When we were kids, my sister and I used to give our Nano terrifically bad Christmas presents. In our defense, we didn’t know they were terrible. We were kids. By definition, we gave wretched gifts.
Every year, for many years, we gave her hand lotion and Christmas dish towels. I guess we were working from the logic that we’d seen her use dish towels, it was Christmas, so a Christmas dish towel must be what she would want. Plus, hand towels are affordable.
Why my parents never deterred us from this line of thinking is a bit of head scratcher, but never the less, the poor woman got dish towel after dish towel from us. Each with an increasingly heinous snowman, cat, Santa, Mrs. Claus or reindeer screen printed on it.
The one beauty of the Christmas-themed gift was she was able to say she needed to put it away for next Christmas, since she’d received it after the time for display had passed. I don’t think we ever saw any of them in actual use. Yet, we were undeterred for nearly a decade in our decision to keep gifting her with the things.
A few years ago, after my sister and I had children of our own and Christmas was much less about us and much more about them, Jamie and I started getting hand towels each year from Nano. It took us a couple of holiday seasons to catch on.
Nano has never said a word about it, but I think we’re being punked. In fact, I’m almost sure some of the hand towels we’ve gotten were the very ones we gave her all those years ago. She’s been saving them, biding her time, and I suspect having a very good chuckle at our expense when we plaster fake, toothy smiles on our faces and say, “Thank yoooou!”
So today I tip my hat to the best grandmother ever. Well played, Nano. Well played.