The James K. Polk Museum Shop is gussied up for Polk Gift Basket shopping.
For it is in the giving that we receive. Francis of Assisi
One Christmas Eve, after being shuffled off to bed at an early hour, my seven year old body strained in excitement with little hope of falling asleep. Soon the familiar whir of my mother's green Singer sewing machine provided calm and I drifted into the safe refuge where all children should rest.
The next morning, I claimed a tribute to Santa, a miniature wardrobe for Skipper, Barbie's Lil' Sis. Outfits for school, church and play, - each piece was meticulously designed and sewn for my delight. The trousseau did not cost my family much money, but remains to this day, a favorite gift because it was deeply thoughtful.
My approach for giving has evolved from that offering. Fifty years later, I rejoice at the depth of a significant gift and with that, I have the urge to whisper into the ears of those among us who love history and southern culture.
The James K. Polk Ancestral Home was constructed in Columbia on the corner of 7th and High in 1860 as home to Jane and Samuel Polk and their children. On a trip back to Maury County, at the conclusion of his education at the University of North Carolina, James Polk could not have imagined that the next century would bring as many as 11,000 seekers to the same residence which would become a legacy for the 11th President of the United States.
Sojourners still visit the Polk Home in curiosity and celebration of southern culture and the one time country frontier. They also come to understand what defined a man who scholars say was one of the greatest presidents in US history.
Though the Polk Home is owned and maintained by the state of Tennessee; the home, the staff, maintenance of the garden and the Polk Presidential Hall are funded and operated, in large part, by big hearted community giving.
Which begs the question: was President Polk himself, a giver? Though the giving of that day was confined by family requests, his life work gives perpetually, in a big way, to us all. His reputation places Maury County in the enviable position of site to a presidential home and accompanying museum.
Connecting saints and earthly dwellers, the Polk Museum Shop Chairman, Beth Sands, is available for consultation, shipment and delivery of Polk Gift Baskets, a specialty for the holiday season and a way to tout American history via Maury County.
“One hundred percent of museum shop proceeds go to the operation and maintenance of the Polk Home property,” says Beth. Such a gift, in support of place, may extend to the divine.
The Polk Gift Basket combines lovingly assembled Polk label products including honey, pickles, and praline pecans. First Lady Sarah Polk, a student at the Moravian School, inspires the Moravian cheese straws and cookies that can be included. Provisions and Politics, a nationally award winning cookbook, can be a part of the basket, as well as tickets for Polk Home tours and visits to the elegantly curated Polk Presidential Hall exhibits.
This is the sort of gift giving that lingers. Links from a national treasure are sure to have the thoughtful power to uplift Maury County in the hearts of people for days to come.