Once upon a time...
In a land far, far away there was a place called Headquarters Communications Center, HQCC for short. In there lived and worked a Supervisor (played by me) and her three shift employees. To protect the innocent their names will be withheld and they will go by initials.
One was my bestie, BJP. We had worked together for many years. The Christmas of 1989 we had worked together for six years and had become so close. We suffered through night shifts while being pregnant and young mothers. Our families grew together and our children were like brother and sisters.
The next was PLA. She was a very tall, obdurate and on occasion nice. She liked horse racing and did NOT like tobacco smoke. She was single, I'll leave it at that.
And finally SLB. She was a teenager that knew nothing of life but thought she did. As Paul of old, SLB was a thorn in my side. She plucked my nerves, I don't think on purpose, just naturally. I could write a chapter in a book on this child alone but that's for another day.
The Christmas of 1989 was my first as a supervisor. I inherited this shift from JLB, no relation to SLB. As a shift we decided to exchange Christmas presents with a certain monetary limit. SLB loved BJP, PLA she hated. SLB called me into the secretary's office to show me the present she had gotten BJP, she was so proud of it. I praised her on her find and she wrapped her present with glee.
SLB's gift for BJP was the ugliest vase you've ever laid eyes on. And so, in as much as I love BJP and didn't want SLB's feelings hurt I warned BJP of the present before we exchanged gifts.
Now came the time for exchanging gifts. I can't remember much of the gifts except SLB's offerings. To PLA and I she gave snow globes, a little gaudy but, way better than The Vase. Finally the time came for BJP to open her prize. She opened it, thanked SLB and sat it on the floor next to her. That wasn't good enough for me. I asked to see The Vase and said how beautiful it was. If looks could kill, I'd be dead from BJP's eyes. I praised SLB's find of The Vase and told BJP how beautiful it would look on her dining table. Oh it would look beautiful with flowers in it on her dining table. BJP took The Vase and put it back next to her and killed me again with her eyes.
BJP and I stepped outside to have a smoke and died laughing. I know SLB thought she had given a prize away. BJP exclaimed that she had rather had a snow globe but I wasn't trading. BJP and I loaded up our gifts and left PLA and SLB to finish the night off.
And now, the rest of the story...
By the time Christmas 1990 rolled around SLB was no longer employed at HQCC (thank God). BJP was still on my shift and still my bestie. I can't remember who else was on my shift but it doesn't matter for this story (and laud I have a million of them). Miss BJP decided to get back at me because I talked up The Vase so much. I bet you can't guess what I got for Christmas; if you guessed The Vase you would be right. NOT FUNNY!! And so a Christmas tradition had started. Each Christmas BJP and I would find a new way of sending The Vase to each other. Once I had The Vase delivered to her at HQCC with flowers. By the way, The Vase leaks. I got The Vase on even years, BJP on odd years. Our tradition became very popular at HQCC, people would ask all the time, close to Christmas, who has The Vase this year.
The Vase giving died when I retired in 2007, until this year. The day before yesterday I got a suspicious package, return address...BJP. She's at it again. When we send The Vase we always would write a card to go with it. BJP writes: "For so many years I have been lost but now I'm found. They are sending me back home to where I belong. I have missed you and my only home for so long. Now I will be displayed and loved instead of sitting in some drafty corner. It's so nice that you can see how beautiful I am. I am so happy to be back home. The Vase" On a day that I needed a smile, I got it. BJP and I talked and laughed about The Vase. She's crazy! But I lover her.
What does The Vase look like you ask?