The Christmas Story, 2017

Every year, the story is a bit different. This year, it concerned two gifts, each a single pair of vintage kid gloves.

The first was for my daughter. I found the 1960-or-so-era gloves in the bottom of a box of old photos and recognized them immediately as my mother’s. Mom loved good clothes, even though we had no money for such frivolity.

She made do by shopping second hand stores and doing a little dumpster diving. I’ll never forget seeing her short legs (she was 5-feet tall) sticking up above a big dumpster as she was sorting through some of what she considered treasures. I was 10 and mortified. Kids, of course, are sensitive about being “poor,” which we were.

Kid gloves and red dresses with matching hats and tall spiked black high heels were Mom’s favorite. I thought immediately of my daughter, Jennie, when I found the gloves, still encased in their original container. She adored Mom. I wrapped the gloves up and sent them to her for Christmas.

The gloves planted a seed. Like Mom, my Margie loves pretty things, so I went searching for a pair of white kid gloves for her, as well. I landed on a pair of late 1920s kid driving gloves that turned out to be in perfect condition: bright white, incredibly soft and extremely well made.

Margie pronounced the gloves to be her favorite present this year. I was happy about that. Jennie wrote that I owed her a new tube of mascara because she cried off a tube when she opened the gloves.

I guess both those presents count as a success.

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