Tuesday, November 8, 2011

No Gifts Please and We Ignored That

Dale was adamant that he didn't want presents. It's totally understandable. When you have lived 80 full years, what is left to acquire that you don't already have in some fashion. Donations to charities are popular as are gift cards to those establishments you know someone like Dale frequents. It's also suggested you give the gift of time. Hand them a coupon book with coupons good for "Two free trips to the doctor's office." or "One full day of yard work" or "A weekend of dinners". I ignored all that and Dale's admonition that he didn't want anything.

One marvelous thing about Dale that you need to know is, he loves to point out the moon and the constellations to his grandkids and great-grandkids. Many nights when Makayla has stayed overnight, the two of them will be in the sunroom window with him pointing out the moon as it rises over the fields. His joy in showing her the heavens is palpable. It reminds me of my dad and how interested he was in stargazing.

So, I decided we would get Dale a star. What that means is, you contact one of the hand full of companies who have naming rights to stars. For a fee, they will select a star and attach the name of your choice to it. These don't really have recognized astronomical cache, but, if you are given sky coordinates, any good astronomer or observatory should be able to find "your star".

I went with one of the oldest companies doing this, the International Star Registry. There are a lot of companies that are cheaper but ISR let me pick the constellation where the star is located. I did not want to fork over hard earned cash only to get a star visible only from Australia.

Here Dale looks at the initial certificate.
I was expecting a nice little 8 x 10 inch certificate. We had debated whether to frame the certificate or just let Dale decide. I was amazed when the box came and this is 12 x 18 inches. So much for framing them. We'll let Dale decide if he wants to do that. 

I also decided to pick a constellation that never sets. That way, any time of the year, he could go out in the yard, look up and see the constellation where his star is located. I chose Ursamajor, the Big Dipper. There's probably not a constellation more familiar to North Americans than that one. They sent a large star chart with the location circled.
You can see how they outlined the "bear" in the constellation and where Dale's star is located relative to the familiar dipper and handle. It will probably take binoculars to find it. I wish I'd known about this when my dad was alive. This would have been perfect for him, too.

Dale's sister said, "Well, that's the closest you're going to get to heaven." And his kids were teasing him that it's appropriate that his star is located near the bear's butt. I like to think it was the perfect gift. Didn't need to be wrapped and he doesn't have to find a place in an overstuffed curio cabinet for it.

I am very pleased with this company. If you are looking for a unique gift, I can recommend this wholeheartedly. I think, in this case, breaking the "no gifts" request was worth it.

Beverage:  Dr Pepper


No comments:

Post a Comment