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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Christmas never stops! Thank you UK Customs!

The benefit of terrorist scares, the post office being overwhelmed by christmas packages, and customs being too nervous to be the ones to let a bomb into the country is that I am still celebrating Christmas in my corner of the office.

Since the new year I have received a number of wonderful gifts. Let me tell you what all I’ve gotten and say thank you to everyone who has sent things along. Also, at this point, I would advise that no one else post any parcels to me. Considering some things were in the mail for nearly three weeks and that is about all I have left here, they might miss me in transit. Cards, post cards, letters, emails, text messages, and prayers are all still welcome.

Today I got a package from the office in Chicago. Jean Olson (my chicago supervisor), Katie (I mean, Katherine) Colby (ICC Queen), and Nancy Helman (HR and supporter of my creative endeavors) sent me a care package. Katie’s choice was a jar of JIF creamy peanut butter. I passed the peanut butter a couple times last night at Safeway and decided not to get any, that I would grab it later. Obviously, on some level, I knew that I would be getting the real deal and wouldn’t have to settle for SunPat Peanut Butter. Nancy included a keychain that is a devil rubber ducky–YES! I was coveting a coworker’s rubber ducky at our Christmas Do and Nancy sent it to include me in the office White Elephant. Hooray for me! Jean included a festive collection of shower poofs and shower supplies. Luckily, they were not bath supplies, as I do not have a bathtub–but shower supplies. What Jean couldn’t predict was that in my last shower before the package arrived, my own shower poof disintegrated. It finally gave out and the netting unraveled and I was left with a long strand of useless Tulle. Well, I could make a prom dress for a Barbie doll, but it was no longer useful in the shower.

Yesterday I got a package from my Aunt Trudi and Granma Mary Jane. All the way from West Columbia, Texas. A big comfy sweater, perfect for curling up with a book. Also perfect for destroying a load of laundry–just the right shade of burgandy to turn everything pink. Something I didn’t mention in my christmas run-down is my Dad and Grandpa’s Top Hats. My Dad got them from an olde timey catalog and every christmas he and my grandpa would parade around their respective towns in grey top-hats with poinsettas. Trudi found a glass ornament that is a snowman wearing the exact same top hat. It will certainly find a place on my tree next year. Finally, although my Granma already shipped some things from Amazon to the Chicago Office (which John is gaurding for me in the Production Department) she sent me a lovely pill box for my dresser top.

Before that, I received my long awaited package from my folks. The lesson we learned is not to pay for express or gaurenteed delivery dates on international packages. Customs will always screw you up. But it was worth the wait. Swimming in 24 packs of microwave 94% fat free popcorn, was an amazing bud vase that my dad made in the glass blowing studio in Indianapolis. It is a simple clear bud vase, that stands just under a foot tall. It is perfectly formed and would probably go for well over $100 in an art shop. It is also quite sturdy and will make it back to Chicago safely, wrapped in the sweater from Aunt Trudi.

Then my sister became the Lane Bryant fairy and hit the after christmas sales for me. She sent me trouser socks, which may seem boring to you, but were exactly what I begged her for. It was something I forgot to grab before I came over and the socks from LB just fit so much better than from anywhere else. She also grabbed a pair of jeans in a size 18. Now, this is a size I haven’t seen since college and had given up ever wearing again. But this last weekend in Belfast, I was at the Giants game sporting my well-proportioned and sexy ass in this pair of sixe 18 jeans. Unbeleivable. Tight, yes, but also sexy in a very European way. Look out Chicago, tight jeans are in.

Cathy, a friend who dates back to La Plata days (otherwise we would never be friends, her being a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan) and who dates my roommate, took care of a few other key items. I think I mentioned before, but I will say it again. Cathy sent me the “Gateways”–a pair of flip flops (I mean sandles) that I have been wearing since I was a Hall Director. Much to Emrys and Sara’s surprise, I am still wearing the damn things. I didn’t bring them with me, but quickly missed them. Not having a pair of shoes to slip on for a quick trip to the front desk was really annoying. Since Cathy has keys to the apartment and isn’t afraid of the room that is my bedroom, she grabbed them for me. She also sent me trouser socks (I am lame, I know), more popcorn, and Kona Coffee from Sweet Occasions–my 2nd home in Chicago, the shop where I work nights.

Rachel hooked me up with my first gift of the holiday season–the new John Mayer album. Yummy, yummy, angsty John Mayer. MP brought me a supply of Mate (argentine tea) and more microwave popcorn (see a pattern? Socks and popcorn, socks and popcorn.) Jessica, the girl I mentor, has been writing me regularly since I’ve been here. I hope I have instilled in her the art of letter writing. Maybe I’ll have her keep writing me letters when I come home, or try to find her a real pen-pal. It is such an important, but lost, art. I have received countless cards and letters from friends all over the world, which I appreciate more than I can say.

I am sure I have left someone off the list, as I always do. That is the trouble with this–like the Thanksgiving with the Caputa’s and New Year’s Eve with Jenna–I am sure I forgot something fantastic. Anyway, thank you to everyone, thank you, thank you.

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