Box of Grace

“When are you going to write about me on your blog?” my sister asked.

“I write about you all the time!” I said.

Childhood me,” she said.  “And what about a picture?”

Well, Merry Christmas, Claire:

Aunt Claire and Zoe check out the avalanche at the Museum of Science and Industry.

One of the great things about my sister–and there are, of course, many–is the grace with which she receives gifts.  No matter what she thinks of a Christmas or birthday or housewarming present, she offers genuine, effusive thanks.

This year, as part of my gifts to Claire and her fiance Doug, I cleverly wrapped DVDs and boxes of Starburst inside  empty cake mix boxes.  (Pro Tip: The Box Misdirection is a piece of classic gift wrapping humor.)  Claire and Doug opened the gifts together, and at the sight of the cake mix box, Claire grinned with delight.  “Dad’s favorite kind of cake!” she said.

My sister thought that I had given her cake mix for Christmas, and she acted like it was the greatest present ever.  She gave me two months of family gym membership, but she was willing to be excited about convenience baking products.

Thank you, Claire, for making me laugh, creating one of my favorite Christmas 2011 moments, and giving me the gift of grace.

What was the most unexpected / funny / special gift you gave or got this year?



Filed under All in the Family, Marvelous Miscellany, Thankful Hearts

14 responses to “Box of Grace

  1. Jenny Olsztynski

    Great sister story!
    Glad you and my girls ran into each other yesterday at the museum. I would love to have Zoe out to play with the girls, but I know your time here is limited and she belongs to her grandparents and Claire this visit.
    Many Blessings to you all.


    • It was great to run into all your beautiful girls! We would be delighted to come play on another visit–this one ends early tomorrow morning. It went fast! Thanks, Jenny, and thanks for reading!


  2. Well, it wasn’t this year, but one year, my dear friend Suellen, who is a pastor in Alaska, gave me a lovely box–Metropolitan Museum of Art (I think) gift cards–prints of lovely artwork. I was delighted. I wrote her to thank her. Her puzzled response:’ But Jan, did you like the Nativity ornament INSIDE the box?’ My red face. In fact, an amazing ornament of the Nativity inside a big fish, not unlike the fish that swallowed Jonah.

    I liked the box almost as much!


  3. Rachel

    Every year we do a secret Santa-type of exchange, where each person gets the other a meaningful gift as well as a $1 gag gift. This year my brother-in-law went to the Asian market and gave my uncle actual chicken feet. I hoped he kept those in the fridge before they ended up under the tree…


  4. Claire

    What a sweet post!! I am a lucky sister indeed. Love you!


  5. Oakes Theresa



  6. Hi. I discovered your blog today. And I use the “Don’t trust the packaging” wrapping regularly. This year my husband received a shirt and a pair of glove liners in Scotch bottle canisters. The fact that the shirt is his family tartan made the canister all the more appropriate. I have to remember the cake box trick, now, too.

    Merry Belated Christmas.


    • That’s a cute idea! Although my husband would be pretty disappointed that there wasn’t a bottle of Scotch in there . . .

      Thanks for stopping, and Merry Christmas to you, too! We still have until January 6th!


  7. I had forgotten how much fun it is to use the false advertising box. You sister is beautiful and looks sweet even in the photo.

    Our funny Christmas experience involved my very handicapped 51 y/o brother. In addition to the gifts he got from us in the morning, we saved a moving, singing, snowman for him to unwrap when the whole family was there. His big belly laughter and total delight upon opening it meant 13 other people also were cheerfully laughing at his complete happiness. In fact my 11 y/o grandson has reminded me several times this week how cool it was to see such total enjoyment so openly displayed.

    Cheers to family!


    • It is totally fun, especially when the recipient actually falls for it, which I did not expect!

      That’s a great story about your brother! Belly laughs are wonderful–the sound of pure joy–and infectious.

      Thanks for stopping!


  8. Pingback: They Can’t Take That Away from Me | Never Done It That Way Before

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