Melanie Gilmer and her family in our Why I Wear series. Why I Wear

"You have always been so much more than a nagging wife..."

Why I Wear

One of the most heartwarming Christmas stories we didn't even know we were a part of.

Melanie Gilmer and her family in our Why I Wear series.
Just before Christmas last year, a customer placed an order with a personalized fortune that read: 
“You have always been so much more than a nagging wife and you have so much more than 3 ungrateful children.”
We receive thousands of fortunes each year but this one stuck out to us. We remember thinking it must be from a sassy mom trying to keep her cool. 

Three days after Christmas, we were surprised to see a note from the customer, Melanie Gilmer, in our inbox with some more background about her fortune:

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We love this story so much that we’re making it a tradition to share it every holiday season.

I’m not sure who will be reading this message, but thank you for your product! I recently received the medium fortune cookie locket and it did not disappoint!

Each year my family does “Family Christmas Chinese Dinner.” It’s not actually on Christmas day, but people laugh because it reminds them of the movie "A Christmas Story."

PhotoSnapshots from Melanie’s annual family Christmas Chinese dinner.

When my siblings and I were kids, our parents would take us to see Santa. And after, we would have dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant.
My Dad’s fortune magically said the same thing each year. He would jokingly read, “You have a nagging wife and 3 ungrateful children.” 
My father passed away several years ago and my siblings and I are now grown with children of our own. Since my father died, the reading of the fortunes has been bittersweet.
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Melanie and her dad circa 2003.

This year, our group of 11 watched as my mother read her fortune several times in disbelief. (I had replaced the original fortune in the cookie with the one I got from you and resealed the wrapper.)

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A meaningful gift: Melanie surprised her mom with our Fortune Cookie Locket on Christmas day.

Her fortune read, “You have always been so much more than a nagging wife and you have so much more than 3 ungrateful children.”

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The not-so-average fortune now lives inside the Fortune Cookie Locket worn by Melanie's mom.

She then looked at me with tears in her eyes and asked how I got that fortune in the cookie. I smiled and handed her y’all’s beautiful box with the fortune cookie locket, and told her she needed somewhere close to her heart to keep that fortune.
This year marked our 35th Family Christmas Chinese Dinner. Thank you for helping make it even more special!

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Celebrating their Christmas tradition with the newest generation. Melanie says, “We did have a milestone last year—my niece, Lynleigh, lost her first tooth at dinner!”

We receive fortunes that run the gamut—from romantic and sentimental to humorous and cryptic—and we're often curious about the backstories behind them.

Sometimes we’re even lucky enough to hear them.

Thank you, Melanie, for sharing this and letting us share it with others.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

For more personal stories, check out our other “Why I Wear” blog posts…

F&F Team

Members of the Fortune & Frame team let you in on our little world: from behind-the-scenes moments and event invites to sales and early access to not-yet-released pieces. They know us better than we know ourselves, so watch for their posts on all things F&F :)





2 comments


  • Gretel Going

    We’ve been sitting on this all year long and were so excited to share it. Thank you for reading it!


  • DN

    This story is incredibly beautiful. Thank you for taking the time to share this.


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