I opened my Christmas gifts from the family and my sister has finally outdone herself. She always sends me flannel pajamas, and this time they are a perky acqua with cute, slightly dazed looking sheep on them. Most of the sheep are white, but here and there are the real symbol of my role in the family, the black sheep, sticking out like inkblots. Some of the sheep have tiny darker acqua and white striped leg warmers on…yes, all four legs. There is black piping outlining the lapels of these cute-as-hell pajamas. The sheep top the previous flannel jamma motifs of polar bears, snowflakes, black scotty dogs, reindeer, and crescent moons and stars. Lucky Charms has nothing on me and my pajama collection. I admire her persistence in trying to provide me clothing.
The two gifts from my other sister are weird to me but creative just the same. Why not a new computer mouse with a huge green iridescent beetle in it and a NY Times bestseller book from a somewhat gross/violent blog featuring sarcastic how to jokes and stylized cartoon blob people called “10 Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth”. My niece, the Ph.D at 24, has sent me two wooden cats straight out of Pier 1 or Cost Plus with long tails that I quite like.
I don’t send pajamas, I send hand thrown pottery, and other stuff I promptly forget about once I’ve sent it. I send gifts to remind them I exist. Why my sisters and overachieving niece send me anything at Christmas is strange, wonderful, and mysterious all at the same time.