My grandmother bought me the worst Christmas present I’ve ever had.
I don’t still have it and there are no photos of it but I will attempt to tell you about it. It was clothing.
We shall pause here to explain that I was about 13 and keen on clothes, like most teenage girls I wanted to be sexy and cool. This gift was neither. It was so far from sexy and cool that I doubt there is a name for how unsexy or how uncool it was.
I was excited on Christmas morning to feel a largish squishy parcel that must surely be a jacket or some other substantial item. Would it be denim? Maybe it would be themed with the Bay City Rollers (oh the bliss) after lunch we had to sit around and open our gifts while the Queen gave her speech to a roomful of children (and possibly adults too) that were not listening. The large parcel sat and waited for me.
As I tore the paper I saw……it wasn’t denim and it didn’t appear to be the Bay City Rollers, oh it was knitted, well maybe that’s not so bad, it could be a trendy baggy jumper, maybe mohair. No. Not mohair. And wait, it was green! Not a jade or any kind of nice green it was squashed caterpillar green. And it was acrylic.
But I loved my grandma so my face betrayed nothing but eager joy at a new jumper, after all, a new jumper was a new jumper and……….. Hold on a tick, there was something on the front….now seriously someone somewhere thought that this design was a great seller (and to be fair to them it did sell to my grandma!) but really? AN OLD MAN? In a flat cap? Where the waistcoat he wore was sewn cunningly so that it could be undone to show off his (knitted) shirt?? What fiend in hell thought of this thing? Who designed it? And why? One thing I can tell you – who wore it. I did. A lot. Often when my grandma was visiting or we visited her. She must have thought I loved it. Just lucky she didn’t buy me another for next year….
And you know what? I’d give a great deal to be back there now on that Christmas morning opening that awful present because if I was there then my grandma would still be here too, and she is not. She died 10 years ago when I was 3 months pregnant with her longed for great grandchild. But her last words were a great gift, she sat martini in hand and said, “I’ve had a great day today, really felt well, haven’t had such a good day in ages”
Then she fell unconscious and died, surrounded by her family, including me and my unborn daughter.
I miss her a great deal, and often think of her when her great grandchild does something amazing (or amazingly funny!) I miss her so much I even think that I’d like the jumper if she could give it to me now.
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