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The White Diamonds Christmas

My goal for Ozarks Maven is bringing a smile to your face and joy to your day, so I’ve decided to share a heart-warming or funny Christmas story every week in December. I know that Christmas is about more than gifts, and I respect that. However, gift shopping/giving is a big part of the holiday and where a lot of the best stories lie.

My mother-in-law has never really understood me and vice versa. There’s a huge generation gap between us. That’s not to say we don’t love each other, but gift giving to someone who is so vastly different in personality and interests can be challenging. We struggled to find something for each other year after year.

One year, she gave me a bathrobe that was three sizes too small. It was just about the right size for my step-daughter who was around 12 at the time, but she assured me the gift was not mislabeled. I had to ask her for her receipt to exchange it for something would fit me. Another year she gave me an iTunes gift card. It was a nice thought, but I don’t own a single Apple product and ended up giving the card to a friend.

I didn’t do much better. One year, I gave her a St. Louis Cardinals T-shirt because that’s her favorite baseball team. I didn’t realize she never wears T-shirts – ever. Then there was the year I bought her a bottle of one of my favorite perfumes, Haiku by Avon. The woman literally snarled at it and asked me what it was. Last time I saw it, it was still unopened in her bathroom. I swung and missed the mark completely there.

One year, she knocked it out of the park with a perfume sampler. Amongst three other designer perfume samples was a small vial of Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds. I discovered I loved that fragrance and used every last drop.

The following Thanksgiving when she asked me what I’d like for Christmas, I told her how much I had enjoyed the little White Diamonds from the perfume set. She asked if I’d like some more, and I told her that would be great. She then told me she’d like a nice warm sweater and gave me her size. We both left our Thanksgiving meal happy and with ideas for each other.

That year at our Christmas celebration, she was beaming as she handed me a beautifully wrapped box. She even told me she thought I was going to love it. She watched me unwrap my present with pride in her gaze and a rare smile on her face.

My gift from her was a huge bottle of White Diamonds. I was thrilled. Then I opened a gift from someone else to find another bottle of White Diamonds. Then another and another. In total, I received five bottles of White Diamonds perfume, a huge tube of White Diamonds body lotion, and a White Diamonds wristwatch.

Seeing all of the perfume in front of me, my mother-in-law pursed her lips asked me if I wanted her receipt so I could exchange my gift. I declined. I was touched that she had not only listened to me, but had sought the biggest bottle of perfume I’d ever seen. I kept all five bottles and used them every one of them over the next couple of years.

Every once in a while, I will receive another bottle of White Diamonds for Christmas or my birthday and think of my sweet Silent Generation mother-in-law who tried so hard to do something nice for her Generation X daughter-in-law.

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