Like I told you before, we usually do Christmas with my husband’s family over Thanksgiving. They do “the opening of the presents” differently than I’d always done it with my family. In my family, only one person opens a gift at a time. Everyone oohs and ahhs over each gift and the whole gift giving process can take quite a bit of time even though my family is not very big.
Kelly’s family is very large and in their family, Uncle Sam (That’s not a pseudonym. My children actually have their own Uncle Sam.) passes out all the presents with help from the children and everyone opens everything simultaneously. Keep in mind that we have two Amys; two Bens; an Ann, an Anna, and a Hannah; a Karlea and a Kelly; a Kara and a Karen, and a child with the last name “Lawson” and family members who have the last name “Lawson,” Did I mention that most of the kids helping to distribute the presents can’t read? So I’m never quite sure if I’m actually opening the present that was meant to go to me or who gave my children any of their presents or if they ended up with what they were intended to have. Since we stay at Kelly’s mom’s when we’re there, I usually get a chance to see all of the gifts she received later in the evening after most everyone has gone home.
This year, one of the gifts we gave Kelly’s mom was a set of Amazing Grace products from Philosophy. I love Philosophy’s products and I especially love Amazing Grace. It has a very soft, clean smell. I gave the same gift set to my mom for her birthday and I thought my mother-in-law would like it, too. That’s why I was a little confused when after most of the rest of the family had left, she sat down beside me with one of the bottles and said simply, “Explain this, please.”
I was flummoxed.
“Well,” I said, “it’s a shower gel, lotion, and perfume that I really like and I thought maybe you’d like it, too.”
“Oh,” she said.
We talked for a few more minutes about fragrances and the like. I was only half-way listening because my mind was reeling wondering why the gift needed an explanation. As long as I’ve known her, and from what I hear, even before I came on the scene, my mother-in-law has worn Youth Dew by Estee’ Lauder. One of my brothers-in-law and his wife give her a new bottle every November for her birthday. Maybe, I thought, she was offended that I would give her a fragrance gift when everyone knew she already has a signature scent. Since the gift had already been given, I just made a mental note to stay away from fragrances as gifts in the future. They can be a very personal choice. The next day, however, she used the products and told us that she really thought she would enjoy them.
On the way home from Kentucky, I called my mom and she asked me how everyone in Kentucky liked the gifts we’d given them. I told her that I wasn’t sure that I should have given my mother-in-law the Philosophy set. But honestly, after we talked, I really didn’t give it much more thought.
Taken from somewhere on the Internet
My mom called me while I was out Christmas shopping and said, “I think I may know why Kelly’s mom responded the way she did about the Amazing Grace gift. Have you read the bottle?”
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Philosophy products, each bottle has a “philosophical” paragraph or two imprinted on it. The paragraphs are usually feel-good kind of “touchy feely” words. Since I just happened to be shopping in a store that carries Philosophy products, I decided to wander over and read the Amazing Grace bottle.
In case you can’t read the small print on the bottle in the picture, let me include it for you here:
The natural aging process causes the soft tissues of our faces and bodies to begin to descend. Our eyebrows frown, our lids droop, our eyes appear hollow, our noses and ears larger, and our jawbone is less defined. As for our breasts, bellies, and our buttocks, it’s no different. We can fight the process or we can yield to losing our bodies, gaining our souls, and finding our grace.
Lord, love a duck. I did NOT just give this to my mother-in-law. Drooping eyebrows, hollow eyes, big old nose and ears with a blurry jawbone? Did they just go there? Breasts, bellies, and buttocks?! Are you kidding me?!
I don’t know that I was even in the running, but my chances of becoming the favorite daughter-in-law this year are looking about as promising as this year’s Republican presidential nominee hopefuls.
So Ranger Rick Safety trip and word to the wise for your Christmas giving: Read the fine print, people. Especially on the gifts that go to your mother-in-law.
By the way, Jen and Tara at shortyarns invited me over for a visit this week. They wanted me to write about Santa losing his sleigh on Christmas Eve. As someone who spent fifteen minutes looking for her keys this afternoon only to find them stuck in the front door keyhole, I felt I had something to say. As someone who has spent the last two days walking up and down through every store parking lot in town trying to remember where she parked the paid-for minivan, I felt well-equipped to write on this subject. To the guys who watch the parking lot surveillance cameras at Walmart and Target, you’re welcome. I’m glad I could amuse and entertain you with my parking lot wanderings. Anyway, come on over and read this week’s entries. Jen wrote a very imaginative piece about Santa being outsourced by those little Elf on the Shelf guys. It’s a fun site. Check it out!