Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 22: Lobject’s gift box

I am big on recycling gift boxes. Boxes can be expensive and are most often covered with colorful wrapping paper and elaborate bows. I have a large collection of Christmas-themed wrapping paper and gift boxes.

My husband’s family really takes pride in reusing gift boxes. Really, any box is a gift box. It’s important to never be excited about a box. All presents—big or small—get put in another box. The first Christmas we went to Luke’s Aunt and Uncle’s house in Charlotte, I got to see firsthand the gift box tradition.

We open present one at a time, oohing and aahing. Then, Cindy unwraps a box and screams with happiness. Others laugh. It’s an Uptons box. They want to explain, but I remember Uptons department store. It was less than three miles from my childhood home in Charlotte. We shopped there for clothes and household items. My Easter outfits came from Uptons. I liked the pink, turquoise, and yellow bags with Uptons in white. This was before Uptons went out of business and a Belk sign was erected. I hadn’t seen an Upton’s bag or box since Catholic school, which was apparently the joke.

Uptons had been closed for over a decade and still the gift boxes showed up every Christmas. Now these boxes might be 15-20 years old and they still show up. I don’t actually know how many gift boxes there are; I see one or two each Christmas. It’s somewhat of a special thing to get an Uptons box for Christmas and, if you get one, you are then charged with keeping the tradition alive. Cindy tells me it’s random. No one keeps track.

But, I can tell you I’ve never received an Uptons box. I can also divulge that last year I took an Uptons box. I’m not ashamed. It’s a box and a tradition I want to carry on. This year, no one expects me to give the Uptons box and I suspect it will cause a great laugh when I do.

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