Grandmom’s rampant gift giving

by Jessie K on December 26, 2012

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMerry Christmas, everybody! Jake, June and I headed up to Baltimore to spend Christmas with Jake’s family. We had a blast — lots of good food, laughter, commotion and games. Jake is the eldest of six, and most of his siblings have children of their own, so his parents’ house tends to get very busy around holiday time.

Every year, Jake’s Grandmom, who is probably one of the more loving and generous women I know, presents everyone with a large plastic storage bin packed really, really tightly with gifts. I’m talking a minimum of 20 gifts each for every man, woman and child present. And she doesn’t do one bin per family or even one bin per couple — everyone gets their own Tupperware bin of Christmas cheer.  It’s Grandmom’s signature Christmas move — burying loved ones with tchotchkes, weird whatnots and random doohickeys for the home, regardless of taste, desire or necessity.

I don’t know if it’s because she came of age during the Depression when knicksknacks were scarce, but Grandmom equates quantity with love; the more loot you receive, the more you’re loved.  And evidently, we’re all loved very, very, very, very much. Nor can this rampant outpouring of love be stopped. A couple of years ago, one of her children asked her to please, for the love of Christmas, ease off the unbridled gift giving, and Grandmom has reduced the size of the bins to a more manageable shipping box, but the sheer volume of gifts from Grandmom is still through the roof.

Here is a taste, a mere sampling of some of the more inspired presents we all received from Grandmom this Christmas.

(We love you, Grandmom! There is no one like you. We wouldn’t trade your rampant gift giving for anything!)


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Leah December 26, 2012 at 2:51 pm


Maybe Grandmom has a bigger sense of humor than any of them realize!

Jessie K December 30, 2012 at 10:19 am



Cyn December 26, 2012 at 10:04 pm


I Love the Grandmom’s with all their holiday cheer! I would have loved the soap dispenser…I was looking for one this year!

Olga December 27, 2012 at 12:07 am


OMG! This post actually made me feel better about my own situation. I couldn’t sleep tonight because of a box of useless gifts we got. I was upset and depressed, I just don’t get the waistfulness of unwanted gifts. It took us 6 years to wean my inlaws from giving us crap and now that we have a kid, all bets are off… Tons of gifts again. But my box is not nearly as big or useless as yours. Thanks Jassie!

Marmie December 27, 2012 at 7:59 am


Frankly Jessie,I am disappointed that you did not include pictures of the beaded safety pins in the shape of very small lamp shades. Maybe one of your readers could give us a hint as to how they could possibly be used. And what about the large crystal teardrop? I am sure Abby would gladly donate that to a worthy cause if she only knew what it was. And the make them yourself moccasins originally sold to some guy in Wisconsin in the 70’s (packing slip still in the kit)? Now that is something everyone wants for Christmas.

Olga, I used to get depressed about receiving all of the useless stuff too. Now that my children are older, they take it home with them so I don’t have to deal with it. Your day will come. My children now have fun hiding their “treasures” in the boxes of their siblings for them to find later. It has taken me a while, a long while, but I realize that we actually have fun exploring the possibilities of the potential usefulness of our boxes and that one day, and I hope that day is a long way off, we will miss the creativity of some very misguided craftsmen whom Grandmom has immortalized on Christmas morning.

Jessie K December 27, 2012 at 9:27 am


I know! I dropped the ball. There were so many wacky and wonderful knickknacks to shoot but I only snapped a few of them! Maybe I’ll have to do an addendum post of all the amazing gifts I missed…that is, if the recipients still have them.

Janelle December 31, 2012 at 11:16 pm


The wheelchair mirror takes the cake!

Whitney January 6, 2013 at 2:15 pm


I’ve been reading your blog for months. Ever since my hubby bought me your book. Most of the time, I’m just to lazy to comment, but this post brought me out of Lurkville, USA. I was laughing so hard at each gift that my ten-month old son, was laughing at me laughing. I love the tea set and the wheelchair mirror. Your captions were so funny!!! It must be so much fun for her to collect all of these gifts throughout the year! It reminded me of all the gifts my g-ma sent to me as a kid. I waited every day for the UPS truck to drop of the package. Most of the items were Avon makeup and jewelry. Sometimes a handbag or wallet with tissue and mints still inside. The packages would arrive a little battered. Grandma didn’t find boxes to put odd shaped items in, she just wrapped around the item in g-ma style. So, must of the time, the packages would arrive torn and you could peek inside them!! :). Also, she would send sugar cookies in a tin. By the time they made it to our front door, they were just bits and pieces. We didn’t care, because grandma made them. She died two years ago. I miss her. I will carry on the tradition with my grand kids, provided I live to see them. Lol. I’m an older momma. :)

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