For the past few years, I've participated in the Virtual Advent Tour, sponsored by sprite, and it's one of my most favorite things of all about holiday time. I've also been introduced to so many new blogs, new stories, and new traditions, and I don't know about you but I love when that happens. (You too can sign up to participate here.)
Today is my turn to write a post, so I thought I'd tell you about the time my mother was thrilled to receive a gift from us that The Tim then had to tell her was actually for *his* mother ...
My mom, much like me (well, I guess I'm much like her actually), loved to open packages. So it was not unusual for us to give her 4 or 5 things, each wrapped up, as well as a stocking full of goodies and tiny little wrapped packages. She was also someone who loved costume jewelry as much as fancy jewelry, so there was always a package of Christmas earrings, or a necklace, etc. - you get the drift.
The Tim's mom was a different story. She was first of all, really difficult to buy for because she could be really critical even while thanking you for something. And she didn't really like a big variety of things. So this particular year, The Tim saw that one of the department stores near us was having a pre-Christmas sale on their 14K gold jewelry, and he decided to buy his mom a pair of gold hoop earrings.
When we used to travel home for Christmas, we would have two large bins in the car - one filled with gifts for my family, one filled with gifts for The Tim's family. He was always in charge of packing the car (still is), because he has a certain way he likes it to be done. This particular year, we were going to be with my family first, and then travel to his family.
Christmas morning, we opened gifts, and everyone was having fun, and so excited with everything. My mother opened a box, and I just happened to look up as she opened it and realized that it was the pair of earrings for my mother-in-law! She of course, not having a clue about anything, was thrilled with them, and kept saying how pretty and fancy they were.
Apparently when the car was being packed, one of the bins got bumped, and The Tim didn't notice that a single package had fallen into the other bin. It was marked, "To Mom from Bridget and Tim," so we didn't notice it either. Now, if we just shrugged and let my mom keep the earrings, it would mean we did not have a single gift for my mother-in-law! So The Tim had to gently explain to my mother that a mistake had been made.
Fortunately, she completely understood, and even thought it was funny. She did comment on how odd she thought it was that we gave her so many other gifts PLUS the fancy earrings, though.
All's well that ends well, but it's become a Christmas tradition in our family that someone reminds The Tim of it every year. Even some of the nieces and nephews, who had not even been born when it happened, will say, "Uncle Tim, do you remember when you gave Gram the earrings for your mother and then made her give them back?"
My mother-in-law was never any the wiser. Let's just say that probably was a good thing.