried.

Rebe said...

For Valentine's Day this year my husband surprised me with tickets to the symphony, which actually made me cry. He's more of a football type and soooo not into "the arts", so I was really excited!

Savannah Rose said...

I love to receive presents that are "old"...antique. My husband's grandmother collected tea cups from Scotland (where she was born and lived until her children were 12 and 10) and I was blessed to receive her collection when she passed. Ironically, my mother, who has also passed, collected teapots. I add to their collections for my daughter.

Deb said...

I've had a lot of perfect presents, too. My husband buys me a different perfume every Christmas and they have all been wonderful scents. I also received plane tickets from my parents when i was 25 to fly to Denmark.

My husband just bought me a bouquet of roses last Monday for our anniversary; 12 red roses and a yellow rose in the very center for our 13 years of marriage. I tell ya, he CAN have his romantic moments! :)

My sister was born three days before Christmas and I thought she was my very own, real life doll.

The best gift was and is my daughter. I had her when I was 36 and she's my joy.

Kaelee said...

Love the teacup! Just recently my brother, husband and I were roaming some antique and collectible stores. There was a complete set of the Wade nursery rhyme figurines (used to be given free in Red Rose Tea boxes in Canada) and my husband bought it for me as a belated birthday gift. We are on a limited budget so the gift was really appreciated. If you would like to see what I'm talking about go to:
http://members.shaw.ca/mikesgeneralstore/redrosetea.htm

Kaelee said...

Jane enjoy the GR. He ate me out of house and home. I think the only reason he stays so agile is all the flying he does.

CrystalGB said...

What a lovely teacup. On my birthday, my friend gave me a water fountain that I loved. It also came at the best time because my other fountain had just quit working.

MsHellion said...

Last Christmas. A professor gave me a wand from the Harry Potter collection. It was Snape's wand.

What was particularly brilliant about this is that I wanted to buy this exact wand at Wizarding World (in Orlando) and they were sold out--and I'd been toying with ordering it online for months. This professor hasn't seen the movies or read the books, but had a student of hers who was another Potterphile pick out the wand he thought I might like.

It was SO unexpected (professors don't typically get staff gifts on the whole, or if they do, it's something small, tea or biscuits); and it was EXACTLY what I wanted, like I dreamed it into being. And she said my reaction totally made the gift worth it.

I've gotten some really great gifts over the years, but this one beats them all bar none. :) At least until I receive some hottie wrapped in paper and ribbon. *LOL*

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

The most perfect gift I ever received was from my daughter, she gave me time. She lives in Texas so I only get to see her and my granddaughter twice a year at most. When she comes in July, it is long enough to drop off my granddaughter for summer holiday and then her and her husband go back to TX so they are only here for the extended weekend. Christmas they are usually here for two weeks but they are pulled in a gazillion different directions and since I work, I don't get to see a lot of them. Last year that was her gift to me, time with her alone, time with her and my granddaughter, we had girl's days out and girl's day in watching movies and crying and eating popcorn. I loved it.

krazymama_98 said...

My mother had been scrimping and saving for 2 years for a trip. She and dad wanted to go to Ireland. Finally dad just jumped in and said whatever they had saved would have to be enough. Mom fretted that they wouldnt have any money to buy anything while they were there. So all 5 of us kids put in whatever we could. And I exchanged it for Irish money. We knew that way she would not be able to use it for something practical. But only to spend on the trip. She always says it was the best present ever! We were pretty proud of ourselves. It is always the best when you find the perfect gift!

Sara W. said...

My favorite present was probably my engagement ring my husband gave me! This wednesday we will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary!

Danielle Gorman said...

I love it when I've given someone the perfect present. I like to see the look of joy come across their face. Last year for Xmas I was able to do this for my grandmother. She had a favorite cookbook that was from the early 40's, and a few years ago someone threw it out by mistake. She was so mad! Last year, I was able to find a copy of the cookbook and gave it too her. She was so excited and it made my day.

Virginia said...

Its been many years since I had the perfect present or me giving one. I feel one is right around the corner though.

Nancy said...

Jane, congrats on the bird! Ooh, I would love any of those gifts.

Nancy said...

Anna, the iPad the dh gave me at Christmas is turning out to be a perfect gift, or close to. When my Yorkist historical fantasy finaled in the GH, he sent me roses--white for York! *g*

He's hard to buy for, one of those guys who wants nothing. The gift that seemed to please him most was the leather briefcase I gave him early in our marriage. He still carries it.

Karyn Gerrard said...

I am having a bandita drought myself, I haven't been blogging for a few weeks, bogged down in edits!

What a lovely gift you received. I love it when it's obvious someone put a lot of thought into a pressie. Though, I do love gift cards too.

I think my fav is after my grandmother passed on, my mother and her sibs got together and presented me with Nanny's antique mantle clock. They all agreed I should have it as I loved it so much and always wound it when I stayed at my grandparents. Needless to say, I became a complete watering pot. Love the sentimental gifts, most of all!

Cathy P said...

My perfect present was a much neded new car, and my DH got me one for our anniversary. There were also the Christmas presents of diamond necklaces and earrings.

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

My sister & I think so much alike it's scary to other people, including our dhs!! So I always am getting the perfect gift from her!.. Not that my dh is any slouch!.. There were several years while our mom was alive -- Mom would get 2 of the same cards from both of us... We were also good for sending muliple cards... there would a couple of years when all the cards matched:)!!!

catslady said...

One year my two daughters' uncle and girlfriend got them the perfect gift. It was when dress and dazzle was all the craze. She got some dresses (one was like a wedding dress) and sewed them so they weren't too huge and then bought wigs, shoes, jewery, veil, tiara, wand etc. etc. They played with those outfits for years and still talk about it.

Donna MacMeans said...

Anna -

Shopping therapy! Love it. Finding the perfect present for someone else is even more exciting then finding something for yourself.

My daughter is fabulous about finding the perfect research book that she gives as a present. They've influenced and inspired stories, and there's no better gift for a writer than that.

Another really cool gift was from my sister-in-law, who gave me a small teapot with the names of famous authors on the pot. A stack of books on the top allows one to lift the lid. Very cute.

Then there's that pink corset my husband gave me for my birthday the year Mrs. Brimley came out. We won't go there (grin).

Anna Campbell said...

Anna, it's those quirky, just for the person concerned presents that mean so much, isn't it? I felt that way with the cup. It fed into so many things I love like fine china and British history and the fact that I often feel you and I have a British Empire friendship going on ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Deb, I love it when I find the right present. I remember buying my crit partner Annie West the most beautiful limited edition silk scarf at the Library of Congress. It featured characters from Shakespeare. That seemed to feed into her obsessions too - language and characters and she loves beautiful scarves. And it came from the Library of Congress. I don't know any writer who isn't obsessed with books - and not just their own! You're right, writer friends give the BEST presents!

Anna Campbell said...

Cheryl, that's so right. It's not the monetary value that makes these presents so special. It's the emotional associations. That platter sounds lovely!

Anna Campbell said...

Mozette, I didn't know that's where your name came from. How cool! I love Mozart too (we should get Louisa Cornell in on this discussion!). Such beautiful music and such emotional depth. How wonderful that you were showered in Mozart souvenirs. I've been to Salzburg. Mozart souvenirs proliferate!!!! It's a lovely city. I hope you get to go there one day.

Anna Campbell said...

Runner, my dad was hard to buy for too. He didn't have any hobbies as such. Mum was eazy peazy.

Anna Campbell said...

Gail, what a lovely present! I treasure all my signed books.

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Rebe, what a lovely present - especially when he had to get out of his comfort zone to give it to you. Wonderful! Hope the concert was great.

Anna Campbell said...

Savannah, how serendipitous that you've got both teacups and teapots in the family background! If I had a lot of money, I'd collect old china. I've got a few collectibles I got from Mum and Dad. They had quite avant garde taste in the 50s so there's beautiful Swedish art glass for example. Love that stuff - think it's the antique of the future.

Anna Campbell said...

Deb, sounds like you've been blessed in the present department. The tickets to Denmark sound great! And I did a big fat AWWWWW when I read the bit about the bouquet! Lovely!

Anna Campbell said...

Kaelee, happy Thanksgiving! I know the Wade figures. They used to do giveaways like that here too when I was a kid. I'm a dedicated Antiques Roadshow watcher - the British version. It's amazing what a set of those Wade figures is worth now! Strange when they were just a little bit of fun at the time. What a lovely present!

Anna Campbell said...

Kaelee, having the GR to visit is definitely a mixed blessing!

Anna Campbell said...

Crystal, what a great present! I love it when my friends pick what I need even before I've got to the point of thinking I need it.

Anna Campbell said...

Helly, what a great present. And even more, it was unexpected! Definitely one good professor there. He should apply for a job at Hogwarts!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Dianna, what a lovely story. And you're right - time's the best gift of all! So glad you had a wonderful day with your daughter. It's so sad when the people we love live a long way away, isn't it?

Anna Campbell said...

KM, that's the most wonderful story! I hope your parents had a wonderful trip to Ireland which is such a beautiful country. Love how you all jumped in together to create the perfect present!

Anna Campbell said...

Sara, happy anniversary! And I think you're right - that engagement ring was a wonderful present! ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Danielle, what a great present! I bet she was absolutely stoked. I'm really loving these present stories. It's giving me a nice warm glow to start the day with. I'm polishing the manuscript once I've caught up here - a warm glow is definitely appreciated!

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Virginia, here's wishing you a fabulous present soon!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, an iPad is a GREAT present! And how cool about the white roses of York. I loved that when I went to York a couple of years ago, I could buy pins and bookmarks and stuff with white roses on them. A lot of my friends here collected Yorkist souvenirs. The pins were really pretty - white enamel with gold edging. I love that your husband still uses the briefcase - often you can tell when a present has meant a lot because the person uses it forever.

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Karyn, what a lovely story about the mantel clock. As you say, the sentimental gifts are the best. I bet you cried like a waterfall when you realized what the present was. Good luck with the edits! And happy Thanksgiving!

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Cathy, they're pretty spectacular presents! A car? Diamonds? Definitely not to be sniffed at! My hero in my work in progress has just given my heroine diamonds. Perhaps I'd better through in a carriage! ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, GGH, talk about one soul between two people! Buying the same card without consulting? That's pretty spooky. Must have made your mum laugh. As I said, I have a couple of good friends who are always easy to buy for - I get them what I'd like! LOL!

Anna Campbell said...

Catslady, what a wonderful present. I remember when my mum's best friend handed over some of her evening dresses to my dress-up box. Man, did I have fun with those!

Anna Campbell said...

Donna, what fabulous presents. I'm envious of the teapot! And the pink corset has become something of a signature thing for you, hasn't it? Snicker! You're right - a really nice book never goes astray. I remember my lovely friend Vanessa Barneveld gave me a beautiful book about life in English country houses one year. I've drooled over those pages ever since.

Christina Brooke said...

Lovely post! Oh, what a gorgeous piece, Anna! (Both Annas!) No wonder it sits in pride of place among your collection. I love buying presents too and I'm always chuffed when I find the perfect thing for my husband because he is so hard to buy for. The telescope I bought him was particularly inspired, I think!

I love china and the Wedgwood cup and saucer you gave me has a special place in my collection. I kept the box, too, which is round like a hatbox, turquoise embossed with gold. In a different way, the stuffed Tigger my friend Denise gave me always brings a smile.

I've had some truly lovely gifts from readers, some hand made, which I treasure, too. Oh, yeah, and no doubt the GPS system dh gave me for my birthday is going to come in handy a lot!

Congrats Jane!

Anna Campbell said...

Christina, I LOVED that Wedgwood cup and saucer. It definitely fell into the buy your friends what you'd like yourself category. I think the telescope was a great idea for the DH - and thinking outside the box too. You'll love Anna's cup when you come up and visit. It's right up your alley.

Amy Andrews said...

Amy slinks into lair where she doesn't show up as often as she'd like any more....

I used to always pride myself on buying just the right gift for people. Alas these days I'm so damn busy all the time I dont have the hours to spend that it can sometimes take but occassionally I still find the perfect thing and I love that feeling.

A few years back I spotted a Shelley tea set for my Mum who adored china and already had one tea set. In Moolooaba actually Fo. It was gorgeous, pink and delicate and was called Anysley whch was perfect because she had an older sister who died at the age of 18 who was called Aynsley. I rang all my siblings and told them to each cough up some dosh and we gave it to her for her birthday. She cried. It was perfect :-)

I once received a gift from my older brother which was exquisite. It was a blown glass stork. It was fragile and delicate and I was stunned that he chose it. Sadly it broke a few years later and wasn't able to be repaired. It still makes me sad to think of that beautiful broken bird.

My sister recently came back from Paris and brought me a gorgeous silk shirt that has Vincent Van Gough's Starry Starry Night hand painted upon it. Its so very beautiful - soft and tactile and the colours are divine.

Thanks for the memories, Anna!

Maria D. said...

My sister gave me the perfect present this year for my birthday - just what I wanted - a gift card to my favorite store for a very nice dollar amount.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Amy, you're welcome any time. No need to slink. Once a Bandita buddy, always a Bandita buddy! I love the story about you all buying your mum the Shelley tea set. I've got a gorgeous cup and saucer. Same shape cup as the royal one but with an exquisite pattern of bluebells on white. Just beautiful. What a pity about the stork! Love the sound of the shirt. Hope to see it one day in the not too distant future! Thanks for swinging by! Here, we've been keeping a cabana boy just for you!

Anna Campbell said...

Maria, sounds like you had fun with your gift card! What a nice sister!

Barbara E. said...

What a lovely tea cup, that's a wonderful present.
My son is very good at picking out great presents for me, and there are a couple that really stick out. One Christmas when he was about 10 or so, he picked out a beautiful vase he thought I'd like and then bought flowers to go in it. That was such a thoughtful gift from such a young boy. Then a couple of years ago, he bought me a new digital camera, which was a fabulous present that I use quite a lot.

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Barbara, you sure brought him up right. Love the sound of the vase and flowers - and as you say, amazingly thoughtful! And the digital camera's a great present too!

Beth Andrews said...

Love the picture of my two favorite Annas!

I love shopping for the perfect present which is part of the reason I adore the Christmas season so much - and don't mind shopping on Black Friday :-)

Amy Andrews said...

Well now if I'd known you were keeping a cabana boy just for me, Anna, I would have been here sooner :-)

Anna Campbell said...

Beth, I love gift shopping too. Christmas is fun although I like to get in early and beat the crowds. How cool that we're your two fave Annas!

Anna Campbell said...

Amy, he's a particularly pretty one too. And definitely looks good in his loincloth! In fact, we all him the Loin King!

Mozette said...

Anna,

Mum bought me things I could use such as bags, an umbrella, two little lapel pins, a pill box (as I collect them a bit for when I go out), a little plate with his face on it and a few other things too. I said that when I do get there one day I'll buy the t-shirt and beach towel... :P

Anna Campbell said...

I'm laughing at the idea of a Mozart beach towel, although there probably is one! They seemed to put Mozart on everything. I wouldn't be surprised if there was Mozart toilet paper. The souvenirs sound like great fun! Actually speaking of souvenirs, one present I'm really fond of is lovely historical romance author Sophia Nash bought me a Campbell clan keyring when she was in Scotland. Always get a smile out of that.

Pat Cochran said...

On Valentine's Day in 1962, Honey and
I gave each other the perfect gift!
Our first child was born on that day!
That perfect gift visited his parents
today and drove his mother to a couple
of appointments today. Thank you, David!

Anna Campbell said...

Awww, Pat, that's a wonderful gift indeed! And he sounds like the gift that keeps on giving ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, everybody, for a great day of blogging. Really enjoyed sharing my great presents and hearing about yours. Don't forget to check back tomorrow night to see who won their choice from my backlist!

Bettye McKee said...

Wow! I have not read "My Reckless Surrender." I adored "Tempt the Devil" and just finished "Captive of Sin." Oh, Gideon, Gideon, my poor wounded hero!

Books are my friends but I have so many, no one gives me books because they don't know what I've read. My daughter gave me the complete works of Jane Austen. I think that was my best gift!

Julia Smith said...

I'm totally late to comment, but c'est la vie.

I love matching up the perfect gift with the right person.

I'm like this with greeting cards, as well. In fact, last year I gave my sister the perfect card for her wedding shower - which I'd bought over a decade ago when I used to live in Toronto, ages before she ever met her husband. When I saw it, I knew that I would need it for her someday.

The hilarious thing is that she started crying at the mere sight of the envelope with her name written in my handwriting. From experience, she already knew it was the card that says everything there is to say about our sister relationship, and my best wishes for her and her husband. But it sure took other people at the shower by surprise!

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Bettye, what a lovely message. You'll have to come back, LOL! Here, have our bonus cabana boy! Thank you so much for saying such nice things. I'm so glad you loved TTD and COS. Gideon really did suffer, didn't he, poor lamb! Oh, love the idea of the complete works of JA. What a great present.

Anna Campbell said...

Julia, plenty of cabana boys still to go around. Actually I'm like that with cards too. I love buying cards - and there's so many pretty ones out there now. When I grew up there were only those horrible unfunny cartoon ones that often had a rude message in them. Not my cup of tea. I love your story about your sister's card. How wonderful!

Louisa Cornell said...

Crawling out of the writing cave! Jane, you got the lovely gift of the GR whether you wanted him or not!

And La Campbell you KNOW I covet your Jubilee tea cup. What a lovely, lovely gift! Vrai Anna and her hubby win the prize in gift giving.

Speaking of perfect gifts, you and Vrai Anna always give me the perfect gift at Nationals. CADBURY'S CHOCOLATE !!

I think one of the most perfect gifts I ever received was from my Nana. I told her I wanted to be a writer. The week before we left for England (I was 9) she gave me her Smith Corona typewriter. I still have it. I don't think she ever realized what the gift of that typewriter meant to me or how much her faith in me has helped so much over the years. When I finally sell a book it will be due, in no small part, to her gift of that old typewriter.