Sunday, November 3, 2013

Gifted Gift Givers

Are you blessed with family and friends who are good at giving perfect gifts?  I wish I had that talent! My friend Michele, who blogs at Adventures in Thrifting, definitely has a gift for gifting!  For my birthday this year, she created a special, one-of-a-kind gift that was both charming and practical.  Michele knows that the children's books by Russell Hoban featuring Frances (a badger) are among my favorites.  A Baby Sister for Frances is what I usually give to the older sibling when a baby joins a family.  But another favorite Frances book is Bread and Jam for Frances.

In case you aren't familiar with the story, Frances is a picky eater who turns up her nose at the meals her mother serves.  Her very wise mother begins serving her bread and jam and ONLY bread and jam, three meals a day.  At first, Frances is thrilled!  She sings,
Jam on biscuits, jam on toast,
Jam is the thing that I like most!
By the next day, after a couple of meals of bread and jam, her enthusiasm is dwindling: 
Jam in the morning, jam at noon,
Bread and jam by the light of the moon.
Jam . . . is . . . very . . . nice.
By dinner that evening, when everyone else is served spaghetti with meatballs, but she faces only bread and jam, Frances starts crying at the table and softly sings,
What I am
Is tired of jam.
Of course, at that point her mother quickly brings her a plate of spaghetti and meatballs.  The next day at school, Frances lays out an elaborate lunch, complete with a tiny vase of violets and a miniature salt shaker.  She and her friend Albert agree that it's nice there are all different kinds of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks.
Okay, that was a long introduction to Michele's very cool gift!  First, I opened a lovely insulated lunch bag.  Inside were several individually wrapped items, each with a clever rhyme to explain it.  I've grouped most of the items below.  (Not pictured are finger wipes and Shout wipes -- does Michele know me, or what?)  She included a tiny bud vase, to which I've added a rose, two Rubbermaid containers, a Vera napkin and napkin ring, and a tiny salt shaker.  It wasn't until I got to the salt shaker that the Frances connection occurred to me!  The little rose compact in the front right of the tray is Barbie-themed, as Michele knows I also like Barbie.  The attached verse read, "To powder your nose, Barbie offers this rose."
And there you have it -- I'm perfectly equipped for taking my own elaborate lunch to work.  Thank you for such a clever gift, Michele!


  1. That was such a creative gift! I should say she is a good gift giver! And I had forgotten about Frances, even though I read them to my kids. Now I know something else to get my little granddaughter for Christmas!

  2. Tricia, I had such fun putting it together! Let's hope you enjoy using it that much too.

  3. Tricia, this is a most creative and thoughtful gift. I'm a fan of Hoban's books. I read these to my first graders year after year. They are so adorable.