Friday, December 21, 2018

Author Interview w/ Jen Turano + Giveaway

UPDATE: Giveaway has ended!!!


Hi Jen, I am delighted to have you back on the blog. I know this is a busy time of year so let’s get right to it and chat Christmas favorites!

What was your favorite gift as a child?

 I always loved the dolls I received – my favorite being Velvet – my sister got the Chrissie doll that year, and what was fun is that Chrissie had reddish hair, Velvet had blonde – and I had red hair and my sister was blond –We always thought Santa had made a mistake, but nope – Chrissie was Velvet’s older sister, Gretchen was my older sister – which is exactly why Santa dispensed the dolls as he did – or at least that’s what happened according to my mom back in the day….

What is your favorite Christmas song?

My favorite song seems to change year to year – this year it’s ‘Cantique De Noel’ sung by Andrea Bocelli – such a beautiful rendition.

What part of the Christmas meal is your favorite?

We always have a turkey for the Christmas meal, which is odd because no one in my family is overly fond of turkey – however, my favorite of that meal is the stuffing – but I only like stuffing that’s cooked in a turkey – hence the reason for insisting turkey is served ๐Ÿ˜Š 

What is your favorite Christmas book or movie?

My favorite Christmas book of all times is “Why the Chimes Rang and Other Stories” by Raymond Macdonald Alden. It’s old (first released in 1906) but it’s the perfect story to read about the true meaning of Christmas.

If you would like to share about what is coming up next for you that would be great! 
So next is the start of a new series – The American Heiress Series. Book one is “Flights of Fancy” releasing Jan. 1 with the second book in the series, “Diamond in the Rough” releasing Fall 2019. I’ll also be in a novella collection with three fabulous authors this fall as well, and then, after I finish writing the last book in this series, I’ll be diving into a new series – details to follow in a month or so.

About Flights of Fancy (from Goodreads):
Miss Isadora Delafield may be an heiress, but her life is far from carefree. When her mother begins pressuring her to marry an elderly and uncouth duke, she escapes from the high society world she's always known and finds herself to be an unlikely candidate for a housekeeper position in rural Pennsylvania.

Mr. Ian MacKenzie is known for his savvy business sense and has built his reputation and fortune completely on his own merits. But when his adopted parents are in need of a new housekeeper and Isadora is thrown into his path, he's unexpectedly charmed by her unconventional manner.

Neither Isadora nor Ian expected to find the other so intriguing, but when mysterious incidents on the farm and the truth of Isadora's secret threaten those they love, they'll have to set aside everything they thought they wanted for a chance at happy-ever-after.


Thanks for sharing some of your Christmas favorites with us, Jen!

What would you like to ask my readers?

Because it is the Christmas season, I enjoy hearing about amusing gifts people have received throughout the years. The one to spring to mind for me was a pair of slippers – pink pig slippers to be exact, but here’s the thing – they were so big it was like sticking your feet into two stuffed animals. After I finally admitted defeat, realizing I couldn’t even walk up the stairs with them on without fearing for my very life, I turned them into golf club covers for Al – and get this – someone stole them when he parked his bag outside this club to grab a bite to eat – that was the end of the very amusing pink pigs. Now it’s your turn – 

What was the most amusing gift you’ve received???? 

Jen can be found on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor/
But all of her books are featured on her website – www.jenturano.com

Mandatory Entries: Leave a comment answering Jen's question — What was the most amusing gift you’ve received????along with your email address in a non-spammy format (jane at doe dot com) to be entered in the giveaway for an autographed copy of Flights of Fancy, releasing Jan 2019! US ONLY!!! Giveaway ends Jan 2.


96 comments:

  1. I can’t think of an amusing gift I’ve ever received. Thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ

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  2. One year I did a white elephant gift exchange and I ended up with an old stinky ice cream maker. It was so smelly it went right in the trash.
    Stephanie Jenkins
    stephaniej1984(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. hahah - that's great, Stephanie!! I've never gotten anything stinky in a white elephant exchange, although I have gotten some interesting pieces of home dรฉcor - stuff I'd never set out in a million years :) Merry Christmas!

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  3. Maybe a kid sled you sit on and ride down a hill.
    Enjoyed the interview. Cannot wait to read the book!!
    mbarri7 at gmail dot com

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    1. I love sleds - really miss those days when I'd take my son out - for some reason, probably because he's now twenty-two, he doesn't really like going sledding with me, and I can't imagine him riding down a hill on an innertube with me these days!! Merry Christmas!!!

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  4. At one of those funny gift trading exchanges I got a Midas "Muffler"/scarf! I just love it and worked REALLY HARD to keep it. Such a fun game and memory. Still my favorite scarf too, yellow, black, and all! I also got a Velvet doll the year my older sister got Chrissie. (and I am the blonde in the family) I loved the post and can't wait to read this latest book.

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    1. Those trading games are always a riot, Kathleen!! I never end up getting what I originally wanted - Too fun about the Velvet doll. I still have mine :) Merry Christmas!!!

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  5. I'm 4'9" and wear a size M - my husband bought me 2x nightgown and didn't know why I thought it wouldn't fit!

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    1. Oh, that's great, Kim. I can't tell you how many times my guys get me clothes for gifts and I'm like..."Have you ever seen me wear something this huge???" Always a bit of a head-scratcher. Hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas!

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  6. My most amusing was rocks for under our deck. LOL...not at the time...but we did need them. Just not for Christmas! I still laugh about it today!

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    1. Oh, that's classic, Laura! I've never gotten rocks for Christmas, although I did get a vacuum once, and yes, I probably needed a new vacuum, just wasn't expecting it for Christmas. Hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday season!

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  7. I can’t think of anything super amusing that I received as a gift, but I can tell you a funny story about my gifts. On my first Christmas spent with my in-laws, I received a can of Hazelnut Pirouline, which I love. I got all excited when I unwrapped it until my husband told me that there was probably something else in the tin. Indeed there was. I don’t recall what was in the tin, but I remember the silliness of discovering that appearances can be deceiving! :-)

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    1. Ahh, I forgot my email as usual! Sorry! It’s mylittlebirdiebooks [at] gmail [dot] com.

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    2. Ah, the surprise gifts - those are always fun!!! Have a Merry Christmas, Karen!!

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  8. I don’t Romberg getting any amusing gifts. One of my favorite Christmas memories is the year (many years) that my sister & I woke up around 3am unwrapped all our gifts , rewraped them. Then acted surprised when we reopened them.

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    1. That's a great memory, Ann - although why do I get the feeling you and your sister probably kept your parents on their toes??? Merry Christmas - and do try to wait to unwrap your presents this year until Christmas morning - hahaha - :)

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  9. My brother in law decided one year that I needed a workout jacket. Way too light to really be of any use, and I am a fairly petite person so, to be honest, I don't work out much (other than chasing two little ones around a house. Lol).

    cross dot karen dot r at gmail dot com

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    1. That's hilarious, Karen. My brother always gets me perfume even though I'm the one person in my family who can't wear it - but it's always really nice perfume... Merry Christmas!!

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  10. The most amusing gift? Easy. My brother called me one year asking me to pick up Apples to Apples for him as he was going to a Christmas party that evening. He then asked me to wrap it for him. Being the good sister I am, I obliged. Want to guess what was under the tree with my name on it from my brother? Yep, the game I bought and wrapped!

    mws_ping at yahoo dot com

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    1. Oh, this just made me laugh. I have three brothers so, yes, I've experienced similar situations - guys are just so amusing. Merry Christmas!!!

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  11. At a white elephant gift exchange I got a year old calendar. Thanks for the chance to win your book.

    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

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    1. Hmmm...now that was a real white elephant gift, Faith. Here's hoping, if you get another calendar this year, that it's for 2019 :) Merry Christmas!!!

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  12. I think one of my most amusing gifts was a Fashion Star Filly that my grandfather and uncle brought back from a trip they went on. My sister and I had both been collecting a few of them, and there was one that we couldn't find where we live. They found it for us and the amusing part was in the way it was packaged...the tail was very interestingly placed...and the commentary that followed was quite hilarious!

    Thank you for the chance to win a copy of the book. cannhudson at verizon dot net

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    1. Those tails can be tricky to wrap, Colleen - hahaha :) Hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas!!

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  13. I worked in a church organization and one year we had a gift exchange. I was given a small coffee mug with the church name on it. Don’t believe he spent any money on that one! Lol. Stella dot Potts77 at gmail dot com.

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    1. I think you may be right about that, Stella :) I was once given a box of candy with half of the top tray of chocolates missing - Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!

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  14. I think the most amusing gift we (it was actually my husband's gift) ever received was an ugly, cheap teddy bear. It was from the local university, had on "sweats" with the school logo, and was holding a bullhorn. It was so funny when he opened it, from his grandmother (thankfully she wasn't there to see our reaction... we were stationed in Iceland at the time), we burst into laughter and just sat there gawking at this ugly thing. We checked to make sure we didn't read the name label incorrectly, like maybe it was for our year old daughter, but no, it was for my husband. He never even attended that university. It was odd, comical, and definitely memorable.

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    1. I forgot my email addy... kelly at dkcountryarts dot com
      Thank you for the entry!
      Blessings and Merry Christmas!

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    2. hahaha - that's fabulous, Kelly!! My dad once sent my son this dancing Dallas Cowboy - the thing is - well, we live in Denver so we're Bronco fans and don't like the Cowboys at all - but my son still has it - he's still a Bronco fan but thinks it's hilarious that his grandpa sent him a dancing cowboy. Merry Christmas!!!!

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  15. The most amusing gift I ever received was an IOU from my brother. He wrapped up a nice piece of paper with the IOU on it. Come to think of it, I've never collected on it!
    Sassyjd32@gmail.com!

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    1. Oh, that's great, Jeanette, and rather charming as well. Hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas!!!

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  16. I’ve never received an amusing gift before. Thank you for the giveaway. This sounds like another fun book by Jen��

    Soblessed0208(at)gmailDOTcom

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  17. Thanks for stopping in, Shamekka!!! Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!!

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  18. My husband special-ordered some caramel waffles for me, and as I was opening the gift, he blurts out, "Oh, I just remembered you don't like caramel, huh?" I just shook my head and thanked him anyways... ;)

    dianemestrella at gmail dot com

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    1. Hahaha - that's great, Diane!!! Al once bought be a pair of boots that were so not my style that I do believe I was speechless for a full minute - think thigh-high and six inch heels - A lady he worked with thought they were just the bomb but...I did take them back because, ah...nope. Hope you had a great Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

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  19. I can't think of an amusing gift I received but my husband once received one of those horrid mounted talking/singing fish at a church white elephant gift exchange. I remember he took it home but I don't remember how I convinced him to get rid of it. Thanks for the chance to win your new book. I'm looking forward to reading it.

    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. Pam!!! I know exactly what that fish looks like because my dad sent one of them to Dom one year - honestly...Dom loved it but I was certainly glad when the batteries died and then...I think it just sort of disappeared at some point :) Happy New Year!!!

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  20. 9 years ago my husband gave me the ugliest imitation of brown Ugg boots when I had asked for brown western boots. I forced a trembling smile on my face as I tried not to focus on the red clearance tag $7! Trying them on at his request, I discovered a small box that held a simple engagement ring and two wedding bands. I looked up confused as he said, 'I didn't go to Jared, I went to Walmart. Will you marry me this summer?' With laughter on my lips and tears in my eyes, I said 'yes!'

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    1. Oh, this is a delightful story, Jessy!!!! What a lovely proposal and nine years...I would say he's a keeper!! Happy New Year!!!

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  21. I forgot my email
    Txjessy1 at Gmail dot com
    Thank you for this opportunity!

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  22. I received a contraction that wad supposed to make peeling hard boiled eggs easier. It was an epic fail, but I got a good laugh out of it. Thank you for writing such amazing books for us to read. My email is farm girl five two six at yahoo dot com. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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    1. Thank you so much!!! Hope you have a wonderful New Year - and don't even get me started on hard boiled eggs - I fail every time I try to make them :)

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  23. What fun reading all the comments. I can't remember a gag gift I have received, but my husband "won" (no one else chose to steal it) a white plaster elephant at a gift exchange. He kept it for years until one of the legs broke off. He actually was glad no one else wanted it after him and wouldn't take it back to exchange another year. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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    1. Thanks for stopping in, Kathleen!!! What a charming story - I would have wanted to keep the elephant as well - I love stuff like that. Happy New Year!!!

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  24. My niece wanted to buy me a sink. Because she knows that I wash my hands a lot�� hilarious, but pretty thoughtful for a 3 year old! Lol

    blaireholden15@gmail.com

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    1. That's adorable, Blaire!!! And yes, totally thoughtful for a three-year-old!! Happy New Year!!!

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  25. I can't remember any amusing gifts. Maybe this year! I'm looking forward to reading your book and thanks for the interview. Merry Christmas!

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    1. Thank you, Carol!!! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Happy New Year!!

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  26. The most amusing gift that I received was the "classic fruitcake"! This was funny because my husband knew that I couldn't stand fruitcake. When I opened it from a friend and had to pretend that I liked it, I could see him trying to keep a straight face!!
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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    1. I'm with you - I've never understood the whole fruitcake thing - but I don't think I've ever received one as a gift. Have a Happy New Year!!!

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  27. hmmmm, I've never received anything amusing. hethas1@yahoo.com

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    1. Heather - there's always next year - I usually get one amusing gift every year - this year it was a pair of slippers from my son - the exact color/style of slippers he's given me for the past three years :)

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  28. I don't recall ever receiving an amusing gift. Maybe this year, I will! Merry Christmas! jumpforjoy at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks for stopping in, Joy. Have a Happy New Year!!!

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  29. Lovely interview - I enjoyed it!
    I once participated in a silly gift exchange game, and ended up with a stuffed animal cow piggy bank - I was thrilled since I love cows. XD
    Thank you for the giveaway!!

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    1. I love cows as well, Raechel!!! I didn't get any cows this years, but my sister got me a set of piggy salt and pepper shakers - one of my favorite gifts!!! They're so cheesy they're great - Happy New Year!!!

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  30. Wonderful interview with the lovely Jen Turano! I haven't received an amusing gifts that I can remember.

    Merry and Blessed Christmas!

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    1. It's always wonderful hearing from you, Caryl!! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and best wishes for the New Year!!!

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  31. Jen, Thank you so much for stopping in to chat with our readers!!! I was out of town a few days and had no internet. Lots of interesting gifts y'all have received!!

    Anyone who hasn't left an email address needs to come back and do so, please!!!

    Happy Christmas to everyone!!

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    1. Thank you for having me, Anne!!! Always fun to come and visit with you!!

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  32. One year I received a tackle box! mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Oh, that's great, Melanie!! I've never gotten a tackle box before, but that might be because I'm not exactly fond of fishing, much to my dad's dismay. He was thrilled when my son told him he'd go fishing with him when Dom was four - until they actually caught a fish and Dom freaked out - worried the hook was hurting it - that was the end of fishing for him :) Happy New Year!!!

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  33. I received some voodoo looking mini cats in a bag once. I have no idea what that was about, haha. Supposedly they made you sleep well or something random like that. Ummm, nope! Also at a white elephant exchange many years ago I recived a brand new calendar...for the year that was just ending. ๐Ÿ˜‚
    LLWaltz (at) gmail (dot) com

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  34. hahaha - oh, those are great, Laura - here's hoping you don't get any future voodoo cats - hahaha - Happy New Year!!!

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  35. My most amusing gift was last year when I got this awesome pj’s. It was a leopard Mameluke complete with the eared cap!! It’s so warm I always use it in winter even if I look ridiculous and am 40 yrs old!
    Thanks for the chance!
    Happy New Year! Love your books! Eager for Flights of Fancy to be realeased!

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  36. Well, one Christmas I was convinced I was getting a DSLR camera. I saved a large box about the size of the camera box to open last. Turns out it was a box of dog biscuits for my yellow lab! Thankfully I got the camera during the following year.

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  37. The gift itself wasn't that funny, but the story is: Our first married Christmas, my husband asked if I'd want to open a gift on Christmas Eve if it'd be something I'd use that night. Assuming he meant lingerie, I said sure...only to be very surprised at the shape and feel of the package. It was a potato masher that I could use to make the mashed potatoes I wanted to make for dinner! pacer8 at hotmail dot com

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  38. Just this year I received a teeny tiny box at my work Christmas party (I work for a library system) and it was a pair of emergency underwear! katie07edgar(at)gmail(dot)com The potato masher story above mine is hilarious! ��

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  39. I’m hard to shop for and I know there must have been presents that I got that were strange some years. One year my husband bought me a dress, that was 4 sizes too small. It was nice he thought I was that small. I’m at lindave.palmer@gmail.com

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  40. My mom and I have always loved the movie "A Christmas Story" with Ralphie and his obsession with the Red Ryder BB gun. A few years ago, my dad bought me the same BB gun as a kind of gag gift and played it just like it is in the movie...pointing it out after all of our other gifts were opened, etc. Haha! litteraegaudium(at)aol(dot)com

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  41. I cannot think of an amusing gift, however my mom had an amusing way of letting us know one year for Christmas what gifts went with which child. In the middle of the night she painted a X on one forehead and an O on the other. Very memorable!

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  42. I love your books Jen Turano! Hope you have a Happy New Year! Rstringer74@gmail.com

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  43. My most amusing gift I ever received was a box of peppermint patties - my father-in-law would buy each of us a small peppermint patty (those little fun size wrapped ones) at this restaurant we would eat at on Sunday’s after church and every time he would hand me mine with a thumb print smoosh. He gave me a box of them - all with thumb print smooshes. I just laugh thinking about it! He’s been gone for 6 years now and I miss those thumb prints!

    shannonschultz2003@yahoo.com

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  44. One year at a gift exchange at his work, my husband got one of those singing fish you hang on the wall. It gave me the creeps and I made him take it back to work!

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  45. It wasn’t amusing at the time, but my husband got me six pairs of gardening gloves... I don’t garden, but I do like pink... that doesn’t mean I want pink gloves though...

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  46. My husband thought I loved socks so on our first Christmas together he gave me six pair or heavy winter socks. I like socks but only if I can wear them with boots or sport shoes. We still laugh about the bulky socks.
    cluedn at embarqmail dot com

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  47. I'm a teacher. We get all kinds of gifts all year long. Some you don't b want, like the stomach flu. :) And other precious ones like the pretty pebble from the playground. Honestly, I love my job, it's the best in the entire world. However most amusing gift happened this year. I had a terrible headache the day before break. One of my students brought be a bottle of exedrin all wrapped up the next day. With a note that said, "here is some medicine for your head. I hope I didn't make your head hurt. Love you." Best note ever! Javanhaften@gmail.com

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  48. One year I opened a beautifully wrapped box. My husband clearly took time folding the corners, adding the bow and curling the ribbons. I peeled back red tissue paper and found a spatula. I acted liked I loved the buffed teak wood and set it aside, feeling a little crushed. He laughed and told me to look between the groves carved into the spoon end. I did and found sapphire earrings tucked inside!

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  49. One year we needed a new mailbox so I bought one for my husband and he bought one for me
    alapw at yahoo dot com

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  50. This wasn't an amusing gift at the time, but now it's a shake your head what was he thinking memory now. My boyfriend of almost 2 years bought me a lamp for Christmas not even a pretty one at that. The problem was that me and my family were anxiously waiting for him to propose. What a shock when there was a lamp not a ring! He did end up proposing January 2nd and this coming May we will be married 24 years. I don't even remember what happened to the stupid lamp! Lol
    Brandie Vaughan
    vaughanx5@gmail.com

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  51. A coffeepot with vanilla coffee. I don't drink coffee and dislike vanilla.

    amybradsher at gmail dot com

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  52. I got a box of retro toys. I had much fun playing with them. centraleast2 at gmail dot com

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  53. A paper weight with a tiger in it.

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  54. One year I got a napkin holder from one of my children. It looks like a yellow glass taco on a silver base. I don’t think I ever used it, but I do still have the “napkin taco” that he picked out himself!

    I still have my Crissy doll, too. My mother made her all kinds of clothes as well. I will admit that she has a double knit pantsuit among her other lovely outfits!
    mjromine at knology dot net

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  55. This was a fun interview. Hmmm Most amusing gift I have received? I would have to say it was a white elephant. It was a 12 inch tall Santa dressed in Hawaiian attire with a straw hat and a crab on his one arm, that wiggled when Santa moved. Needless to say our cat did not find it funny. A friend really wanted him. So the next year I put it in the white elephant again and he got it. Lots of laughs. Happy New Year, may it be blessed and full of wonderful surprises. quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

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  56. I graduated from Oklahoma State but my MIL gave me tennis shoes with the rival school's (OU) emblem. She couldn't remember where I had went. I only wore them in the mud, to feed.

    misdionwife AT hotmail DOT com

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  57. Homemade cards from our children for our 25th anniversary that had several references to all the “annoying” 80s songs that my husband and I are always quoting. Lol. Jennifer W
    Eskimo jenn at msn dot com you’re books are THE best.

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  58. A white elephant gift...a jar of grilled asparagus spears...not nearly as good as fresh asparagus in season!

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  59. One Christmas I got 3 of the same exact planner from different relatives...and I already owned that same exact one already. Thanks for the giveaway!

    usedtextbooks5(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  60. Our family has a set of ugly gold colored pine cone candles that we keep passing around to an unsuspecting new mother or new wife. Somehow they are in my possession this year but am hoping to pass them on to a new niece-in-law this year. Another funny gift I got one year was a 'stripper' lamp. It was in my possession long as my younger brother 'stole' it from me and left me with his snowball cookie jar! We have a lot of fun at our Christmas parties.
    anne at rightler dot com

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I am so delighted that you've taken time to come by and comment. Blessings for a joy-filled day!

1 Corinthians 1:3 ~ Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.