A few years back my family started a new Holiday tradition. We all seemed to be lacking in funds for gifts. The three of us decided, my mom dad and I, to give each other gifts that we'd either found, or already had. It made for quite the interesting Christmas. I think I received the best gifts ever that year. Now we try to continue to bring an element of up-cycling to every Christmas.
Some of the strange, heartfelt and special gifts I received on that fateful holiday included letters written by my grandfather to my grandmother while he was in the war, my great grandmother's lamps (which had flanked my parents bed for two decades) and a tiny vinyl box-pictured above.
I was used to my parents sending me odd things in the mail. Ever since I had moved to California, every few months a package would arrive and surprise me. My roommates and I would gather around and see what treasures were hiding. Once there was an old barbie phone that really rang. One time there was a shrink wrapped cookie-just one-because my mom wanted to show me that she'd just purchased a shrink wrapper. One year my dad sent me a box of 17 knives, 3 rolls of duct tape and a bottle of carpet cleaner. I asked him what he thought it was that I did in my spare time.
The vinyl box was amazing. Not only did it have that sweet gold design on the front, but it folded out on all four sides. I opened it slowly. I was totally amazed. Inside of this fantastic wrapping was three little sea horse skeletons.
These were not just any old sea horse skeletons. They had been my dad's pets. When I was a little girl my dad used to breed fish. Our entire basement was fish tanks-floor to ceiling. I used to go down there with my boom box and dance in front of the tanks, illuminated by the wavy light. I'd pretend I was in an MTV music video, dancing to Stevie Nick's milky voice singing on my moms Fleetwood Mac tape. And it all came back to me.
It was a beautiful thing, this gift from my dad. Not only did it bring back happy memories from my childhood, but I now have my very own sea horse skeleton collection.
Give the Gift of Collecting!