Experiencing a Little Grown-up Christmas Magic

Monday, January 1, 2024

 Christmas is supposed to be a magical time, even the biggest scrooge understands that.  I understand that and in most aspects I'm pretty good at doing my part in making my corner of the world look magical.  I mean, I even arranged for Santa to make a special stop just two days before Christmas.  I'd say that's quite a feat. The aspect I'm not so successful at is the one involving gifts, which we can all agree has become a big, if not too big, part of Christmas.

It seems many of us are fortunate, blessed and living in what I think of as the "world of plenty".  Even the littles in my life had trouble coming up with a wish list this Christmas. For years now, John and I have skipped the gift exchange.  We buy what we need all year, and at Christmas we focus instead on buying for others.  You see, I don't really enjoy buying just 'for the sake of buying'.  Although gift cards are handy and appreciated, they don't hold the same sentimental value as a well thought out, personal, uniquely chosen gift.  The problem lies in the simple truth that those unique gifts are not easily found and they depend first on coming up with the perfect gift idea.  I've known a few people in my lifetime that were champions in the gift giving arena and I can assure you I've never been one of them.  I can also assure you that in my almost 70 years, I can probably list on one hand gifts I've received that fit this high standard.  The fact that I can only list a few of them isn't a bad thing, in fact, it makes this year's home run that much more special and meaningful.

For as long as I can remember, I've loved to write.  I kept journals in my teens, and began writing my memoir in my early 20's.  I studied business courses in high school and typing was one of my favorite classes.  I was really good at it and was lucky to have a typewriter at home thanks to my mother buying me one from NYS surplus.  I won awards for my typing speed and graduated with the highest 3-year average in business subjects.  I didn't go to college and instead took a clerical job at Skidmore College for two years before following my parents'  footsteps with a job with the State.  I spent my lifetime in office jobs where typing was a necessary skill.  

My love of writing continued and technology evolved and computers were born. I've since written almost 500 pages of memoir and almost 10 years of blogs. Though I kept up with the times, my love of my roots didn't fade and in 2016 I wrote a blog about the Black Sheep Antiques where I fell in love with this 1915 Underwood typewriter.  This is what I wrote: "I also loved how many items just really hit a nerve and brought back so many fond memories - like the typewriter above.  I learned to type on something that didn't look so much different from this one.   Well, it was a bit younger than this 1915 model, but many of its features were just like ones I learned on. (Thank God ours in high school were electric, not manual.)  But I did have a manual one at home. If I had had a spot to display this, I would have bought it in a heartbeat."   

Last month John and I visited Sugarbush Lane Mercantile and I wrote a blog about it (my 586th blog).  One of the items that really caught my eye there was this compact little Underwood Universal typewriter. Nearly eight years after spotting the one at Black Sheep, I still had a soft spot for this relic that symbolized a hobby and passion that has been part of my life for many, many decades.    Again, I left the shop without it for two reasons, 1) that's not the sort of thing one indulges in for oneself and 2) I really felt it should have the proper setting to showcase its beauty and I wasn't sure I had that. 

  Christmas morning I woke to find that this year would be one of those magical years when that one special gift would melt my heart and fill my eyes with tears.  That pretty little Underwood with a bright red ribbon was waiting for me.  John had succeeded in making a clandestine trip to Charlton to secure what he knew would be a sweet Christmas surprise.  Research tells me this beauty is either 1933 or 1934 and she still works.  Now you might call my finally having an antique typewriter just a dream come to fruition, but I call it Christmas Magic.  I also call it gift giving of the very best kind - the kind that comes now and then, but not every time because then it wouldn't be special.  This gift doesn't make me love my other Christmas gifts any less.  It doesn't outweigh the truly wonderful gifts in the first photo of this blog - my sweet spouse and the family we've built together,  but it's definitely one for the record books that will go down in history as perhaps the best gift I've ever received.
To see more about Sugarbush Lane Mercantile, check out my blog: https://www.lifeasiseeitphotography.net/2023/12/sugarbush-lane-mercantile-in-historic.html

1 comment

  1. Gail, this is a great story and such a wonderful gift. I loved it! My Dad had an old typewriter and I used to use it all the time when I was younger. Now it sits in my basement. You have inspired me to bring it out, dust it off and display it so all can enjoy it's beauty.


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