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“It came without ribbons!  It came without tags!  It came without packages, boxes or bags!”… Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!  “Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.  Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!”
Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Has your nearest and dearest (who should know better) ever bought you really awful gifts for Christmas?

Twice it happened to me – and I guess that’s not bad in 41 Christmases. It was our first Christmas; very newly wed having been married in November.  Christmas 1957 in London  – Christmas Day dawned and we went to my parents’ house to celebrate with the rest of the family.  Everybody passed presents and I was presented with a large, beautifully wrapped box by my new husband.

I couldn’t wait to open it…It contained a Sunbeam Mixmaster.

sunbeam mixmaster

A household appliance as a present did not feature high on my list of gifts I would like to receive.  My DYS (Dashing Young Scotsman) really couldn’t understand my disappointment.  My mother and sisters thought I was so lucky.  But that was the first and last time a household appliance featured on any gift list.  Mind you the gift worked hard and well for many years.

Fast forward 1972 to Wellington, New Zealand.  The children were still at home and as was our tradition we all sat around on Christmas morning with coffee and croissants and opened our gifts.  One of our traditions was that the children took it in turns to give out the gifts.  My daughter presented me with (again) a beautifully wrapped gift and when I opened it there was a silver goblet nestled in amongst tissue paper.  One of my pet hates was and still is silver goblets.  I have always hated drinking from them.

silvergobletHaving matured some since 1957, I smiled as graciously as I could as I accepted the gift.  My DYS was sitting, face wreathed in smiles as he watched me open it.

Another round of gifts and I was presented with another box, slightly different in shape but still beautifully wrapped.  I opened it.  Oh no – a matching silver goblet sitting in a bed of tissue.  My face must have told everything on my mind, because my small son couldn’t help himself and told me to be careful with the tissue.  And then, nestled in the tissue was a beautiful gold necklace.  Maybe the goblets came as a free gift with the necklace but …..  We have all laughed about that gift and it has become one of the tales that gets trotted out each Christmas.

Have you ever been given a gift that you wished you hadn’t received?  Let me know.

And here’s a song that many of you (read most of you) will not have heard. 

Perhaps the best Yuletide decoration is being wreathed in smiles.  Author Unknown

Christmas bells

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