Only ten days left (including today) to pre-order your copy of Mission of Christmas from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or the Samhain website! And because you can pre-order, you can get it at a discount! (Because I’m all about the sales…)

Which also means, it’s another day of a fun family holiday story from me!

Today’s holiday story is centered around Christmas at Grandma Jane’s again.

Now, I’ve touched on Grandma Jane’s reuse of boxes before,  but I must start this story explaining that not everyone realized Jane reused boxes all the time.

Especially not my younger cousins.

We’re gathered around Grandma’s living room, the chaos of eleven grandchildren, four children and their spouses, and Grandma and Granddad, opening their presents with abandon. There’s no “each person opens one at a time for everyone to see” going on at this house. There’s just too many of us, we’d be there all night long, and probably into the next day if we did that.

Across the room, my twelve-year-old cousin is opening her present, and lets out a squeal of delight.

“Oh Grandma! You got me a phone! My own phone!” She’s cradling the box like it’s a precious baby.

Everything stops.

Grandma looks right at her. “No I didn’t.”

My cousin stops. Blinks. And sees the tape on the top of the package. The tape that signifies it had been re-taped shut.

She pops the tape, and pulls out of the box a vest. (This was the late 80’s, early nineties, when girls wore the embroidered vests with everything).

Very close to what we wore…

“Oh. It’s a vest.” The shine in her eyes had dimmed and she looked almost ready to cry.

“I hope you like it,” Grandma Jane says.

“It’s very nice. Thank you Grandma.” She fakes a smile and says something nice about the color of the embroidered vest.

Meanwhile, me and my brother are crying–crying because we’re laughing so hard. You see, he and I learned a long time ago to always open the box. Because you can never tell what’s inside one of Grandma’s presents.

And we’re not the only ones. I do believe my uncle was laughing pretty hard too, making a comment that his daughter didn’t need a phone for her room anyway, she was on it enough.

After, my brother and I pulled my cousin to the side and explained the importance of opening the box before getting excited.

Ever had any unexpected presents at your house?

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