Nana's red tin

When my grandmother would come to visit, she would often have two things in tow. Nana ran a small bookstore in West Virginia, and made a habit of bringing books for each of her grandchildren. My grandmother was a much better version of Amazon's "You might also like..." feature and she's the reason I spent many hours curled up with a good book during my childhood.

Besides the books, Nana might have a red tin. The red tin was circular, much wider than tall and had white writing on the outside. The red paint was worn and scratched, an unpainted surface peaking through at points. Like a good wine, it got better with age. I couldn't tell you one word of that writing because I would always be so excited to see what was inside. It might be brownies, lemon bars, or what mom tells me were "go to school" cookies (soft chocolate cookies with icing on top). It didn't matter what was inside. We just know it was going to be a real treat, because what was inside was quality.

Today is Black Friday, and millions of people will buy stuff churned out by our consumptive society that will almost certainly be temporary and soon disposed. Nana's red tin was a permanent, beloved fixture in our lives. Through the care that went into what was inside, it became a talisman for the family. These days, I think we need to take extra effort to build through ritual talismans like Nana's red tin and then shepherd them through our lives.