My mom was an evangelist. Her first love was Jesus. She was always promoting Jesus, sharing Jesus, teaching others about Jesus and walking out Jesus’ life in front of others.
Next to Jesus, though, she loved Tupperware. I am not sure what the attraction was, but if you weren’t interested in Jesus, she would point out to you the benefits of owning Tupperware.
Mom hawked Tupperware at Tupperware parties, where every attendee was given a free Tupperware gift. According to the internet, even today, every 1.5 seconds somewhere across the globe, someone is throwing a Tupperware party.
Our family drank out of Tupperware tumblers, seasoned our food with Tupperware salt and pepper shakers, licked on popsicles made in Tupperware molds, ate our cereal from Tupperware bowls, stored our cakes in Tupperware cake carriers, poured our tea from a Tupperware pitcher—this list could go on much longer than the word limit I have for this column.
My mom introduced you to either Jesus or Tupperware, and you never knew which one she was going to share with you. She was zealous about both. I loved watching her make her pitch, and the highlight was when she demonstrated the Tupperware burp. To do this, you grab the corner of the lid and lift it while simultaneously pressing your thumb into the center, expelling the remaining air. Of course, when Mom did this, she let everyone know that getting rid of the excess air would lock the freshness and flavor in.
I grew up burping Tupperware containers. If I have burped one, I have burped a thousand. The problem is that burping containers is so ingrained in me that no matter the brand name of the container, I am compelled to burp it.
To this day, my wife repeatedly tells me, “You don’t need to do that; it’s not Tupperware.” But it’s a habit developed over a lifetime. And speaking of lifetime, Tupperware comes with a lifetime guarantee.
When my children were younger, I took our family to Disney World. While in Florida, I visited Kissimmee, the home of Tupperware. I took the tour of the museum and bought my mom some of the latest Tupperware products. I think those gifts anchored me in the “best son” category until she went home to be with the Lord.
If Tupperware had ever made caskets, my mom would have requested to be buried in one. And I can hear her reminding us to make sure we burped it first. Even though she passed away 34 years ago, I still have some of her Tupperware.
I often heard my mom make her case for people to buy Tupperware, and I found a lot of similarities between that and her plea for people to embrace Jesus:
- Tupperware came with a lifetime guarantee, and so does Jesus. “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb. 13:5b). In fact, the Bible is full of lifetime guarantees.
- Tupperware teaches how to get the extra air out by burping so the freshness is retained. As Christians, our spiritual “burp” is called confession. We are to confess our sins daily so we keep our relationship with God fresh and don’t pollute other areas of our lives. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). And that, my friend, brings a freshness to your life.
- Tupperware proponents have parties to invite the uninformed to learn about the benefits of their products. My mom was involved with Child Evangelism Fellowship. She would gather children around the neighborhood and invite them to our house for a time of fun as she stood by a flannel board, sharing the benefits of knowing Jesus. Many boys and girls accepted Jesus at one of these “parties.”
My mom had a heart attack and died on aisle three of our local IGA grocery store at the age of 58. The last thing she did that morning before she stopped at the store was visit a daycare center, presenting the benefits of having a relationship with Jesus.
I didn’t pick up Mom’s zeal for Tupperware, but I did pick up her zeal for Jesus. My mom passed away on Oct. 9, and my birthday is Oct. 7. After we got home from her funeral, I was going through the mail and saw that between sharing Jesus and going home to Him, Mom had also stopped at the post office and sent me a birthday card. She didn’t write, “Happy Birthday,” but “I am proud of you, son. Keep on preaching Jesus! Love, Mom.”
Thanks, Mom! I still have a question: When Jesus comes to get us, what should I do with all the Tupperware?