1.17.2013

Gifts of Christmas Past

When the calendar flips from December of one year to January of another, some little switch goes off in my head and I feel the incredible urge to purge. Perhaps it's the influx of gifts that make me feel like I need to make room (note: next year, my family is drawing names - maybe that will help), or it could be the multiple episodes of Hoarders that I watched just prior to Christmas. Either way - I was bitten by the purge bug.

Hello William Morris - good to see you (and Jules) again.


A few years back, I put a mandoline vegetable slicer and a fry cutter on my Christmas wish list. Peter, being the wonderful gift giver that he is, obliged, and I was thrilled when I unwrapped both. We tried to use them. I promptly sliced and diced my finger on the mandoline (Hey, guess what? They include that safety holder thing for a reason!), while Peter scooted around the kitchen with the fry slicer that was supposed to suction cup itself to the counter. After trying both tools 3-4 times (and becoming increasingly frustrated with the clean-up), they soon found a home on the top shelf of a cabinet, right next to the pasta maker.

A couple of weeks ago, while Peter was engaged with Project 312, I busied myself with ruthlessly purging the kitchen cabinets and pantry shelves. When I arrived at the top shelf (the one that I have to stand on the kitchen counter to reach), I was faced with both the mandoline and the fry slicer. I almost climbed down and closed the door...until Peter came in. Our conversation went something like this...

Him: What are you doing?
Me: Cleaning out.
Him: What are you getting rid of?
Me: I was thinking about the slicer and the fry thing. We never use them, but I feel guilty.
Him: Why?
Me: Well, they were gifts from Christmas past. I feel guilty that I asked for them, but now want to toss them.
Him: Why? We don't use them. We don't like them. Clear out Christmas past to make way for gifts of Christmas future!
Me: Really? But you gave them to me.
Him: But we don't use them, we use knives. And we could use the space for our cookbooks.

Ah, I love the voice of reason. And so down they came and out they went. I found a friend who wanted to try the fry slicer, and the mandoline went to the thrift store. I briefly considered listing them on Amazon or eBay (after all, I sold the pasta maker last year), but when I looked them up, they weren't selling for enough to make it worth my time. Time that could be better spent writing this blog post, as a reminder to my future self: Don't let stupid guilt clutter up your cabinets life. 

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What are YOU holding on to because of guilt?
Are you saving clutter that the giver has already forgotten about?


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