I now remember the trouble with keeping a to-do list for several days on lj like that: I forget that my productivity over time is nonlinear. Specifically, I am not an afternoon person. I am a morning person, sometimes an early evening person as well, but definitely, definitely not an afternoon person. So I get a bunch of things done all at once in the morning and go around thinking, oh, good, I might as well add four or five more things to the list, because I have the time! And then I realize that, no, what I have is the afternoon, which is not at all the same. So I am working on not adding gratuitously to the list, and on making phone calls in predicted lulls in markgritter's business use of the phone. Which use is rather confusing today. And I'm finishing Scientific American (the last periodical on the pile right now) and poking at Orvokki's war story, which is now "Scribing a Line." And I am trying to forget that I don't know how to write war stories and just write it. So.
I was thinking about some of the most considerate gifts I've ever gotten, while writing an e-mail this morning, and I think my Aunt Doris may take the prize. A decade ago at Christmas, she got me a casual fall coat, reversible, burgundy on one side and burgundy/navy/hunter-green plaid on the other. Warm, comfy, nice. And as I was unwrapping it, she curled her lip and said, "Well, isn't that the loveliest thing you've ever seen." She hated it. She bought it for me anyway, because she knew it was what I wanted and needed; she knew it would make me happy. But she did not like that coat at all. I thought that was extremely considerate, to buy something she disliked that much when she knew I wouldn't.
Also, a few years before that, when I was 15 and just getting keys, my godfather Joe gave me a little pewter castle keychain. It was the first gift my extended family ever gave me that acknowledged that I liked That Fantasy Stuff. It was the first gift that said, yah, okay, that's how you are and who you are, and we're not going to wait around hoping you'll grow out of it any year now. A keychain was for growing up, for driving and independence, and Joe, whose reading is strictly mainstream-bestseller, got something that recognized my interests when he gave it to me. It meant a lot more to me than the price would indicate. (I still use that keychain. Comes down to it, I still wear that coat.)
How about you? What have you gotten in years past that turned out to be disproprotionately considerate or important to you?