Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas, man

I posted about DIY gifts for men a few weeks ago.  Like I said, it is so hard for me to think of a made gift that a man...really wants/needs.  If you google "DIY gifts for men" (or something similar) you get a lot ideas that are doable and fun for us diyers to make...but if we are honest with ourselves I think we would admit that most of the gifts are more fun for us to make than they are fun for a man to receive.

So I challenged myself to come up with a gift for Sean that would be something that he could really appreciate and enjoy.  It was not easy!  If I could make a tablet computer I would be all set.  If I could create the perfect non-stick pan that doesn't scratch...I would be all set.  If I could make socks that keep his feet the warmest they have ever been while being the most comfortable out there...I would be all set.  I can do none of those things.
For a long time, the best I could come up with was making him a ridiculous number of bookmarks.  He is always looking for a bookmark and continually pissed that his make-shift teeny tiny piece of paper bookmark gets lost and he loses his spot.  All. the. time.  That would be a fun stocking stuffer/gag gift but it doesn't really cut it as "THE gift".

Then it struck me.  Brady was probably running around with a hammer and screwdriver or something when it hit me.  Sean doesn't really have a space to put all of his tools in the house.  The outside tools have a place in the garage but the inside tools have two real a messy pile at the top of the stairs are the tools that get used infrequently.  Lining the bottom of the stairs are the tools that get used frequently.  Honestly, though, at any moment any of the tools could be found anywhere because they are easily accessible for our two year old.  Not cool.  Fix it, self.  Merry Christmas, Sean.

Sean has been very tolerant of my decorating adventures in every room.  Not only tolerant but very supportive.  He has no problem that I took over an entire room for sewing/jewelry making.  He has even been ok with me taking over the dining room as a craft room while my brother moved into my previous craft room.  What kind of message am I sending when I make him keep his tools in an inconvenient spot where our two year old can use, lose and abuse his tools?  I think (hope) by making an actual space for his tools I am sending a message (subtly) that I value his tools and all the things he does for our family with those tool.
Cleaning out the closet.
I was down to the first layer of stuff before I remembered to take a picture.

We have a catch-all closet in our dining room which mostly stores everything we have ever hidden from company.  My big idea for Sean's gift was to build out the closet and give him space for his tools.  I realize this gift will benefit me as well but I think just getting it done is a huge weight off of Sean's shoulders.  Anytime any of us needs something from the bottom of the closet we have to remove everything and then rebalance the stacks of boxes.

I started by unpacking some of the boxes that have been in there since we moved in over a year ago.  I moved all of my grandmother's china to our china cabinet.  That was 5+ boxes and the stuff in the closet seemed to be back at the ceiling less than a week later.  Slowly I found permanent homes for other things in the closet.  Then I called my dad because it became very clear that I was in over my head in terms of skill level required and time left until Christmas.  My dad agreed to help me when he arrived (the week before Christmas).  I planned some other small gifts because I wasn't positive we would get it done before Christmas.

My dad got here last Sunday.  On Monday we (he) drew out all the plans, made a list of supplies, and shopped.  Milo at Home Depot in Somerville was awesome.  He was so nice and cut everything perfectly.  He and my dad buddied up and he did our ~40 cuts of wood for free.  Merry Christmas!

Brady doing his final inspection.

In my mind my dad would come and we would do everything together.  I would gain some confidence with the more powerful tools in my house and I would really get to contribute.  Two cranky kids and one highly motivated dad means I pretty much contributed my idea and dad did all the building.
Sean giving it two thumbs up.
The other plan that didn't happen like I imagined was how/when Sean "got" his gift.  I imagined we would keep it a secret until Christmas day.  I imagined that I would get his tools in there and all organized.  In a perfect world I would even paint the shelves so they looked pretty.  Ha.  My dad was putting in the last screws minutes before Sean walked in the door.  There was no time to put everything back in the closet.  B knew what we had been working on and was excited to show Sean his present.  So we decided to just go ahead and "give" it to him.  

The minute Sean walked in B was at the door ready to show him his closet.  Sean was completely shocked.  I think it was so far off from what he was expecting me to do that he didn't know what to say.  He thought it was a really cool idea and liked that it was unexpected.  If he doesn't understand that I did it because I value everything he does to fix up the house, he will now b/c I am going to make him read this.  Love you, Sean!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...