Stephanie (collacentaur) wrote,

Family Christmas

Yesterday evening we had family Christmas in South Jersey, at my grandparents' home. It's always good to see them. My brother brought his girlfriend up, so I finally got to meet her as well. I rather liked her, and she seemed to like all of us (or at least find us entertaining), which I think is a good sign for them. My mom made garlic beef for dinner, which was amusing since it's what I cooked Christmas Day. My brother told me he also got the recipe around the same time, and has made it twice in the last two weeks. Fortunately, we all really enjoy it.

Gift exchange involved quite a bit of not-very-surprised and oh-I-forgot-I-asked-for-that, as usual. My biggest surprise came from my grandmother. Grandma is mostly deaf, mostly blind, and has only one leg. It's amazing enough that she's still living relatively independently, and no one expects that she will manage much by the way of Christmas shopping. So, for several years, our gifts have been cash plus little cheap gifts so there's something to unwrap. Well, as I took down the packages for me and for A to unwrap, my reaction to mine was "Hm. This looks and feels like a little wastebasket. How odd, I wonder what it really is." Lo and behold, it was indeed a little wastebasket. It's blue, and decoupage. Kind of cute. Not sure what I'll do with it, and it's not quite matching either my actual decor or the one I'd like to have, but I'll figure something out.

So, Grandma starts telling the story, since it's clearly a somewhat unusual gift. Apparently she'd picked it up and was trying to get a good look at it (macular degeneration - all the vision she has left is peripheral vision). The salesperson told her it was a really good deal, it was usually $250 but it was marked down to $10. So, of course she had to get it. At this point, all I could think of was blackfog's mother, because it sounds like the stories she tells. I looked at it closely, because while it was cute, and certainly looked to be worth more than $10, I thought $250 was ridiculous. Perhaps someone had slipped a decimal point. Then I spotted a price tag. The price tag clearly listed the price of that wastebasket as $275. I am rather incredulous... And taking very good care of this thing until I figure out whether it actually has value.

Update: Looked at the bottom of the thing. It has a little gold-colored thing on the bottom that says Spode, England. Quick research tells me that Spode makes china - not cute little wooden wastebaskets. However, there's one image on their site that is a portion of the picture on the wastebasket. But, I can't find that picture on any of their current product lines. Curiouser and curiouser...

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