Friday, October 26, 2007

Abuelita's Gift

It's funny the way our minds work. At the fair last week, a discussion with one of the other vendors triggered a long-forgotten memory. We were discussing gifts for Mamás and Abuelitas when Dulce Parker of D'Caribbean Gifts mentioned how popular amber necklaces seem to be in Latino families.

"Really?" I said, interested. And then... a teeny, tiny whisper in the back of my head suddenly became a SHOUT!

My great-grandmother, who I called 'Buelita, was the sweetest woman on the planet. She died when I was twelve, but I spent so much of my childhood with her, that I can sometimes still see her laughing next to me. Far from being a fashion diva, my 'Buelita was a very - shall I say huggable? - and down-to-earth lady with no-nonsense shoes and a neat and tidy appearance. I can't remember her ever spending any money buying extravagant accessories (though she did have a nice collection of costume jewelry), but I do remember her amber necklace.

Dulcé mentioned that oftentimes, Latinas will buy amber jewelry that they treasure and then pass down to their daughters and grand-daughters. After further discussion with her husband, Bill, I asked if the appearance of the amber made it more or less valuable.

"No," he said. "It just seems to be a matter of personal taste. Some people prefer the amber with bugs or fauna (plants) inside, while others like the clear."

Not too fond of amber? No problem! D'Caribbean Gifts also carries my newest love, Larimar, the only semiprecious gem with the blue color of the sea found in the Caribbean Islands. Each piece has its own unique natural colors from shades of blue to green.

So for those of you thinking about what to buy your mamá or abuelita for Christmas this year, perhaps a beautiful amber (or larimar!) necklace will earn you an extra hug and besito.

Or maybe it is time for you to buy yourself a little memory to pass on down to your hijas.

To see more of Dulce's jewelry, check out her site here.

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