Tuesday, December 27, 2011

To Grandmother's House We Go (#grandmagifts2011)

Yeah, this week is gonna basically just be Christmas recap week.
Cause I have some good material.
Especially today.

I wish I could describe Christmas at my grandmother's house to you all.
It's somewhat one of those "you have to be there" kinds of things.
But also, "a picture is worth a thousand words" kinds of things.

Grandma's gifting style is eclectic, that is for sure.
In recent years, she has started gifting from catalogs.

Which means a ton of dog and cat blankets, jewelry, and figurines.
Two years ago, the best gift by far was a "cat for all seasons" figurine.
A life sized cat statue,
(which happened to be missing it's screw on tail)
With a costume for each month of the year.
My cousin Debbie was the lucky winner recipient.

Picture or it didn't happen?
You got it:

You see, in my family, everyone is divided into Dog People or Cat People.
And grandma gifts appropriately from there.
Obviously, me and my family are dog people.
Debbie and her family, are cat people.
And my cousin Janel and her family (next to Debbie above) used to be cat people - but got a giant german shepherd a few years ago, and now they are a wildcard. They could get cat dishes, or a dog calendar.
You never know!

Lined up on the dining room table for each of the ladies were two wrapped boxes. A long skinny one, and a more squarish shaped one.
Next to an old timey figurine.
At first I thought maybe each figurine was supposed to "look like" each of us.
But then realized there was no correlation.
(correlating would make too much sense, random is way more fun)
Grandma had us all line up for "matchies"
Which is exactly what it sounds like.

When a gift is declared matchies, you are NOT allowed to open the gift until everyone else in the "matchies" is ready.
And then GO is shouted.
If you're slow, you know what you are getting before you even get the paper ripped.
If you are fast, you get to give the first reaction.

This year, the ladies matchies were charm bracelets.
Dog or cat charm bracelets.
Mine had a dog, the word WOOF, a FIRE HYDRANT, a dog bone, and a dog house.
Putting them on immediately was mandatory.
I wore that sucker with pride.
It's cool if you're jeal.
I'll totally lend it to you, but you have to PROMISE to take good care of it.

After dining room table matchies were complete, we returned to our typical seats around the living room.

(Also, side note, my grandma has a living room and a family room - growing up all I had was a living room, so to me they are both living rooms - I always would get...er still get....frustrated when grandma told me to get something in the living room...and ended up in the wrong place. The living room at her house is the fancy room, and as kids we weren't allowed in there much. It was all so confusing. Still is.)

And the rest of the gift opening commenced.
I don't think I could make this stuff up.

Brother-in-law is enjoying his third Christmas in the family, and I think he is slowly getting the hang of things.
Seashell bathroom accessories?
I mean, what more could the modern man want.

There were more matchies to be had.
Big, giant boxes in front of our gift piles showed that the four girl cousins needed to open at the same time.

EZ Glide Jewelry Box?
Totally can use that.
Kim, check.
Debbie, check.
Janel, check.
Laura....angel figurine.
Same sized box, different gift.
We can clearly see that she is the favorite here.

Purses are a gift staple as well.
I love the one I got, a dark teal color, and really cute.
Debbie....well she got a Chanel knock off.
Very cardboard-y.

Our conversation went like this...

CuppaKim: Hey Debbie...show me your purse....

(Debbie lifts it up slowly)

CuppaKim: Woooowww....That kinda looks like a Chanel!

Debbie: But not.

Debbie was also the lucky recipient of a "harf"
What? You have never heard of a harf?
Well that would be a hat scarf, obviously.
Leopard print.
And a cat blanket (Team Cat, remember)

But don't worry, I was not left out.
Leopard fleecy pj bottoms.
And a dog blanket, FTW.

Laura received a Dollar Tree best seller...

And Matt came home with the unanimously cousin voted best gift of Christmas 2011,
a gold lamé South Pole shirt. He's probably gonna wear it crossfit everyday this week.
Cause he's gangster like that.

And no, this is NOT a white elephant type gift exchange.
These are real gifts people!

Oh, but don't you worry.
Everyone makes sure grandma gets some goodies as well.
Including a framed picture of Mike Ditka.
She isn't exactly a fan of him.
20+ years ago she got an "autographed" poster from my uncle, which still hangs in her laundry room.
You can see how happy she is about this.

As presents began to wind down, the toys began to wind up.
No one in the room is younger than 17.
No, it was my own mother, and grandmother, who made sure all the noisemakers were going simultaneously.
Which basically caused everyone thirty and under to excuse themselves from the living family living room.

Somehow my aunt had escaped the madness, and I busted her in from of the TV in the....FAMILY room. Watching the NBA.
I think she is ecstatic that they are back.
Or just ecstatic to have a room to herself.

But don't worry, we all love our grandma more than anything.
She is a crazy amazing grandma to have.
Who spoils us rotten.
And gives us more cat and dog gear than any human could ever desire.
She takes us to dinner at iHop and refuses to let us pay. EVER.
She always had an open home, we were all babysat by her (and grandpa) for several years growing up.
There was always a hot meal ready to eat. And leftovers to take home.
A swimming pool to swim in.
And cartoons on the TV.

This was my 31st Christmas at Grandma's house - and even though the gifts get wilder and wilder, her giant heart and love for her family is always the same.

And if you have ever met my grandma, consider her family.
Because she considers YOU family.

To say we adore her would be an understatement.

You may not be jealous of the cat statues,
but you are more than welcome to be jealous that the lady who gives them isn't your grandma.


  1. Priceless! Thank you for sharing your Christmas! Your Grandma looks stunning, by the way. A real grand dame!

  2. Are you sure it wasn't a white elephant exchange!

  3. Grams is the best always sweet and witty and of course the craziest gift giver!

  4. This could be the funniest Christmas post I've ever read.
    So many memories for you all!

  5. omgosh i'm in love with this post. i wish i had this experience!!

  6. I super duper love

    You have a fun fam. :)


  7. love love love this. your grandma is amazing. and those gifts, well, there are no words.

  8. I don't think I understand this at all, but it made me laugh. You guys are hilarious and I'm glad to see you having so much fun together.:)