The best gifts

A good gift makes the giver feel known.

You see, ten years ago, my mother bought me a set of dishes. Each Christmas throughout junior high and high school, I unwrapped a place setting, a salad bowl, a set of water glasses, and promptly packed them back up to store until I was ready to use them. Now, I’m finally unpacking them, gently washing and drying each bowl and mug, and readying them for their debut meal on Christmas Day.

How adult am I? I have Christmas dishes!

When I first received these dishes, I couldn’t quite conceive of a time when I would host dinners for family and friends: after all, I was going to live on a tour bus, right? I probably wished that the dishes were a little more punk rock, a little funkier perhaps, but I am impressed now that my mother had the patience and foresight to know that I would one day outgrow my affinity for leopard print and black. She chose instead something that I love now, at twenty-seven.

These are sturdy and solid, they are funky,  and my mother pieced them together from two different lines of dishes, one red, one white. With their rounded handles and deep soup bowls, they are something that I would have chosen myself now that I am old enough to have a kitchen and grown enough to care what fills it. That fact alone reassures me that my mom knew me better than I did, at a time when I sure that nobody knew who I really was.

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