Hy-Vee grocery stores. If Carole were to get the Hy-Vee gift certificate, she'd have a very hard time redeeming it as Hy-Vee is strictly a midwestern chain. The farthest east they go is Illinois and then, it's strictly western Illinois. So we encourage national chains like Target, Ace Hardware or Applebees. The Target gift card I won in the draw helped buy cereal and bread as it's getting to the end of the month and funds are tight. I'm good now until pay day.
The white elephant gifts are rather interesting. Last year, I got three of those 4x6 photo albums that were so popular about 5-6 years ago. In my mind's eye, I have this "great" idea that I'd go through all my photos, print out photos of interest to my daughter and my nieces and return the books to them as Christmas presents. Of course, that never got done before the hard drive crashed taking any photos that weren't uploaded to my Flickr account with it. (A friend is going to have a go at it so there is always hope.) Then, I had the bright idea that I'd scan all these old photos, print them out and give them to my siblings. That's still an idea but it would help if I had a working scanner at home. Step 1. Buy a new computer. So these albums sit in the crafting pile, full of good intentions but we'll see if those intentions get beyond just that, intentions.
This year's gift is shown above. The piece comes with a Certificate of Authenticity. (I'm expecting you to "ooh" and "aah" in the appropriate places.) The certificate reads, " Dazzlers Collectibles proudly and honorably presents an exquisite line of cherished collectibles: jewelry boxes, picture frames and decorations. Each piece is meticulously crafted from fine pewter and most are coated in solid 24kt gold. it is then hand enameled and lavishly inlaid with genuine Austrian crystals by skilled artisans. This collection is issued in limited editions and will be valuable keepsakes for those who possess them for years to come." On the back of the certificate, there is the "since 1978" notation.
Let's ignore the typo. This isn't very big, maybe 3 inches, tops. I took it out of the box, set it on the dressing table in the sunshine and was nearly blinded. That's a lot of Austrian crystals there. The thing about the white elephant gift is you don't know who had it and parted with it. Oh sure, if you know hand writing, you can sort of figure out x gift was from Aunt Debbie, but I didn't see a tag on this so I can't deduce whose this might have been originally. I think that's what makes it more fun. If this was given to my sister, who, in their right mind, thought it was the 'perfect' gift for a woman who spends most of her time out of doors. Perfume attracts bugs. So, I giggle at the thought that someone perhaps gave this to my sister.
What am I going to do with it? Well, I'm ignoring the 'valuable collectible' idea. I can't see this being any more valuable than the original bottle in which perfume or cologne comes.What was cool about this is that it came with a funnel. I've had perfume bottles before, lovely things in pretty glass, where getting the cologne into them has been an exercise in major spillage and frustration. A small plastic funnel. What a concept!
I'm actually thinking of using it. Last year, I started using up these small bottles of cologne, the freebies given out by comely lasses as you walk through the department store. I'm down to 4 of those tester bottles left from the 10 I had back in July. Then, I need to look through what I have and decide the next batch of scents to work on. In the 1920's, fashionable ladies had a bottle of a special scent on their dresser and one that they took with them when they traveled. I could combine small bottles of the same scent into this. It could be a novelty.
And then, it could go back in the box to be passed to someone this coming Christmas. We joked about how we could have one or two gifts that just get passed back and forth every year. Maybe it's an ugly vase and your task it so glue something else to it. Maybe I could give this at Christmas, filled with a scent that I wouldn't wear if you paid me. Given the number of celebrities with eponymous scents, I'm sure I can find one that, "whoa", that'll take paint off a wall.
If I were my family, I'd be worried now.
Beverage: Darjeeling tea