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Having a sibling who’s a year-round Santa

“Oh, that Linda!”

That’s the reaction Better Half and I always say collectively or independently whenever a package arrives from my oldest sister, who lives in South Carolina.

If ever there were a generous, gift-giving spirit it is Linda, and I have been the beneficiary of her good will gestures since childhood.

She and my brother-in-law came home for a visit over the Labor Day holiday, and Linda can’t bear to come to Richmond empty-handed.

And once she’s returned to the south, she can’t bear not to send something up north in appreciation either.

She is a year-round Santa Claus if not the chief elf of his workshop.

She and her husband had no sooner pulled in the driveway than Linda popped open the car trunk and out came her organized stash of clothes and such, along with all these gifts for me, including, to name a few, decorative horse items; patriotic tee towels; a bracelet; and all these ornamental light clusters she’d already put batteries in and offered a demonstration of how they stay solid or flash blinkety-blink in white OR in Christmas colors.

Scolding her for such extravagances is useless, because her response is quite predictable.

She’ll say she bought these on sale and had 75 percent off coupons to boot and put them away and forgot all about them, until her visit, of course.

They weren’t gone for more than a week than a post-visit package showed up on the porch.

I don’t even have to look at the package to know it’s from her — I know the handwriting as well as the precision taping mastered by this package-packing wonder that is my sister.

“Oh, that Linda!” Better Half and I looked at each other and smiled, wondering what on Earth is in this big, heavy box.

A lot of stuff, including the cutest card. Some people always seem to find the best cards for any occasion.

The one she sent was the “Top 10 Things to be Thankful For.” The list includes: “10. Oxygen (oh, how we take it for granted); 9. Toilet paper (consider the unpleasant alternative); 8. Food that tastes good; 7. You know what. Food in general; 6. Yoga pants (for both wearing and admiring); 5. Smart phones (can you believe we ever lived without them?) 4. Cat videos (they just never get old); 3. Shows worth binge-watching (who has the time to wait between episodes?) 2. One word: Chocolate! (in all its many delicious forms); and the No. 1 thing to be thankful for is … people like you!”

The card includes a typed, letter of gratitude for “the wonderful hotel you run and the restaurant ain’t bad either!”

“Oh, that Linda!”

The letter also served to explain the contents of the package, things she thinks her kitchen-struggling kid sister needs or could use and other assorted items, too.

(Truth be told, I might be inclined to get all this stuff myself, but I’m too cheap, and Better Half is too “thrifty.”)

So, this box has everything from Shark Tank Lorie’s microwave splatter guards, sets of “Firefly Lights” and horse stickers to utensils that hang on the side of pans and allow the lids to fit over them, rolls of special aluminum foil and sets of green and red Christmas tree cupcake pans.

“Oh, that Linda!”

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at jkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)

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