“My, you have the whole kit and caboodle in your luggage! No wonder it weighs a ton,” my aunt, an American, exclaimed when I met her for the first time in Chicago.
I have never heard of, nor used, those words before. But they fascinated and charmed me. Too shy to ask what they meant, I had to find out for myself.
Later I learned that it is an old idiom that means, “the whole thing.” A kit is what a soldier would put in his tool-bag. Caboodle is an archaic term meaning group or collection.
Since I lived with her and my uncle for five years, my English syntax became idiomatic, too. I’d find opportunities to say kit and caboodle like a local.
Now residing in the Philippines, I have not used the idiom in decades, but it suddenly popped in my mind when the publisher of my latest book, Grace@Work, announced that it will be launched with almost 30 other new titles (for disparate target markets).
Having been fed, for two decades, with the marketing/advertising principle to launching only one brand at a time for maximum awareness, I felt disoriented. But I am no longer a resident of that corporate world, so maybe the principles outside are different.
Here are photos of the kit-and-caboodle book launching (to quell the unease in my head, I renamed the event thanksgiving)—cancelled during the Manila International Book Fair because of the one-day floods in Metro Manila. It finally happened on September 25.
Surely it was an omnibus affair, dubbed "Words for Every Season," attended by the authors, their guests, the publishing board and staff, suppliers, partners, bloggers, readers, and the media. It was the launching pad of all OMFLit's front list for various audiences—children to seniors—and seasons.
I would liken it to the way the Lord blesses us—with faith in our Savior, Jesus, we receive not piecemeal grace, but the whole kit and caboodle.
“Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks. For we know it is made acceptable by the word of God and prayer.” 1 Timothy 4:4-5 (NLT)