When I was around 15 years old, my parents started an ingenious gifting tradition for me whose value I didn’t then have the foresight to appreciate. That year, for either my birthday or Christmas, I unwrapped my first Fiesta place setting. I don’t remember exactly the way it unfolded, but I’m sure the occasion was met with some curiosity, if not confusion, like a little boy expecting a new toy or video game surprised instead with a pajama set or pair of socks. I like to think that I graciously thanked them for my colorful new dishes and carried about my business, but I’m sure it went something more like this: “Uhhh, weird. Are you sure this is for me?” Because, well, 15. However it went down, my parents refrained from calling me a brat and explained that they wanted to help me build up a collection of real dinnerware that I’d have when the time and the need came. And that’s just what they did. Birthdays and Christmases for the 19 years that have followed have included additional place settings, flatware sets, pitchers, serving bowls, and even cute little custard cups. Now, I’m nearly 34 and that collection has ballooned and become one of my favorite possessions, memories, and traditions. I’ve carted it from West Palm Beach to Brooklyn to Boston and, now, to Birmingham. (You’ve seen it here, here, here, and, if you follow me on Instagram, here and here.) The most recent installment of Fiesta—a confetti assortment of deep chili bowls and coffee mugs—arrived just this week, a particularly meaningful wedding gift that I opened with the man I’ll marry next Friday. All of this to say: Thanks, Mom and Dad, for my colorful new dishes, and, more importantly, for having the foresight and the heart to start that tradition almost 20 years ago. It’s brought me more joy than you could possibly know.
Making our Fiesta tradition even more fun is the fact that it’s all made at the company’s factory in my home state of West Virginia. I feel a little twinge of excitement and pride any time I see it used out there in the real world.
Do you have any fun and meaningful gifting traditions with your family?