I've been reading lots of posts lately about tea towels (coincidental I'm sure) and present shopping. Present shopping at Christmas time is a bit like doing homework, you know it's got to be done, is highly unappealing, yet renders a sense of serene satisfaction when complete. I don't know what's worse and takes more input - the pressure to give something of apparent high value, or something that has lots of thought invested. Both take time and imagination I don't generally possess. I like Tim Minchin's suggestion that the combination of socks jocks and chocolates is just fine. What a better place the world would be all round if someone declared a rule that all gifts must fit into one of these limited three categories.
But back to tea towels. A few years back my old house neighbour gave me this tea towel as a christmas present. Her husband's mother had gone it to a home, and she'd found a large cache of pure linen tea towels in her cupboard, including a pile of these, all identical. She gave me two.
Let me count the ways that I love this tea towel(s). I'm guessing here that the Woman's Christian Temperance (that's dry) Union was a bunch of bible-bashing nationalist wowsers. A less attractive cohort with which to while away a Sunday afternoon is difficult to imagine. The mind boggles, but I bet they were all gorgeous in their own special way. I also love the fact that this tea towel is pure linen. Once you've enjoyed the benefits of a linen tea towel and realise that this thing can absorb a sink's worth of water and is virtually indestructible, you too will say 'no thanks' to any cotton offerings.
But the thing that really gets me about this is that it celebrated their centenary... in 1982. Oh, that's quite recent then. No. That's THIRTY YEARS AGO. Amazing!
So there you go, a few forgotten slips of fabric hurriedly wrapped in a bit of christmas paper from the back of someone else's linen cupboard can transpire so much usefulness, value, pleasure and meaning. The challenge is matching the meaning with the recipient. Therein lies your challenge. Good luck!