the perfect gift

When I was a child at home, Christmas gift giving was limited since I had little money to spend on something for my four brothers and three sisters. (Actually, I had no money, but my mom could always spare at least twenty-five cents.) When I was really young, we didn’t give gifts to each other at all, but as I got older we exchanged names. I remember shopping at the dime store to buy some little trinket. But what can you buy with a quarter—handkerchief, stationery, pencils, mittens, socks, candy or nuts? Of course, it would be something I would want myself.

My dad always loved nuts and the smell of warmed cashews was just too tempting to pass up. I ordered a quarter’s worth thinking what a pleasure it would be to taste a few of them all warm from the paper sack before wrapping them. They’ll never notice a few missing nuts. Another Christmas I saw the most beautiful bracelet for only twenty cents. I couldn’t believe my good fortune. I chose my sister Milly’s name that year and I was so proud to give her something so precious. The shiny paint was nicked in places by the time she unwrapped it and put it on. She tried to act as though she liked it, but I could tell she couldn’t wait to take it off. I never saw her wear it again and years later I saw it in a pile of discarded odds and ends, like a broken light bulb.

About dmdubay

Since retiring from Northwest Airlines and moving to the Pacific Northwest, I have more time to devote to writing. My first novel, "Tales of Two Sisters" was published over a year ago. I have been writing poetry for a long time and am attempting to collate my poetry into a short book, with pictures. A sequel to "Tales of Two Sisters" should be getting closer to completion soon. Gardening and tending the vineyard take a lot of time in the summer. Even though I love the outdoors, these activities do cut down on my writing. So I appreciate that wintertime allows me time to write. Writing, for me, is what brings things into focus and helps me to make sense of the things that life brings. It is a gift to me and I hope that it will be to you also.
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