Aunt Izora’s Pink Flocking

Legend has it, my Great Aunt Izora was fond of pink flocking. Back in the late 1950’s she was kind enough to send her sister, my grandmother, Pumpkin, a pink flocked wreath to hang in the front window of what was my mother’s childhood home.
Side Note 1: Those names are 100% real. I couldn’t make this up if I tried.
Side Note 2: Pumpkin kept a very traditional home. Even back in the 50’s and 60’s when turquoise cars were commonplace, Pumpkin leaned toward the Ralph Lauren look…Green velvet. Mahogany wood. Tartan plaid. Dark antiquey things someone brought over on a boat from a place that smells like fish. You get the picture.
With that in mind, it’s easy to imagine the confusion raised when an oversize pink flocked wreath landed on Pumpkin’s door step that December day. Described as “huge” and “garish,” it came with silver balls and a “cute little Santa” perched in the middle. Pumpkin wondered why anyone, much less her own sister, thought her home suitable for such a gaudy, unorthodox specimen? 
Surely it was a mistake.

Surely Izora intended her to receive a green wreath, or perhaps a red one. Maybe even a white one, but pink? Heavens no. There must have been a mix up down at store, and Pumpkin even went so far as to pick an argument with florist until he exchanged the pink wreath for a traditional circlet of green holly. It hung in their window for several weeks, until Christmas Eve, when Aunt Izora called to confirm she was coming over the following day and could not wait to see “that pink wreath!”

Oh crap.

Pumpkin immediately sent her eldest daughters on a wild goose chase around town in search of another pink flocked wreath with a velvet Santa in the middle (no easy task on Christmas Eve). Eventually one was located and Aunt Izora arrived the followed day, delighted to see her gift prominently displayed in the front window for all the world to see, never knowing her well intended gift had ever caused such distress and upheaval, telling everyone,“The minute I saw it, I knew Patty would love that adorable pink Santa!”

Side note 3: Patty, now known as Aunt Pat (or as she signs her emails “Yer Olde Ain’t Pat”) is my mother’s younger sister and the baby of the family. Although she probably doesn’t like to be referred to as the baby. She is married to Uncle John, who, when I was eight, taught me how to play poker and bust a grown man’s knee cap with a fork. Not at the same time, though.

Aunt Pat was kind enough to send me a photo of the “adorable pink Santa.” Let’s take a look, shall we?

Check out the face on that thing.


Like, Black Velvet Clown Painting In The Bathroom type of creepy.

See, I don’t question why someone painted the clown on black velvet; I question the person who wants to look at it while they go to the bathroom. Not that my questioning should stop them. It’s their bathroom. It’s their home. Their life. Their bowel movement. Who am I to judge?

…but, when someone gives me the creepy clown painting and gets offended when I don’t hang it above my toilet, well, we have a problem.

And therein lies the rub: you can’t give people things you like and expect them to like them too.

Fact: This week, US retailers will exchange/return/reshelf more items than during the rest of the year combined. This wouldn’t happen if we kept our black velvet and pink flocking to ourselves. This wouldn’t happen if we learned to quell our inner Aunt Izora.

Sometimes, especially around Christmas, I wonder if I am just like Aunt Izora. Why, if I had a nickel for every time someone tossed one of my home spangled Christmas sweaters, well, I would have a whole dime.

And it hurts.

This Christmas I decided to embrace my inner Aunt Izora and gave myself the gift of a pink flocked tree. I have wanted one for years but always felt guilty wanting to something like that for myself. Now I realize that, if I don’t get it for myself, that desire will manifest in other ways and will push my taste, my style, my wants out via someone else’s gift, which, will inevitably be returned. And that’s not good for anybody. So, I propose a toast…

Here is to Aunt Izora and her pink flocked wreath.

Here is to me and my pink flocked tree.

And here is to all those folks standing in line right now, returning $46.3 Billion dollars in merchandise.

Just be thankful it wasn’t a clown on black velvet.

Happy new year!

*** PS: If you want people to quit returning your gifts, I suggest you look into a pink flocked tree for yourself. And don’t wait til next year either — is having a major holiday sale right now. You can embrace your inner Aunt Izora for up to 70% off!


  1. tracylee says

    what a fantastic story!
    Sidenote: I received two unopened packages of 100 coffee filters. What to do, what to do?!

  2. Saraccino ... says

    I love the story! And your aunts must be adorable persons!

    I know the hurt… that somebody might not love your gift which was handmade with love. But you know, if I don’t know whether my stuff will be loved or not (or even sure about that it wouldn’t be) and it also happens that I still like the person enough to give her presents… I’ll either cook or bake something they love or buy something they like (a good book, music, that kind of stuff).

    But if I know the person loves my stuff and will use / wear / display it (like my sister for example), I’ll overthrow the person with my stuff 🙂 Regardless whether it is christmas or not! ^^

    You know, I love to bring little presents (my own handmade stuff) with me… the only problem is, that most people tend to think that if they received something from you, they have to return it… sighs. No way! If I give my stuff away, I make myself as happy as the person who gets it! Strange at it is, because I’ll made a person smile I like and also because in my creations are so many little fragments of myself, loving them is a lot like loving me with all my weirdness and strangeness 🙂

  3. Ellicia says

    Sometimes we aren’t aware of the good we do. I am home from the visit to the relatives, putting things away, feeling just a little down and I find a delightful story about a pink flocked wreath and your Aunt Izora that made me laugh out loud. I feel much better.

  4. ajp2020 says

    You always make me laugh and smile. LOVE the pink tree and hand-decorated ornaments. I was at some website a few days ago and they had a garland made of coffee filter flowers!?! It wasn’t colorful, but it was so YOU!!!!!

  5. Virtual Quilter says

    Wonderful story! I think I would like your family.

    I quite like your pink flocked tree … mind you I don’t want one at my house, but it is fine at yours.

  6. Lynne says

    I make it very clear that people are welcome — nay, encouraged — to regift, donate, or otherwise dispose of any unloved present they receive from me. The magical bond is created by the giving/receiving, not the keeping.

  7. PeachesFreund says

    Was it a Xmas gift? Who ever gave them to you must know you well 🙂 Now you have to make them something craftabulous!

  8. PeachesFreund says

    I’m googling straight away!

  9. PeachesFreund says

    I feel the same. I always love receiving homemade/unique/weird gifts, but it has taken me a long time to realize not everyone feels the same. Their loss! And the reciprocation things is such a downer. …Sometimes I like to avoid giving at Xmas and Bdays just to make sure they don’t feel obligated to have something for me. Plus, when they aren’t expecting anything, they are a lot more likely to embrace or appreciate whatever quirky do-dah gift given to them. Everyone likes a Happy National Rootbeer Float Day gift.

  10. PeachesFreund says

    Well said, Lynne!

  11. PeachesFreund says

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it Ellicia! Taking down the holiday decorations can be such a bummer…

  12. Valulis says

    Aunt Peaches your tree looks AMAZING!!! Seriously!!!

    And that Santa…oh, i can’t stop staring at it…

  13. AnnW says

    I think that pink velvet Santa would be perfect on your new pink tree. Is he still around? Maybe on eBay?

  14. says

    I enjoyed this so much… when’s this book of yours finally being written? You and your family sound like you just jumped out of “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”… <3

  15. Kmomcrafter says

    The pink Santa is creepy – I can picture it as the premise of and R.L. Stine book.

    I love the pink flocked tree!

  16. PeachesFreund says

    Thanks Steff 🙂 Yes, when you string them up together, they are an eccentric bunch!

  17. says

    I love reading all your stories! Tales like these make me smile every time.

  18. PeachesFreund says

    Life without pink in the house?! Oh Heather, you NEEEEED that tree. If only for one month a year, let yourself live with pink. Don’t you deserve a winter treat? I think so!


  1. […] collection. This is something I have to see! At first I was going to use these ribbons on my pink tree, but alas, the flocking was clashing with anything delicate as ribbons, so I reserved them for […]

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