Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Strangest Gifts of All

The Christmas season never goes by that I don't receive a really strange gift. Now, I should say that I am always happy to receive any gift, and I'm thankful and grateful for even the strange ones. But, these strange gifts somehow find their way to me.

Take for instance, the year I received a silver Southwest medallion. I wear very little jewelry. And, the jewelry I do wear, I try to keep pretty simple. Occasionally, I bust out the pearls. But most days, I call it good with a simple pendant, my wedding rings, and two other band-style rings. My watch, if you call it jewelry, I wear almost every day as well.

So the Southwest medallion, in all its sunbursting, two-inch diamater beauty was strange enough on its own, but the fact that it was supposed to be worn as a choker notched it up into the upper realm of strange. Add to that fact that it also had three interchangeable "chains." One "chain" each of silver, amethyst, and jade allowed for customizing the medallion to any wardrobe.

This year, in the same "Native American"/Southwest vein, I received a box of incense made from natural wood. My boss ordered it from New Mexico, complete with an incense burner. I'm wondering if I'm channeling a "western" vibe to my friends and family.

However, some of the strangest Christmas gifts I've ever received involved, of all things, teeth.

Last year, for instance, Buzz and I received a package in the mail. We opened the box, and inside was a beautifully wrapped box. The gift tag said, "To Buzz and Martia," and included a little Merry Christmas note. We opened the box and it was a electric toothbrush. Albeit, a really nice electric toothbrush, but still just ONE electric toothbrush. We had a great laugh and wondered if the couple who blessed us with this toothbrush shared a toothbrush on a regular basis.

But, the strange "tooth" gift that takes the total cake came years ago when I was working a one-hour photo lab in Alabama. It was a very small one-hour photo lab, independently owned until one of the huge conglommerates bought it. We had four employees, and we were all women, which made us a fairly tight-knit group. So, every year, we had Christmas Eve breakfast together before we opened the doors for the big day's shopping rushes. (I still can't believe how many people buy cameras on Christmas Eve!)

As we had breakfast and exchange gifts with each other, I noticed that our boss, Becky, gave everyone an identical little box in addition to another gift. I opened my little box and inside was a tiny trinket box with a little hummingbird on top. It had a hinged lid and looked like the perfect size to store a ring or two. I tucked the trinket back into the box and opened the rest of my goodies.

I woke up on Christmas morning at my parents' house and had a great time exchanging gifts with them. Just before breakfast, the phone rang and Momma told me that Becky was on the line. My thoughts raced from, "Oh no, we ARE open on Christmas and everyone is wondering where I am" to "Holy crap, did I forget to drop off the bank deposit on the way home?"

But, no. Nothing quite like that had happened. Instead, Becky casually but very nervously says, "Merry Christmas, Martia." I could tell, though, that she had something else to say. "Hi, Becky! Merry Christmas."

"So, that little trinket box I gave you. Did it have anything inside it?" she asked.
"Hmmmm... I don't think so," I said. But I was trying to remember if I had even opened it yet.
"Can you just take a look and see for me?" she asked again, very, very nervously.
"Ok, hang on a second." I ran to look through my stuff, hoping that I had it handy. I found it, opened it and lo and behold there WAS something inside it.
"Uhhh... Becky, I think there's a tooth in it."
"Oh, thank God," Becky positively squealed into the phone. "It's the first tooth my daughter pulled. I'm giving all my kids their first tooth back this year for Christmas in little trinket boxes. We just opened gifts, and Sherry's tooth wasn't in hers, so I realized I must have mixed up the boxes."

So, I received someone else's baby tooth for Christmas.


Theresa Williams said...

Well, that explains the mystery of the tooth! I enjoyed this entry very much. I was really laughing about the SW choker. Thanks for sharing this with me. I'll keep you informed about my tooth story!

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