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The Christmas Jew-Pac

Posted by Dawn Estrin on

I’m about to leave the house to pick my husband up at the hospital….he’s had a knee replacement.

The UPS man has left three packages on the stoop.One is the “Jew-Pac”.

What is a Jew-Pac?

The term was coined by a friend long ago.He was visiting when the original Jew-Pac arrived back in ’87.It was a huge box from my mothers mother, who was moving from her old apartment in South Beach to Hollywood Florida.

Not having ever received one, I had no idea it was coming and even less as to what was in it.

Upon opening it revealed a treasure trove of uselessness.An ashtray that was shaped like a smashed bowling pin.Armchair covers of various colors without the matching chairs.A ceramic camel with a box on its back that was probably meant to hold Cigarettes…camels, I presume, which my grandmother smoked non stop until age 45.

She lived to 104.

Old sheets and towels, some ugly costume jewelry.Depression people can never throw anything out…they pay more to ship crap than its worth.

Now my own mother has picked up the habit,shipping out Holiday Edition Jew-Pacs to her childrenthat live out of town.

I dread opening it, knowing what its filled with.It’s like sending a box of drugs to an addict.

Between the crumpled Plain Dealer pages are mountains of food and candy, mostly purchased from the now food laden check out aisles of TJ Maxx, Tuesday Morning and World Market.500.00 worth of secondhand food.

Chocolate wafers, pistachio nuts, gold, green, and red chocolate balls, gummy worms, Special dark bar (king size), a bag of stale breadsticks in a spiffy bag that has the word “Brooklyn” on it.( They MUST be good)

Corn nuts, flatbread crackers, gooseberry jam, hot sauce ( in bubble wrap) two giant danish cookie tins, Russell Stover Coconut bars, leftover blue foil Valentine chocolate hearts, generic jelly bellys, giant gum drops, shortbread fingers, Moosenut crunch popcorn, and a few wrapped gifts, usually soft clothing also purchased at said places or corny souvenirs from her most recent cruise.

A giant white shopping bag with handles free, a gift of the hospital, for my husbands clothes.I pile the edibles into it and head to the hospital.

Across from the elevators is a huge x-mas wrapping paper covered box for holidayfood donations.

I place the entire bag in the box ( even the partially eaten bag of Brooklyn stale sticks) and go up to the fourth floor.

Serenity now.

The drugs are gone.Really gone;when I exit fifteen minutes later the bag has been taken out of the box.

Either someone stole it or the info lady across the way came over to see what it was and took it back into the hospital break room.

Merry Christmas/Happy New Year