Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Advent Calendar Day 10: Gifts (Smile for the Camera)

All of my favorite gifts are my favorites due to a combination of practical and sentimental reasons.

My daughters have made me a number of beautiful presents over the years, but it’s difficult to choose my favorites among them, so I won’t list them here.

Nor have I included the gifts I received as a child.

Instead, I can think of four very special gifts I have received, from my college days up until the recent past, that stand out in my memory – for longevity, meaningfulness, and practicality. Two were given to me by my mother, and the other two were given to me by my husband.

The coffee cup featured in My Dear Daughters: When I Am Dead and Gone, Please Keep These Things.

This winter scarf, designed to cover head and neck. It’s a bit ratty from use by now, but I still use this scarf on the bitterest of cold winter days. This was another present given to me by my mother for Christmas during my college days. Nothing beats it for keeping my head and neck warm and the rust color is a good one for me. Mom had a “gift” for getting just the right thing.

Next among my most treasured gifts is this Byzantine three-bar cross. My husband bought this for me at our church for the Christmas right before the Feast of the Epiphany on which our family was baptized into the Byzantine Catholic Church. In addition to its other religious significance, it symbolizes the journey into faith that my husband and I took together.

Lest all these choices seem to fall more on the sentimental side than the practical, here is the fourth gift: my KitchenAid. Yes, a kitchen appliance. It has been used to bake so many Christmas, birthday, and other desserts; it is one of those household appliances that has earned a place of honor for its years of faithful service filling an important role in our family life: the means for concocting delicious culinary creations. Some women want furs or jewelry; I wanted a KitchenAid.

Unfortunately, I was not able to take a picture of the KitchenAid for this article, because it is in the shop being repaired: after 25+ years of use, the motor gave out.

Here's hoping the KitchenAid gets repaired in time for Christmas baking. I have kolaches to make!

(And if it doesn’t, those who may remember my one-beater wonder from Memory Monday: Fads and My Mom, don’t worry. My considerate husband bought me a new hand mixer for my birthday next week.)

Submitted for the 19th Edition of Smile for the Camera.


  1. The cross is very beautiful, more so that it has meaning behind it. I received a wonderful Sunbeam mixer from my husband our 2nd Christmas and wish it had lasted until now. I understand how special your mixer is and hope you have it back soon.

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  3. Truly a gift that kept on giving - 25 years of the Kitchen Aid... how many Christmas cookies did it help prepare, for instance. I'm a Dad, of course, so practical gifts always make me SMILE!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Bill ;-)
    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"

  4. Apple - Isn't it funny how we can become so attached to certain tools and household appliances? I managed to do my baking without the KitchenAid, but certainly had a sore arm.

    Dr. Bill - Oh, that KitchenAid has made so many delicious desserts (and some notable failures, too). Still waiting for the part to come in, according to the shop.