What, oh what, will she buy?

Last week I received a letter from my daughter's school (not the "your child failed the hearing test" letter - this was a different one). The parent organization is setting up a holiday gift shoppe so that the kids can buy "winter holiday presents" for family members. Each student is allowed to purchase up to eight gifts, at a cost of $1.25 each. They sent home a printed sheet of blank gift tags and I'm supposed to fill in the eight names. My first inclination was to put my own name on all the tags. Then I decided that maybe that isn't the best way to make a good impression on the school, particularly since I plan to send my child there for the next seven years.

I remember shopping at a holiday store at my school when I was in the second grade. Guess what I bought my father? An ashtray. It was the kind that consisted of a beanbag on the bottom (plaid, no less) and had the metal part with the cigarette holder attached to the top. Can you imagine if a school sold an eight-year-old an ashtray in this day and age? I suspect it would be front page news, lawsuits would be filed, and all hell would break loose. But in 1978 it was, "What a thoughtful gift for your dad!" I bought an equally memorable present for my mom. It was a small figurine in the shape of a squirrel. And I say "in the shape of a squirrel" because it is only vaguely recognizable as a squirrel. It's painted brown and the red painted eyes are all cockeyed. I speak about it in the present tense because my mom still has it. She says she would never throw away the deranged squirrel.

Needless to say, I am dying to see what my daughter will buy. I'm trying to imagine what sort of trinket sells for just $1.25. Perhaps a ballpoint pen or a Diet Pepsi? I am in need of some paper clips, come to think of it. Apparently the volunteers will even put each item in a gift bag so that it's a surprise for the recipient. You know full well that they could encase it in titanium and the kid is still going to run home and tell me exactly what she bought me (and the other seven people on the list). I won't even have to ask her - she'll sing like a canary.

On December 25th, maybe I'll have my own version of the misshapen squirrel to cherish. And cherish it I shall.


Jen said…
This is such a cute idea. I wish they did this at my kid's school!
Jodi said…
My family will still not let me live it down that when I was in first grade, I bought my then 24 year old brother a sheet of stickers at Santa's Secret Shoppe. Hey...to this day I still hold to my story that I thought he would like them!!!

Looking forward to hearing what A picks out for you!
Just Lisa said…
This is so cute. We took Allie to the dollar store last year to buy presents for everyone, and it was a big hit. I think this year, she going to bake treats for everyone!
Steph K said…
Ah, memories! My brother got my mom a brown coffee mug that said I Love Grandma. I got my dad the necklace with the panther pendant, which he still has.

If the school doesn't do it this year, my mom said she's taking the kids to the Neville Public Museum because they have one. I'm actually quite excited for it!

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