Theme Gifts for Christmas

My daughters are both very skilled at putting together theme gifts for me and for each other. They pick out something that is interesting or sentimental and pack a container with items to match the theme. They each gave me a theme box for Christmas.

My older daughter filled a beautiful Christmas box with items to commemorate one of our favorite Christmas stories, The Christmas Memory by Truman Capote. This is a memoir of Truman Capote’s Christmas when he was seven years old and living with an elderly aunt. They were “best friends” and spent the year saving pennies so they could make fruitcakes to send to people they liked (such as President Roosevelt) and to buy something for each other as Christmas gifts.

My box was filled with pecans which the boy and his aunt gathered from freefalls in the woods, a bottle of bourbon such as they bought from a local bootlegger, and a fruitcake. There was also a box of chocolate covered cherries, the kind that Buddy, the boy, longed to give to his aunt but could never afford, along with a slingshot which they did make and give to each other one year.

There was also a beautiful, delicate cup with a bird decoration similar to what the aunt used and a bag of “AM Coffee – amen” to remember a coffee-naming contest they entered.

My daughter made up a small 4×6 shadow box containing miniature versions of the gifts Buddy really wanted to give his aunt: a radio, a pearl-handled jack-knife and chocolate covered cherries, along with the gift she hoped to get for him one day – a bike. Also, shown are the actual gifts they could manage: a slingshot and a kite.

This a wonderful book and the TV version is available on YouTube.  Be sure to watch the old one with Geraldine Page – a treasure.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQGEUCLqg0U

My younger daughter knows I’m sentimental about the WW II days and also interested in the women’s movement, so she combined these interests in a big box covered with reprints of old WW II posters.

Her gifts included a pair of slippers handmade from a 1942 knitting pattern, a book, Lipstick Brigade, The Untold True Story of Washington’s World War II Government  Girls …

…a 1942 issue of Life magazine with an article on knitting, an interest we share…

…a framed picture of modern women of all types and abilities speaking up for their rights …

…and Rosie the Riveter on a pin with a modern slogan.

These gifts are so much fun to open and I appreciate the extra time, thought and effort it takes to assemble them.  I’m already looking forward to the next one.

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quilt32

Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

12 thoughts on “Theme Gifts for Christmas”

  1. Those daughters of yours are real gifts themselves! These are absolutely great! They find such interesting things – I think they must be searching all year!

  2. I love both gifts but the one commemorating The Christmas Memory is my favorite! That old movie with Geraldine Page is a movie my Nana and I used to watch together — she was my best friend much like the boy’s best friend was his great-aunt. I really enjoyed reading this post as it brought back such specail memories.

  3. Gifts like those are much more meaningful than simply buying something to give. So interesting! By the way, thanks for the comment you left for me. Did you know that your comments are “no reply” so I can’t email you back?

  4. Wow, Lillian! The time and thought that went into those gifts! Just amazing, How fun for you to open them, as they bring back special memories you have with your daughters.

  5. I came back to the blog for a recipe and once again admired the gifts from your daughters. ‘The Lipstick Brigade’ sounds like a great read for The Ladies of the Book which meet as often as we can. I’ll bet you know that (IF I remember correctly), the largest training facility for women was here at Fort Des Moines. I need to get over to the museum again. Trust you and yours are doing well. Thank you, always, for sharing with us.

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