Monday, December 7, 2015

Holiday Cheery Story

Memory Story #9

For many years it was financially difficult to give great holiday gifts to my parents. We figured out a way to surprise them with a gift each year and the plan snowballed from the first year thereafter. Because their wedding anniversary was August 12 and they were married in 1934, this was what we did.

August is the eighth month of the year and for eight months, starting in May, we purchased one specialty product a month. It was the start of a stash which, by December would consist of eight items. The items were grocery edible types of which they, being very frugal, wouldn't buy for themselves because it would be considered extravagant and extravagance was considered to be a "No! No!"

After watching their pleased reactions of receiving the contents of the brown bag for a  few years, it was decided that eight special grocery selections weren't enough so we started stockpiling in January buying one "anything" article a month for twelve months. The hoard was difficult for us not to raid when desire for an item was strong, but determination prevailed.

Now you might correctly guess what would happen after that! Yes! Thirty-four elements were saved, three a month for eleven months and one more in December. This became an annual ritual. Oh! What fun it was to see the surprise as each piece was pulled from those brown bags! " Oohs!" and "Ahhs!" were uttered and appreciation and delight were shown for the choices of objects they now had. Their response was wonderful and sweet to see.

It's those times that we remember fondly at Christmastime.

For your question of "Just WHAT did you purchase?" Here's what I remember:

• can of smoked oysters  
• can of red sockeye salmon
• can of lobster bisque soup
• can of New England style clam chowder
• can of skinless-boneless sardines
• can of asparagus spears
• can of artichoke hearts
• canned ham
• canned brown date bread
• canned pecans and peanuts
• jar of tiny baby gherkins
• jar of marmalade
• jar of mint jelly
• jar of honey butter
• jar of pimento cheese spread
• box of gingerbread snaps
• box of hard, round oyster crackers
• box of peanut brittle
• bar of cheddar extra sharp cheese
• Constant Comment tea
• amaretto liqueur
• figs and dates and cumquats
• pomegranate
• toasted coconut macaroons
• Black Jack chewing gum
• Teaberry chewing gum
• Licorice Allsorts
• Walnetto caramel candy
• Root beer barrels
• ribbon candy
• maple leaf candy
• Bay Rum aftershave
• Apple Blossom Cologne
• Lifebuoy bar soap
• Vermont maple syrup

GMR - December 20, 2008  (Pop Nulton's birthday)


  1. It is a good idea. In my family we have stopped with the gifts. We all go to our favorite local restaurant
    (Raso's) and enjoy an evening teasing the crap out of each other. Nothing vicious but lots of laughs. Laughter is a great gift.