• Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Meta

Shop at Home – Chapter 2

After reading my recent column about shopping at home, friends shared stories and agreed that I could share them here. 

 Five years ago, Jo found a newspaper from 1989 that had four-leaf clovers dried between its pages.  She remembered a day when her son Eli, then age 10, and his grandpa walked across the field between their homes.  Eli found 82 four-leaf clovers that day, and Jo had dried some of them in the newspaper that had been stored on a top closet shelf.  Jo cut an 8” x 10” section that showed the date from the paper.  She glued clovers around the paper’s edges and wrote a poem about that day when Eli and his grandpa were together.  Eli was 35 when he received the framed newspaper and poem, and he cried, as did all who watched him open his Christmas gift.  To make it an even more sentimental gift, Eli’s grandpa died in 1989.

            Delores shared that her mother writes a poem for her children’s birthdays and those saved poems are some of Delores’s most cherished gifts.  Recently, I found a picture of my granny holding my son when he was only six weeks old.  Jo’s and Delores’s gift ideasprompted me to write a short memory of Granny and mail it along with the picture to Son.  His immediate response and thank you give me the idea that a single picture with a short writing might be inside a few Christmas packages.

            Linda’s mother asked her brother and Linda to walk through her home and pick out the family pieces of antique furniture that they would like to have.  Last week, my friend Carol invited her only granddaughter to look through her jewelry and choose what she wanted.  I’m reminded of the day that my aunt took a ring off her finger and put it on mine. It was my grandma’s birthstone ring that had five stones:  one for each of my grandparents, my mother, and my two aunts.  Being the only surviving daughter, Aunt Doris wore the ring often.  That day she said, “It’s your turn to wear this ring.” 

            Friends also chimed in about regifting.  Nell said that her late step-mother thought she was the master re-gifter, but her gifts proved otherwise.  She gave a car vacuum with dirt inside the bag and a casserole dish with food stuck under the rim of the lid.  Her clothing gifts weren’t well received either:  a sweater with a speck of dried food on the front and a silk blouse with wrinkles where it had been tucked into a skirt waistline.

            One of the most legendary gifts that Nell’s step-mother gave was an evening clutch with theater stubs inside – not tickets, stubs.  This idea can be refined:  tickets or green folding money inside a new purse or wallet could be a really good gift.

            There are a at least two advantages of shopping at home:  you can wear pajamas and you’ll save money. Have fun shopping!  Only eight more days.

Why not shop at home?

            Is anyone Christmas shopping at home this year?  Not from home – at home?  My mom and Husband’s mom gave gifts that were theirs and that have become more valuable, sentimentally and, maybe, monetarily over the years.   

            I remember a Christmas in the late 1980s when I opened a lightweight package from under Mom and Dad’s tree and found a note inside.  I don’t remember exactly what Mom wrote, but my gift was a to choose a framed art print of a painting by Ralph McDonald from those that hung on Mom and Dad’s living room and dining room walls.  Mom had collected McDonald prints and now they were Christmas gifts for us children and spouses and grandchildren, who were teen-agers. 

            I was a surprised.  Mom and Dad liked these prints of wildlife in their natural settings, of frontier men and American Indians, and I couldn’t imagine how their house would look without these pictures.  And I wondered what if more than one of us chose the same print.  Mom explained the plan.  We were each to write the name of one or two favorite prints on a piece of paper and give it to her.  And while our chosen prints would be ours, she and Dad wanted to keep them hanging on their walls for a few more years.

            Mom knew us well – we didn’t choose the same prints.  After her death, when Dad sold their home and moved to a smaller place, Mom’s Ralph McDonald print collection had already been divided.  The Statesman, a picture a mockingbird, has hung on my living room wall since 1992.    

            Husband’s mother often shopped at home. When we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary, she gave us a set of glasses, Princess House Heritage pattern juice glasses.  Ann explained that they were really old, may fifty-years old, and she’d bought them at a ‘home party.’  I was always amused when Ann would say, “That’s really old,” a way of saying that’s something valuable and keep it.  I treasure these hand-blown etched crystal glasses and they fit my young Grands’ hands perfectly.  One of my favorite Christmas gifts from Ann was a plain heavy glass butter dish with a domed top that had been her mother’s.  It’s got a few scratches and a chip which reminds me that it set on the family kitchen table when Ann was a child. 

            Not all shop-at-home gifts are sentimental.  I have a gift stash:  Christmas hand towels, fancy napkins, notecards, pens with pom-pom tops, scented candles, magnifying glasses, copies of a favorite devotional book, and even a small decorative pillow.  These are items purchased at discount prices or gifts I’ve received and someone else will enjoy more than me.  (I’m careful not to re-gift to the one who gave the gift!)

            Shopping at home would be a good choice this year, but I’m not sure what’s here for our Grands.  What if I wrapped home things in Christmas packages, and we play a good old-fashion game of Grab Bag?  It could be a new tradition.