What is a monkeybox?

When I was a little girl, we had a pet monkey named Amanda. My Dad worked in the produce business, so each night he brought home that days culls in a big box - spotty cucumbers, pithy apples, limp celery, moldy oranges and the like. We called it a monkeybox. It was really just trash, but my Mom would take each piece of fruit and trim it, pare it and cut it up to make a beautiful fruit platter for Amanda. Even though it was deemed trash by one, it still had life left in it and was good for the purpose we needed it. That's how I live my life - thrifting, yard saling, looking for another's trash to be my treasure.

Friday, December 26, 2008

'Twas The Night After Christmas

Well, Christmas is over. Been there, done that. Guess how many people participated in this gift exchange at my house? 20? 30? No, only five of us. (We bring the presents in about five minutes before we open them so it is a big surprise to see them all)
The Breadman came from a house with little means and two parents that never made holidays special. On his birthday, he would get a Wal-Mart bag with a card in it and one gift. Something like a pair of shorts or a T-shirt. It was never wrapped either - just in the bag with the receipt because it didn't matter what size he needed, they just bought it and he had to deal with it. That was when he was old enough to do exchanges. Before that he pretty much got a football every year. Santa never visited, he never had a stocking, the Easter Bunny never came and left an Easter Basket. Instead, he could pick out one of those pre-made baskets at the store (you know the ones that look stuffed with goodies but it really only has a coloring book, some crayons and about three pieces of candy in it?). I always felt sorry for him for not having fun holiday memories. But, then again, he never knew he was missing anything, so he was a happy guy. I have a photo of him when he was not even three and he is all happy and smiling and running in his yard. It makes my Mom cry because he just looked so damn happy and he didn't know he had a sad poor life.

So, the point of that depressing little story is that I make holidays a BIG DAMN DEAL. I don't care if The Bean ever remembers any of his presents, but I know he will remember the pile of presents, everyone coming together, our meals, making candy, baking cookies, decorating our Gingerbread house (that we buy after Christmas and decorate for Valentine's Day), etc. etc., etc. It took The Breadman a few years to get the hang of it, but he gets it all now. He pretty much only buys for me, I buy for everyone else. But, he does a good job. I get more than one thing, And he wraps them! Yea, Breadman!

So, what did he buy this year?
A new grocery store for the Grocery Store Village. One point for The Breadman for finding a new Grocery Store this year.
A Santa for my Santa collection. Actually, The Bean picked this one out. And, even though it killed me to find out he bought this the day before Christmas at full price and today it would have been half price, I still like him. I was told that this Santa was chosen because he is holding a rusty lantern and he looks old. One point for the rust factor.

The Mac Daddy Martha Stewart Glitter Pack. Eighteen bottles of super fine wonderfully colored glitter for all my glittering needs. I had admired this at the store one day, but never thought he would a) hear me or b) remember it five minutes from then or c) actually buy it. But, he did all three. This is especially interesting as I rarely ever do anything crafty when he is around nor do I show him my crafty things I make. Three points for glitter!

He also bought a professional candy thermometer which I had mentioned outloud a few times, a Calaphon Dutch Oven (which I will try to think of as thoughtful, but jeez..a pan????) and a $30.00 Gift Card for El Yum-O Chick-fil-A. Two points for the thermometer, three points for the Chick filA gift card and minus one point for the pan. So, how did he do in all? Ten points! Yeah! (I do appreciate the pan, it's just that I bought an entire new set of Farberware pans not too long ago.) *Edited to add that he was the recipient of many, many goodies, almost all bearing a Razorback insignia of sorts. He is difficult to buy for, so anything Razorback usually fits the bill.
The Bean is having tummy trouble - I hear a stomach bug is making the rounds. No throwing up or anything, just general yuckiness. He has to feel better soon as he has a slew of new board games, electronic games, DS games, DVD's, books, a bright orange IPOD Nano and a, dare I say it, an Electric Guitar waiting to be played, watched, read, loaded and fired up.
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. I know it's not about the gifts or any of that - it's about family and memories. And, I hope you have lots of those to get you through until next year.



7 comments:

  1. Been there done that with sad childhoods, which is also why I make every holiday a big damn deal over here too.

    I could actually use a new pan though, lol. That freaking expensive nearly new green pan thingy exploded (!!!) on the stove last week.

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  2. Yay for you! It's never too late to make happy memories of Christmas. Hope the Bean feels better. Barbara

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  3. Loved this post! My hubby had a pretty dismal childhood as well, and I tend to go overboard too. Feel guilty for a second or two when I see all the packages under the tree, but then he looks at me and says "You always make Christmas so special" or in July he'll tell me how much he loves the rainguards I got him for his truck last Christmas, so I know we're doing it right. Our 2 sons have so many great Christmas memories and we wouldn't have it any other way! My hubby got a 10 this year as well...hope Bean's feeling better...no fun being sick on Christmas! *elaine*

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  4. I can totally relate to that pile of presents! I grew up in a family that gave "lots of little presents" instead of one big expensive one so I carry on the tradition. My hubby loves it and my mom was like a little kid on Christmas Eve when we began piling her presents next to her in anticipation of the next day! So fun! Have a wonderful new year!

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  5. Wow--what a Christmas!!! I understand completely where you are coming from, trying to make every holiday special for your family, and you are doing a great job. Your son is going to have soooo many good memories to pass on to his children!

    For me, I had a good childhood and many great Christmas's but what wasn't so great was the shuffling between my Dad's house and my Mom's house, my Dad's family and my Mom's family--and all the chitter chatter (negative) between the too. I vowed never to put my kids through that even unwittingly, especially on the holidays.

    Happy New Year!

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  6. TB's shirt made me smile... nothing like a little skull/crossbones to set the post-festivity mood!! HAPPY NEW YEAR, and hope TB is feeling better!

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  7. OMG, you got some great stuff! I hear ya on the sad childhoods...Glenn had the same thing growing up and now he's such a grinch...after 4 years, I still can't change his attitude.

    Hugz,
    Michele

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