Skip to content

Ugly golden reindeer holds special memories for Jill Dunlop

Trip to the mall with her beloved grandfather, finding the perfect gift for grandma, remains a special Christmas memory for local MPP
jill dunlop golden reindeer
This golden reindeer was not the gift Jill Dunlop's grandmother coveted, but it has become a precious family heirloom. Contributed photo

This Christmas story was contributed by Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop, who has fond memories of bonding with her grandfather over interesting gifts.

As a child growing up, I spent most of my free time, if not all of it, with my Poppa. 

He had arthritis quite bad and had to retire from the family plumbing business. This made time for us to spend together around the farm with the horses, cows and sheep. 

Luckily, my grandparents lived across the field from us, so I’d walk or ride my bike along my well-worn path to go visit every day.

Each Christmas season, my Poppa and I would head to Georgian Mall in search of the perfect gift for my Grandma! Eventually, I became the one who would drive and we’d make a day of it and stay for dinner.

One memory that sticks with me from our shopping adventures was the year my Poppa picked out the golden reindeer. He thought it was the most beautiful decoration, and was convinced my grandma would love it. 

We got the reindeer home and carefully wrapped it and placed it under the tree; my Poppa was sure this would be the best gift ever. 

Christmas morning finally arrived and my grandma unwrapped the gift from my Poppa. I’m sure she was hoping for a new sweater, or even a piece of jewellery. She opened the golden reindeer and thought it was the ugliest thing she’d ever seen. 

You can imagine both of their disappointment that morning. The golden reindeer found a spot on a corner cabinet in the basement each year.

The year my grandparents both passed, my family asked if I wanted to keep the golden reindeer. I always think of my Poppa’s excitement when we purchased the gift.

Each year, I bring out the golden reindeer and place it on the mantle for all to see, and wish I had them both here to celebrate another Christmas together.


Verified reader

If you would like to apply to become a verified commenter, please fill out this form.