A brown parcel wrapped in craft paper tied together in twine with text above that reads, An Unexpected Surprise.

Surprising Birthday Celebration Leads To an Upgrade

  • Adam Douglas

This year I was expecting a quiet August birthday celebration at home with my son coming over to watch a movie. I decided to take things ease and play my favourite video game. Though this all seemed like a well laid plan, others and fate had a completely different ideas.

Pre-Celebration Woes

During the afternoon I decided to play Cities: Skylines. It has been almost a year I think since I last played. Unfortunately quite a few things are broken due to updates. This shouldn’t be shocking considering I play with quite a few mods to make the experience more enjoyable. However, I didn’t really want to fight with getting the game working, I just wanted to play. Times like this I miss the old games when updates were slow and for the most part just worked. In either case, I didn’t end up getting to play. I need to go back and finish figuring out which mod is causing the game to crash.


As I understood from a previous conversation my son was to come over around 19:00 (7 p.m.) and we would watch the movie The Batman (2022). So I carried on my day as usual and made up meal for my supper. So around 19:30 (7:30 p.m.) my son and his partner arrived with a couple frozen pizzas. Not even a few minutes pass before we could fully talk when a group of family members (my mom, brothers and sister-in-law) walk in with pizzas and a cake. This through me completely off as I didn’t expect this at all. You see my mother was supposed to be on vacation and said she wouldn’t be around. The unfortunate part in all this was I didn’t know about having a meal in the celebration. However, I ate a small meal and I couldn’t pass up eating a few slices (smile). We all visited as we ate, and we ended up not watching the movie.

Unexpected Gifts

If the celebration itself wasn’t enough of a surprise, the gifts I received were much more of a shock. I honestly couldn’t find the right words to say. Even now thinking about this, I still don’t know what to say other than “this is crazy” and “thank you so much”.

I started off by opening a small present from my bother and sister-in-law. It wasn’t really sure what it was other than possibly a tabletop game. Indeed, it was a table-top game I’ve been wanting for years to try out called, Pass The Pigs. I look forward to playing this.

Next my son handed me an unwrapped box of a Logitech keyboard and mouse combo. The unusual box and weight felt like there was nothing inside, which just added to the puzzled look I must have had on my face. I proceeded to open the box up and found three pieces of paper inside. Each sheet of paper had one photo printed on them of an AMD Ryzen 7 5700X Desktop Processor, ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming WiFi II Motherboard, and Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB of DDR4 RAM. This puzzled me more, because I thought there is no way he bought me all this to upgrade my current computer system. I found out that the photos were done because the order was late arriving. My son did say that he wanted to get something that would help me achieve my new job as a tech blogger and YouTube creator. This was and is just insane to me, but I am very grateful.

At this stage I figured this would be the end of being blown away by crazy gifts, but I was wrong. My other Brother says his gift has not arrived and proceeds to tell me that he purchased me a Samsung 990 PRO PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 1 TB SSD. Again, I was at a loss for words.

On top of all these thoughtful gifts I received two gifts prior to and after the celebration. First was a Tilley LTM5 Airflow Hat (khaki/olive) from my Mother. I’m was quite surprised as I’ve wanted one of these for a while now. Then the second was a card game ONO 99 given to me from my Aunt which I was not expecting. Since the card game is similar to Uno, I look forward trying it out.


A far amount of time has passed since this celebration and I still cannot believe the endless blessings I’ve received this year. It all seems to me as unimaginable. Every wonderful gift will be put to good use, especially the computer hardware as my current system is more than 8 years old now. This is the old hardware I was using.