He Who Finds Mercy series

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Worst Christmas gift. Ever.

When I was eight years old I lived in Arlington, Virginia very close to my maternal grandparents, so they saw firsthand my great interest in science. My entire third grade year I alternated between wanting to be an archeologist and an astronaut, and being good grandparents, they wanted to encourage those interests. I still have the microscope my Grandpa gave me that year for Christmas.

But I'll never forget the great horror I felt when I opened my gift from Gammies (as I called my sweet, very-much-a-grand-lady grandmother). It was a replica SHRUNKEN HEAD, complete with stitches holding the lips together! I already had problems with bad dreams after a strange reaction to aspirin which gave me a 12 hour LSD-type nightmare. Now I had a waking one as my younger sister (four years old and absolutely fearless) had no problems PICKING UP that horrible head and chasing me around the house with it, she laughing and me screaming.

Of course my grandmother was horrified I was so freaked out. I can still hear her telling my mother, "I'm so sorry; I thought she would like it." I can't even imagine where she found such a thing. Maybe the Smithsonian gift shop?

So, my fellow grandparents, please be careful what you give your grandchildren for Christmas. It may have a lifelong effect upon their tender little hearts.

What was YOUR worst nightmare, er, I mean worst Christmas gift?

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