The gift of food.

I already said that my family was largely not giving a lot of gifts this year, instead relegating most of our funds to gift cards, charity donations, or as I requested, money to help pay off debt. I didn’t expect the interesting twist, however, of gifts of food. I don’t mean the food that was served at the big dinner or some fattening cookies and things that were left out for people to munch on. That was to be expected. What I mean is that for the sake of there being a few things under the tree, we still got small gifts for each other. I thought it would be cute to give everybody novelty magnets. Okay, it wasn’t a great idea but it was Monday night, I was in Portsmouth, and it was the only thing I could think of in my budget for last-minute knickknacks.

On the receiving end, aside from the money I got food from everybody. From my father I got a selection of cheeses and a box of cookies, all from Hickory Farms. He gave some of that to my sister and brother-in-law as well. His girlfriend gave everybody chocolates with their gifts. What really threw me off guard was a bottle of wine from my sister and brother-in-law. Knowing how my father abstains from alcohol and always looked down on it I was surprised that they were able to bring the bottle into the house without comment. We are all adults and it wasn’t like I drank it there last night. Still, with the negative view of alcohol as part of my upbringing it felt weird receiving the bottle there.

It wasn’t weird what I got. I ran into my sister and brother-in-law a couple of months ago while shopping for a bottle of Pinot Noir. I’m not a big red drinker but I was experimenting. I found that so far that style is my favorite of the reds. They remembered this and bought me a bottle. I have no idea if it’s an expensive brand or not. I’m making a point not to find out until after I drink it. It was nice to find out that it comes from Italy. I’ve had good luck with wines coming from there. So, my favorite kind of red from my favorite country for wine plus my father’s gift of cheese should make for an enjoyable evening coming up. Sorry, Joan, but I think I’ll have to keep the chocolate separate from those two things. That is, of course, if it lasts that long.

Receiving so much food does have a strange feeling, though. While they were thoughtful gifts and I will certainly enjoy them, food doesn’t last. Unless I keep the bottle or the wrappers that the Lindt balls came in, I won’t really have anything to keep in the future. I’m not necessarily sentimental of my gifts. I can’t remember who gave me all of my childhood toys or the endless amount of CDs over the years. The point is I still have them. There’s nothing wrong with food for a gift. There’s nothing wrong, furthermore, with the idea that the gift won’t stand the test of time. My point is that I’ve been used to one thing for so long that I notice the temporality of what I got all the more.

The cheese came in a reusable tin. That should account for something. I also got a new pair of gloves. Let’s not forget the money, which accounts for more than half of the money I owe my father. The other half shouldn’t take so long to pay back now. That will allow me to ultimately spend for myself. Considering I may have to buy a new car this year that’s a good thing.


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