As I was growing up in the Panhandle of Texas, I always looked forward to the gag gifts that my great uncle would give at Christmas. It was always junk...like rusty nails, a dried out cigar or even a few peanuts. After uncle Frank died, my parents, but mainly my mother, took the concept to another level as it became “sacks”...brown grocery sacks with odds and ends that she collected over the course of the year. Each member of the family would receive a sack with things like candy canes, trinkets and even a out-dated calendar and, of course some junk. Over the course of years, mother began to search all the catalogs she received and send off for small unusual items that she would include in the sacks...sometimes they were interesting and even useful!
Mother died in 2000 and I inherited the “duty” of the sack tradition. Like mother, I spend the year accumulating and storing things in my closet. However, I have changed the concept to include fun and unusual things. Since my two children ,now 37 and 38, elected to leave all their growing-up “stuff” in the garage and attic, I can go through it and select things from their past that they haven’t seen for years...bringing about “wow, I haven’t thought about that for years...where did you find that dad?” With three grandkids, I also have taken to buying neat toys and such for their sacks. This year’s sacks will include a custom pool cue stick for my son...it was my dad’s, socks, used ties that I know longer wear, candy, cosmetics (for the granddaughter), Texas Ranger baseball memorabilia, some old (and maybe valuable) cookbooks for my son-in-law and many other trinkets and neat items. I allow trading of sack items if both parties want what the other has received!
My brother (who lives in Weatherford) and I also have a separate “sack occasion”. We both have equal amounts of our mother’s “stuff” stored in our garages, and we have a lot of fun passing it back and forth each year. I am sorry to say that since plain old brown grocery sacks are hard to come by (what ever happened to the grocery clerk asking if you wanted paper or plastic?), I have converted to large Christmas bags! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!