I am the “broken toy”


You might wonder what the heck I mean by my title… well, let me tell you about the Christmases of my childhood. Each Christmas, five kids would receive gifts under the tree and in stockings. If my parents bought different things for each of us, the item chosen for me would inevitably be the one with a piece missing- e.g., the DOLL from a “doll & cradle” set. Place markers or dice would be missing from games, I would get the “irregular” pair of footie pajamas with one arm that was significantly tighter than the other- and, NO, I was not grossly asymmetrical! On occasions when my parents would buy all of us the same item for Christmas, say cross country skis, my bindings were set for a pair of boots 3 sizes smaller than my feet. The year we got 3-speed bikes, my sisters rode theirs Christmas day while I was sick with the “stomach flu”- AGAIN! That was the winter of 1977-78, remember? The blizzard of ’77-’78 started dumping 1 foot of snow after another on us late in the evening of Christmas Day. My parents discovered in the spring that there was a piece missing to my bike’s derailer… My Mom worked so hard to try to change the karma of my gifts; she would wrap and tag, then on Christmas Eve, SWITCH tags to try to trick the karma police- inevitably her switch would find the “broken toy”.

So, this year, it is not surprising to find the “broken toy” moniker still fits. This year, when Santa ordered my Christmas present- seriously, he DOES, I have been GOOD- he struggled a great deal in trying to find the perfect item that I would love and appreciate. When he finally found “IT”, he had difficulty getting the forms on the website to work- it would only let him order it with ONE attachment with no personalization, then would allow multiple attachments but only ONE personalization- but who needs multiple things like that all labeled with EXACTLY the same name and birthdate? When the online ordering was finally corrected, Santa checked it twice- as he always does- then clicked “Complete order.” Not surprisingly, this first attempt was met with a failure of the internet at just about the submission point, so the entire order was lost in the ne’er world. 50th time was a charm and the item was finally ordered and the e-mail confirmation included exactly the right information in the right way.

Flash forward from that e-mail to the much anticipated arrival of the Santa gift today. The item came in the company’s signature red box with cream colored ribbon- as did the item Santa ordered for my older sister since he knew I had drawn her name in the “swap”. In order to determine which item would get the enclosed gift card addressed to her, a box had to be opened to determine which one held her gift and which one held the lavish and beautiful item that Santa felt I so richly deserve this year… There was a weight difference so the guess was correct on the first try and her gift was intact and BEAUTIFUL, tucked safely back in the wrapping for her to open on Christmas day during the forced family fun extravaganza that is planned. ANYWAY, after identifying the correct item for the gift tag, I reviewed the invoice for both items and noticed a slight error in the description of the gift Santa got for me. Well, knowing what I know about my karma and the likelihood that the error was, in fact, the way the company produced the item they delivered to my home, I had to review the contents of the other box to be sure that they had in fact sent the “broken toy” gift for me.

Upon reviewing the birthstone pendants and their personalization, sure enough, one of the twins’ name and birthdate was on the August pendant and my youngest’s name and birthdate was on one of the March pendants. Now, it’s possible that the names could get switched across items given the engraver’s lack of knowledge of my kids names associated to their birthdate… but wouldn’t you think it might feel “wrong” to an engraver to write “8-2-07” on an aquamarine pendant and then write “3-2-06” on a peridot one? Okay, I understand, you may not know that aquamarine is the birthstone for March and peridot is the birthstone for August, but wouldn’t you think that the guy who runs the engraver for Red Envelope might know? Especially after he had just completed another aquamarine pendant with the same birthdate on it as another of the pendants? I’m just sayin’… there may have been multiple clues that the wrong birthdate was being engraved and, perhaps the original order could have been consulted…? Nope. So now I have this beautiful mother’s pendant necklace, with 2 incorrectly engraved pendants- out of 4.

The good news in all of this is that Santa called Red Envelope immediately to notify them of the mistake. He spoke with them about how important it was for the engraving to be correct and on the correct birthstone pendant. He also told them that I had been so amazingly good this year that it would be a true disappointment if I had no gift from him under the tree on Christmas day… Well, wouldn’t you know, Red Envelope has just about the most amazing customer service department when it comes to errors made on their end. They told Santa that he was to keep that necklace and ALL of the pendants and that, since it was more than $75.00, they would replace the entire necklace and pendant set– crafting 4 new pendants and sending another silver chain to hang them on. Two necklaces for the price of one, sure the kid’s names are wrongly aligned, but you only see the engraving on the side of the pendant when you examine it closely. Could be the Nana is going to get a mighty nice 70th birthday gift this March… maybe I could get a jeweler to transfer the stones onto the correct pendant.

Yay, broken toy!


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