Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gifts that will not be forgotten

My Great Grandma Goodenough (God rest her soul) use to send me and my cousins boxes of random things growing up. I believe she intended them as gifts and perhaps even thought we might use the items. Sometimes these gift packs were for a specific holiday and sometimes we just got them out of the blue.
You see, my grandma was a garage sale shopper. She always liked to find a deal, even if it wasn't really a deal. I once went along with her to find these gems. That particular day, she bought some plastic figurines which she later super-glued to the dashboard of her 1978 Chevy Caprice. She also tried on some used lipstick at one of the garage sales, but decided it wasn't her color and put it back.
When I was in college, my entire dorm floor would gather around when I got a box from her because the contents were always so random. For instance, one Christmas, I got a white knit stocking cap (made for a child or perhaps even an infant - keep in mind, I was about 18 years old). The best part was after talking with my brother, who was 6'4" 260lb college football player, I found out he scored with the matching infant gloves in his box. Yeah, grandma never really had a good concept of the type of things we might actually enjoy or use, but she kept trying; and kept sending, again and again.
We got everything you can imagine from garage sales across Iowa, from dirty stuffed animals, to kitchen utensils, to food that was often in a questionable state by the time it arrived at our house.
Perhaps some of the best and most memorable gifts was a bright red sweatshirt with a giant screen printed teddy bear on the front. The teddy bear print had a great big smile, open arms, and was surrounded by pink and blue hearts. At the top, it said, "I need a hug." I would have been killed instantly if I would have worn it anywhere.
But I think my all-time favorite gift, which I regret now not holding onto for memory sake, was a baby-blue mesh hat, with the words carefully embroidered on the front, "My love belongs to my Daddy." As an added touch, my name was thoughtfully airbrushed above the words.
At times, we questioned her sanity and would try to visit her so she could see how old we actually were with the hope that it might sink in that she was sending us stuff we could never use. Unbelievably, despite her poor judgment on picking gifts out for us, she always remembered exactly what she sent each of the grandkids. Needless to say, it was always awkward when she asked me face-to-face how I liked the teddy bear sweatshirt, customized faux trucker hat, and kitchen accessories.


drinkswellwithothers said...

My personal favorites of received gifts: "One Sweet Sale" JCPennys 1/2 eaten candy bar; 2 pairs of size XXL hipster underwear (my mom and aunts received the other 10 from the pack); A coloring book; Hot cocoa and saltine crackers stolen from the nursing home and carefully wrapped in paper towels; And, my personal favorite, a magnet that said "Bless the Day we Fell in Love".

Cousin Kimmy

jan said...

Oh my gosh -too funny. Lord, keep me from doing this to my grandkids! jan

Jessica W. said...

That's too cute. I love randomness like that. Memories make me smile.