Once upon a time my brother, Ryan gave me a really cheap gift for Christmas.
In 1997, the first Christmas Ken and I were married , all the married kids decided to draw names. At the time 4 of us were married. Ken and I got Heather and Farrell's name. Ryan and Rhonda got us. I don't remember the rest of the mix up. Ryan and Rhonda lived in Georgia and while Ryan attended college he worked for Rent a Center. Ken worked for Rent a Center also-in Bremerton. (pre college and getting a life/real job)
Ryan and Rhonda gave us really neat things. A blanket from Mexico, a lot of scrapbooking paper, herbs and spices and ...Love Dust. What?! You've never heard of Love Dust? That's because you could never buy it. I imagine you've never #1 worked for Rent a Center. #2 rented from Rent a Center. If you don't fit either of those descriptions, you would never have come into contact with it.
Ken knew what it was because he worked there. He also knew it was free. and gross. Imagine the flavored sugar, like in pixie sticks, packaged in fake pink plastic heart shaped 'perfume bottles' voila! Love Dust. bleh
Ryan gave us a whole case of that junk.
Fact: I am not a pleasant pregnant person.
Fact: My mom thought it was a lame gift too. (the Love Dust part)
Combine these two facts and you get 2 annoyed women who decide the 'gift' should be saved and returned at a later unexpected date. ie: 2 Christmases later.
Fast forward to Christmas Eve, 2 years later. That morning we had learned that our Aunt Brenda has passed away. Although we didn't see her much, she was one of our aunts on my Dad's side that we did know. We were sad. We went to church that day and that evening we got together as a family for annual gift exchange/party. (Pre-Ensign Ranch) While we were having a good time, there was an underlying feeling of sadness. I remember everyone opening their presents and we were all grateful and appreciative. Then it was Ryan's turn to open his. A lot of the family knew what he was getting. He was completely unsuspecting. He opened it, turned it around to read what it was, looked a little confused and then laughed right out loud. (pre-LOL) A tradition was born that glorious evening.
We no longer give it as a gift, it has to show up as a total surprise. The more embarrassing, somehow the better.
I've received it at lunch in the elementary school I've worked at, in a box while unpacking a move, he broke into my car once and in the mail instead of the thing I was expecting (my scriptures). It's showed up on his office desk, at a ward function, shoved in his luggage while unpacking his car, and the missionaries gave it to him once.
The love dust has resided in Washington, Oregon, Utah, Georgia, New Mexico and Kansas.
Ryan has it right now. It was presented to him at a ward party as gift from one of his Priests. He's the Bishop of his ward and the youth took the opportunity to roast him a couple weeks ago. The evening ended with Ryan receiving a gift...of LOVE DUST. MUAHHAAHAH!! (This was my top secret project, mentioned here-bullet #5.)
When mom died, we gave her one of the little packages of love dust since she was partially responsible for the game.