The Christmas Closet

Some years back, I was at my elderly aunt’s house and offered to retrieve something for her in one of the back bedrooms. As I scanned the room,  I noticed a raft of items in her open closet.  I recognized a few of them as past Christmas gifts I and other family members had given her.

“What are all those gifts in the closet?” I asked her.  “Didn’t you want them?”

She looked at me apologetically. “Oh I did; I just didn’t have anyplace to put them.”

I wasn’t buying it. “C’mon.  Fess up.  If you didn’t want them, we could have exchanged it for something else.”

She looked shocked.  “You can’t do that,” she advised. “They’re presents.”

And so I found out that my aunt had a special place for her unwanted presents–never to be used but also never to be discarded.  (I managed to get a few things re-gifted to me, though, with a little persuasion. 😉 )

I don’t need a Christmas closet because, with very few exceptions, I’ve always used my Christmas gifts.  There were years when I had so many pairs of socks and nightgowns that I didn’t have any room for them in my dresser–but I wore `em out.  Maybe this is a testament to the gift-selection abilities of my loved ones, or maybe it’s a testament to how low my standards are in the gift-accepting department.  At any rate, there have never been any Christmas gifts getting dusty in my closet.

Gift selection isn’t easy.  Even if you know someone really well, you may not score with your gift choice.  My father is particularly hard to shop for.  Now a perky, independent 93, he’s owned just about everything and what he hasn’t owned he knows by now he doesn’t want.  Fortunately for his family, he’s a voracious reader and a proud owner of an iPad.  You can never get a e-book worm too many books.

I fear the Christmas closet. I don’t want my gifts to end up there.  I spend a lot of time trying to find the right gift, dammit, and I’d rather exchange the gift for a more useful one than have it languish in some Christmas gulag.

This past Christmas, I was somewhat fretting over what to get my little great-nieces, ranging in age from 5 to 1.  Between them they have enough clothes and toys to set up their own store, as most  loved children do. I happened to find these sweet little furry toys called Warm Buddies, which include a warming pack you can heat up in the microwave. How nice, I thought, for a child to cuddle with a warm furry critter on a winter’s night.

Appears this gift was a score.  My nieces were kind enough to tell me that my gifts were a hit, and today this photo appeared on my Facebook page.


Makes it all worthwhile, doesn’t it?


9 thoughts on “The Christmas Closet

  1. Awwwwwwwwwwwwww… Perfection.
    I agree. I would rather exchange a gift than have it gather dust. The kids around me are getting older, the youngest being six and up to fourteen. Except for the 6yo, iTunes cards were a HUGE hit.

    BTW. My granddaughter had some trouble with the Apple Store when setting up my iPad. I finally went to Best Buy and they fixed me up. As soon as I loaded up the free Kindle on it, all the books I’ve ever ordered appeared on my iPad. I now see the beauty of having lots to read when I travel this year (l-o-n-g flight too) without loading up my suitcase. 🙂

      • Ssshhh. Don’t tell anyone but I already love it for reading. I hate to admit it and it’s going to come in so handy when I go on my trip in a few months. Never thought of that when I bought it though. Huh… 🙂

        • I recommended my father get one a few years back. He has macular degeneration and his eyesight was getting too bad for reading paper books–even the ones with the big print. He loves how he can adjust the iPad print and lighting to suit him.

          One drawback to the iPad is that you can’t read in sunlight–which I lament, since I love reading on the beach.

  2. What a beautiful picture! It’s nice to know your gift is such a hit. We’ve gotten to the point of just asking other family members for what they want, so that we can get people something they’ll like. It takes out some of the surprise factor, but at least nothing ends up in the gift closet! 🙂

    I had a bit of a gift closet with a lot of bath stuff that students have occasionally given me, and last year I packed up all the nice unused soaps, lotions, and bath gel, and donated it to a local women’s shelter, along with some other necessities.

    • It is a lovely picture–she’s such a beautiful baby.

      That’s a nice idea when you receive gifts from students or other admirers. 🙂 Those ladies need all the pampering they can get.

    • We sibs decided to donate to a favourite charity in lieu of gifts for one another, except for my father, who we still buy for. I don’t know why we still buy for him–maybe it’s the challenge of the hunt!

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