Sunday, December 15, 2013

Stormy Christmas

When I was eight years old, there were two things I wanted more than anything else in the world.
The first was a horse of my own.
The second was the newest addition to the Breyer line-up, Marguerite Henry's Stormy.
Of course, I wasn't expecting to receive either of these things at my third grade Christmas party and gift exchange.  Past experience had taught me that most of the gifts exchanged that day would be pretty modest.  If I was really lucky, I might get a Breyer stablemate.  More likely, I'd get a book or art supplies or a cheap toy.

What I was not prepared to get was this:
There's probably an eight year old girl somewhere who would love to own an embroidered cotton handkerchief, but I was not that girl.
Oh, I was so disappointed! 

I tried to be gracious, but it was hard not to feel cheated as I watched my classmates enjoy their new books, toys and art supplies.  Everyone--and I do mean everyone--had received better gifts than me.  I was relieved when the final bell rang and we were dismissed.  I couldn't wait to go home and forget all about that particular Christmas party.

As I walked to my mom's car, I was joined by my younger sister.  She had a big smile on her face and her Secret Santa gift in her hand.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  I got a handkerchief and she got Stormy.  The injustice was overwhelming, and I burst into tears.
Fortunately, I unwrapped my own Stormy a few days later.  She was a bit lighter than Erin's, and as far as I was concerned, she was much prettier.
In fact, she was so pretty, I almost forgot all about that stupid handkerchief...
Almost!

18 comments:

  1. I had a gift exchange,and we have to bring $5.00 gift cards..and im like”your not going to buy anything with $5.00 anywhere.”and my mom is like ”true.”


    Rebekah

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  2. That's still better than a handkerchief...

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  3. Thats maybe true,but hey the postive is that you got the foal!!!!:-P


    Rebekah

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  4. Too cute! Chincoteague ponies are my favorites. I'm so glad you got a Stormy! (Personally I like the lighter one more, too.)

    The sweet little ribbon in the darker one's tail is equally adorable ;)

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    1. That "ribbon" (it's actually yarn) has been there probably since 1977. Scary!

      And for the record--the darker Stormy is Stormy E and the lighter is Stormy J. When I got a little older, I went back and renamed most of my models so they weren't stuck with their official Breyer. Somehow these two were unaffected by that. They were always Stormy E and Stormy J.

      :)

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    2. 1977, wow! And it still looks like new (well, kind of). Stormy E and Stormy J are an adorable pair ;)

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  5. Mrs. Jennifer,
    Check the Breyer news on their website.... You may be excited, because they mention you! : D!

    ~Alyssa

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    1. Thanks for the heads up! I would have never seen that otherwise.

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  6. I can't believe you still have that - and, boy, did you ever cry - all the way home. Some mothers are pretty stupid.

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    1. I would usually say, "It's the thought that counts,"but I don't know how anyone could have thought that was a good gift for an eight year old. Even if it's hand tatted (and I have no idea what that means--sorry, Evelyn) it's just not something the average eight year old wants to own.

      Of course, it wouldn't have been nearly so bad if my little sister who'd never even read a Marguerite Henry book hadn't got my number one most wanted Breyer in her gift exchange. That's what made the whole thing intolerable.


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  7. So True. As an 8 year old horse-crazy child, I too, would have been terribly disappointed to receive a handkerchief, when all I wanted in the world was horses - in any way shape or form.

    What I know now is that tatting is an art form.

    Of course, I can't tell from a photograph if this was mass-produced or not but if this WAS hand tatted, it probably took someone AGES to make and they were probably pretty proud of that edging...

    Still, at age 8, I would rather have had Stormy! ; )

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  8. Oh, man, in case you thought we didn't have a lot in common... I ALWAYS got the crappiest gift in the classroom gift exchange. We didn't do "Secret Santa," people just brought in stuff and we drew numbers and picked, or something like that. Invariably I'd get some crummy thing I hated and everything else would be enjoying their LifeSavers Story Book or some nifty toy or what have you. I still have possessive pangs when I see those LifeSavers books in the stores this time of year, even though I never, ever buy or eat LifeSavers. Childhood trauma, yikes.

    I do have to admit there were never any Breyers floating around. If there had been, and I didn't get it, I have a feeling there might have been bloodshed. I would have cried for a solid WEEK, never mind all the way home! :)

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  9. Two peas in a pod, I'm telling you.

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  10. Yeah, I always get the oddball gifts. They're definitely good ones, but their always something that I'm glad that I got because someone else would be really disappointed. I remember one year, I think I was 7, and I got a pair of earrings and there were only 2 or 3 other girls in the class that could wear earrings at all. Another year, for some reason, I got a real halter. It was purple (my favorite) and it was cob sized, so I could use it occasionally on a horse I sometimes rode. But I don't know why anyone would put a real horse halter in a school secret Santa exchange....

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  11. Horse kids are the easiest to gift if only "someone" would pay attention. I don't know what it is that people just don't get horse stuff for horse kids. I still don't get horse stuff which is why I liked doing the Blab exchange. I mean it is like DUH!!!!!

    But a hankie? At least put a horse on it, LOL.

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  12. @Christine, NO KIDDING. I personally think I am the easiest person in the world to shop for, as long as you know I love horses and ride English. For example, English stirrup on it? I'm good. This applies to clothes, jewelry, books, notepaper, Christmas ornaments, etc. If

    My husband has been to the tack shop twice, when I special-ordered things and sent him to pick them up. While there he has selected several other excellent items, mainly jewelry, that I love and wear all the time (he certainly wouldn't know how to pick out something like breeches, LOL). He's even stated, "Gee, there was tons of things you would like." Um, YEAH. So why hasn't he gone back??? *sigh* Oh, well. You can lead a horse to water... :)

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    1. P.S. I had to laugh because my son is dead-set on getting his GF something with a fox on it for Christmas (she's not an equestrian, just loves them). He was getting frustrated looking online. I suggested we go look in the tack shop. Whaaaa???? "Everything in there is too expensive!!" No, I said, not everything. Finish-Line fox head earrings, for example! I was shot down, he found something to order.

      (Yes, you're right - I may have had an ulterior motive dragging him to the tack shop... hee, hee. But I really do think he could find "something" foxy in his price range!)

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  13. My husband never has figured it out....anything with horse....41 years.... I don't remember ever participating in gift exchanges at school, but I sure got similar gifts to your hanky. My grandmother always gave us things that were totally weird and inappropriate for young girls.

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