The Cousins

August 16th, 2010

The Cousins - Behind The Awkwardness

“This is me and my cousins at Christmas 1999; I am the one in the middle sporting the glasses, cool choker necklace, and lovely khaki ensemble. My Grandpa made all of these boxes by hand for us for Christmas. Some of us were happier about them than others.”

(submitted by Mallory)

110 Responses to “The Cousins”

  1. Lori says:

    I think that would be an awesome gift! They look like they were done beautifully and they are so useful. I’m impressed that their grandmother made it, too. She must be such a cool woman.

  2. Steve says:

    These are awesome heirloom gifts (although I would be one of the kids not smiling, if I got this same gift at that age….most boys would be).

    But…with that said, I see at least one kid who looks like he could be standing underneath a Haight Ashbury street sign, he’s so (un)excited.

  3. magillicuddy says:

    that’s really sweet that he made them, but the first thing I thought of when I saw the photo was a box where you would keep an urn for someone who was …. cremated.

  4. Stephanie says:

    Maybe grandpa made them because the kids already had a million toys, and he thought they could put the favorite toys inside? I know that’s odd, but hey, kids already have the Made in China wal mart toys all over the house, do something different. I would have liked to see their face when they opened them….they probably cried!

  5. Janie says:

    Grandpa only bought enough supplies for one hope chest, and, being the diplomat that he was. . . .

  6. Aariel says:

    All I can say is that is so sweet your grandpa hand made you boxes!

  7. fedoraTm says:

    Maybe those boxes are bigger on the inside?

  8. laughinginohio says:

    AW, a lot of work and thought went into making a box for each of those kids. I don’t remember getting anything from either of my grandfathers. I think the the boxes are great!

    • jim /anaheim says:

      Now, a few years later, each child has a string of shoe shine parlors. All because of grandpa!

  9. Mic C says:

    The pouters are probably the kids who chuck the toy and play with a cardboard box. The one Grandpa made was too much like a real gift.

  10. LilyBear says:

    Those boxes beat the heck out of the hand made bird house that I got one year. We lived in an apartment at the time, in El Paso, TX. There wasn’t a tree around for miles that would have supported that bird house. lol

  11. Mallory (original poster) says:

    I can’t believe that they actually published the picture! One of my cousins shared it with me and I couldn’t resist submitting it, particularly because of my cousin’s face. As I have grown up I treasure that box more and more, especially after mine survived a house fire and my grandpa refinished it for me and made it look better than it did in this picture. I am truly blessed to have such a skilled grandfather, he not only made us all those boxes for Christmas but over the years he has made my sister a book shelf, my cousin and I vanities, and other pieces of heirloom furniture.

    I can’t remember if the boxes were empty when we got them or not, but I would be more than willing to bet that they were stuffed with beanie babies, clothes, or other small trinket. I keep photos and special birthday/greeting cards in mine now; but it has been the home of pogs, marbles, doll clothes, money, and countless other things in the 11 years I had it.

    I am sure that it will be left to one of my children and their children after that.

  12. Amice says:

    Reading through these posts, I’m just going to assume that there are a lot of Andy Samberg /Justin Timberlake references not making it through the censor….

  13. Naomi says:

    Hey, better than a cardboard box filled with naked dolls with no arms and legs! Yes, a real Christmas present when I was about 6! We were poor, folks. My parents said they thought I probably had extra arms and legs floating around in the toy box. Those were thrift stores of a different era, say, the era of charity boxes for orphanages in a Dickens novel.

  14. Kari says:

    This is definitely among the less-awkward pics on here.

  15. Tim S says:

    Grampa is a skilled craftsman. I bet those kids all treasure those boxes in their later years!

  16. Diane says:

    wouldn’t exactly call this “awkward”….it’s cute, actually. You know, normal….

  17. Pete says:

    Ah but when grandpa has gone, you’ll still have the boxes to remind you of his erm, generosity.

  18. cincha says:

    Lol…I think it’s a pretty cool gift, and their grandpa made them! That’s better than some dumb plastic toy…unless you are the ages of the front two kids…then, plastic beats sentiment.

  19. Sarah says:

    I like the boxes actually. I would be one of those kids that would be stoked to have one. I am also one of those kids who was always making things and those boxes look bought so your grandpa did a really cool job.

    Lol the only awkward thing i see is the kid on the bottom left with his hand to his chin even tho his elbow isn’t resting on anything. Unless hes trying to rip his shirt off but haha yeah.

  20. Heatha' says:

    As kids they probably didn’t “appreciate” this but I bet as adults that’s a special memory from their Grandpa :-)

  21. j-lu says:

    wait – they were all EMPTY?!

  22. powermuffin says:

    Notice that it is the boys who do not seem all that thrilled with their handmade box. Maybe that is because us girls can always use more storage for our Barbie paraphernalia.

  23. BeQui says:

    Those boxes are BEAUTIFUL! I hope you still have yours! I would seriously LOVE a handmade-by-grandpa box!!

  24. MooseNuggette says:

    I would totally buy one of those on eBay!

  25. Candy says:

    Many of our family holiday celebrations took place in the basement because that was the only place big enough for us to all be together. I am betting that this is where this photo was taken and the tree was just sort of a “token tree”. Looks like linoleum on the floor as well. Yep, a basement.

  26. Joe says:

    was there anything in the box?

  27. Tami "Tot" says:

    I think it is a very thoughtful gift. We don’t give enough handmade items. The items I cherish most are the ones my grandpa took the time to make. He is gone now, but I still have my gifts. (Might have been nice, though, if there was a gift INSIDE the boxes.)

  28. kah says:

    a box HANDmade by their grandfather… I would bet that as adults, those boxes are cherished a bit more than they were that morning. I’d love to have something like that.

  29. Skylar says:

    I would have loved a handmade box for Christmas. Maybe I’m just weird, though….

  30. CTBRK says:

    How many of you still have your special box?

    • Mallory (original poster) says:

      We all still have our boxes. Me and my sister’s boxes survived a house fire and came out unscathed. I keep photos and special greeting cards I have received in mine. I will always cherish that box and be thankful that my grandpa took the time to do that for us.

  31. Candice says:

    do you still have the box and what did you put in it?

  32. OKFrank2 says:

    Thank goodness they are boxes! I thought Gramps made them shoeshine kits!

  33. JerseyPam says:

    The little boy on the left is definitely not a future carpenter.

  34. Jess says:

    Awww. Grandpa meant well, and think of all the time and care he spent making them! Ungrateful brats! :-D Love how the boy in white saw the camera and instantly went into Portrait Studio Pose!

  35. Susie says:

    Don’t see the awkwardness here. A few pictures lately are just the normal sort of pictures everyone has in their album.

  36. Denise says:

    I bet now that you & all your cousins are older…those boxes that Grandpa built by hand for you all… are now treasured and will be handed down to your children… :)

  37. Mark says:

    It’s actually a sweet gift for the grandfather to give his 6 granddaughters. Maybe most of them were too young to appreciate the effort it took but hopefully they kept them and understand now.

    If that was the only gift they received, maybe then it it would be a little odd…

  38. Michael A. says:

    Wow. They sure did bury a lot of puppies back then!

  39. Kathy says:

    those are beautiful boxes! I love that Grandpa made something for the grandchildren with his own hands, and his own skills. They might not have appreciated it as kids, but when they got older, I bet they did.

    • Annie says:

      My grandmother hand-sewed an entire trunk full of doll clothing for our “American Girl” dolls–just like the doll clothes you’d normally spend $40 for out of the catalogue–my cousin and me. I still treasure that gift today, and someday I will pass that trunk, those dresses, and my dolls down to my daughter (assuming I have one).

  40. Lisa says:

    I think the boxes are cool! They’re keepsakes! And the person with the glasses is cute. :)

  41. goose says:

    Isn’t it the box stuff comes in that the kids always want to play with anyway?

  42. ejh says:

    Nothing says ‘Christmas’ like an empty box.

  43. Janice says:

    I bet the boxes will be treasured through the years because their grandfather made them with love!

  44. Carol says:

    I think that is a great present. Their grandpa made them something, that took heart. Appreciate it!!

  45. Red says:

    Someday you’ll appreciate those boxes. WHen he isn’t there to make them anymore.

  46. EGD says:

    Those are nice boxes. Looks like they have a sturdy lock too. I would have loved something like that as a kid.

  47. Melissa says:

    “and when I pass on my little grand kids..each of you can carry my ashes with you”

  48. John III says:

    Maybe there was a Mogwai in each one?

  49. gottago says:

    A box? They were given a box for Christmas?

  50. Mike says:

    Bottom of the stairs is a great place for the Christmas tree.

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