Thursday, December 29, 2011

That Perfect Gift

Have you ever bought a gift for someone that was so PERFECT you just could NOT wait for them to see it?

This happens to me every so often.  And it happened this year.

Back when Ben was finishing up his initial training in the Army, he got this really cool looking flight jacket.  The jackets were made for everyone personally, with their pick of patches and name embroidered on the front:

Ben didn't like the huge back patches they offered.  They all had the "Kill the Insurgents" theme with skulls and daggers and all that.  He felt, and I don't blame him (I am actually proud of him), that killing people wasn't the reason he joined the military... so he told the jacket makers to leave the back patch off.  They gladly complied, and Ben found this really nice Eagle and flag one:
Which I sewed on when he got home.  I LOVE this jacket!  Not only does my man look super hot and macho in it (which is the main reason I like it), but it kind of shows off all his hard work and accomplishments in classy, not so in-your-face way.  It reminds me of an Army version of a letterman jacket.

And the boys adore it!  So much in fact, that a long time ago, I found this little brown flight jacket at the DI (Deseret Industries, a thrift store) WAY before Ben joined the Army and the kids only showed interest in it AFTER their daddy came home sporting a similar one.  Now, for the last 2 or so years, the kids fight over this little gem every time we go out:
Sadly, it's only a 3T and my kids are just way too big for it!  But they were still fighting over it and insisting on squeezing into it to the point of looking absurd.  So for Christmas this year, I had an idea.  I looked all over town for some coats the boys might like that were similar... no such luck.  I couldn't find anything!  Then about 3 weeks ago, I was looking at some of the military sites and pricing patches for Ben's uniform when, much to my utter delight, I came across this:
I was floored!  That black one was the EXACT SAME as Ben's!!!  But for kids!!!  And with a coupon code, they were MORE than affordable!!  I did the "Computer-Chair-Dance-of-Joy" as I quickly ordered them and then waited for them to come.  Sure, they didn't have the patches, but I know of a great Army Surplus place on the way to my mom's that I planned to stop at and pick up some.

Smith and Edwards had ALL the patches I was looking for!  I even checked with the "specialist" there to make sure I wasn't going to put patches on my kid's coats that shouldn't be worn by anyone but a service member.  One of my biggest fears is some high ranking guy coming up and telling me that my kids aren't allowed to wear "such and such."  The patch expert was really helpful and helped me pick out some patches that were like Dad's.

Then when the coats came, for several nights I stitched patches on the coats.  The only thing I didn't do was put their name on it (I don't think that's very safe for kids). I was so excited to see their little faces on Christmas morning that I could hardly stand it!!  I wrapped both the presents in the same box, so they could open it together and made it so it was the LAST thing they opened.  Here's what happened:

They were so excited!
It was hard to even get them to take off their PJ's so they could get dressed to go to church.  We let them wear the coat to church though and you should have seen how proud they were at they marched next to matching Dad.  And Ben is such a good sport about the whole thing!  Some dad's would be mortified if their kids wanted to wear matching outfits with Dad... but not Ben.  He actually loves it that the boys look up to him so much.

Did you give the perfect gift this year too??



Carrie and Karl said...

I gave my brother and sister-in-law a quilt for Christmas and they LOVED it! I tried to keep track of things they would like and used those ideas for the quilt. It took them over 10 minutes on the phone to tell me how much they loved it. It was extremely rewarding.
I'm glad the boys like their coats, they're adorable.

The Kooky Queen--Rachel said...

This is the cutest post ever! How cool that your husband has the eagle on his coat instead. I just love the coats for your boys too. SUPER cool!