Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mixed-up Christmas Gifts

One Christmas I remember fondly when my older family members were still alive, and my relatives were still talking to one another was the mixed up Christmas gifts story. My Grandmother and I gave the wrong gifts to other family members.

The mixed up Christmas gift story goes like this:

I was working a job in retail to make money before getting married to my longtime boyfriend. Usually the manager scheduled me to work Christmas Eve. But this year, he must have been feeling his tiny black heart, becoming bigger allowing me to leave two hours before closing time.

Leaving the store, I remembered that I still had several people to buy gifts for. I had not bought anything for my sister's husband or my brother's girlfriend. I figured it would be a nice thing to buy them each a gift.I searched the store high and low looking for a gift for each person. Not having much of a selection  in the clothing department, I selected a more expensive one of a kind ornament from Hallmark for my brother's girlfriend. Realizing that my brother's girlfriend was Jewish did not deter my purchase. I knew my brother and his girlfriend were living together and they put a tree in their apartment. I figured they could use this pretty ornament on their tree.
Moving to the front of the store, I looked through the cologne aisle, selecting a bottle of cologne for my brother in law.
My brother picked up our Grandmother and our Grandfather from their homes, on his way to my parents' home.

When it came time to open presents, my Grandmother who at this time was about 89, handed out similar looking boxes with the same ornamental wrapping paper she lovingly adorned each. All ten of us happy to be together family members opened our gifts. I ripped off the wrapping, opened the box finding nothing inside. As I sat there, kind of stunned, alternately thinking, Grandma doesn't love me anymore, to Grandma is getting forgetful in her old age, I was trying my best to not give away what I didn't get for Christmas. My brother yelled from across my parents large living room, "What'd you get Kate?"
Okay, so what was I supposed to do now? I was holding a box with nothing in it. My brother's girlfriend sat there stunned looking at her ornament acting like it was a hot pan about to light up in her hands. My brother in law, started laughing because he had opened his gift, and as he showed us the gift I gave him, it was aftershave, not cologne. He yanked on his beard, saying "Thanks Kate, but I'm keeping it for awhile."
I apologized saying, I haven't seen you for a year, and my sister never mentioned you had grown a beard."
My brother started laughing very loudly and showed everyone what he got from our Grandmother, he had three black socks in his box, while my brother in law's from my Grandmother had only one black sock.
We all started laughing loudly, and my brother threw Ken his other sock making a matching pair.
At dinner my still red faced Grandmother said, she must have left my gift at home. I told it was okay, that it didn't matter, we all forget things from time to time.

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