I’m going to just put it out there: I’m pretty terrible when it comes to timely gifts. Holidays come and go so quickly – and I’ll find I miss someone here, someone else there. I was behind on two presents for my sister Alicia, and the same for my sister Theresa. Both parents were back at least one present, more if you start digging through the historic archives of my youth.

I decided to redeem myself this year with iPad 2s for everybody. After months of planning, this weekend was the great unveiling – conveniently coinciding with Mother’s Day.

In order to maintain the highest level of secrecy I had to enlist the help of my brother in-law Dwane and Theresa’s boyfriend Pat. I mailed the iPads to them, and then asked for their help in setting up the new gadgets – I would personally deliver the final iPad to my parents. Alicia was the first to receive hers (last weekend) – which was very lucky because hers was the most technically challenging. It turns out she runs Mac OS 9 – This Operating System is not compatible with iPads. So sadly, she had to buy a new operating system. Lame. Still, Alicia was super excited and for a full week sent me constant Angry Birds updates.

Theresa received hers next on Saturday morning. Her reaction was a hilarious combination of laughter and confusion. Special thanks to Pat for an epic reveal. “Whose iPad is this?!?” she asked through incessant giggles.

Finally, came the grand moment of letting my folks open their iPad2. I got Alicia and Theresa to connect to my parent’s and my iPad via FaceTime. I then wrapped up the iPads so that upon opening them, my parents would be greeted with the faces of my sisters. Ha ha!

My parents opened the present and laughed, and then suddenly got really confused.

“Wait, is this LIVE?” Mom D exclaimed, “What is this?!?”

My Mom and Dad seemed pretty excited once they learned that these were not some unusual video picture frame device, but instead a super sweet technological wonder.

Theresa, Pat, Mom D, Dad D, and Alicia

(fun update: if you look carefully, you can see me in my orange t-shirt taking the picture in the ‘self-view’ window on the iPad my mom is holding – it’s a full family photo! even if Theresa is being blocked by some fingers)

I hope that these will help my family keep in closer contact through FaceTime and help us all be more productive and more knowledgable through great apps. But really, they may just result in a lot more family conversations about the best angle to slingshot furious feathered fowl.

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