The Boring Word About Christmas Gifts

December 3, 1986

While my daughter was home for Thanksgiving she had occasion to check my closet for leftover Christmas wrapping paper to take back to school. (Heaven forbid she purchase her own!) As she opened the door she turned and asked, “There isn’t anything in here I’m not supposed to see is there?”

I almost choked. Not only have I not yet purchased any Christmas gifts to hide from prying eyes, I haven’t even through about them. As the holidays draw near I find myself struggling just to find the time to attend all the concerts, plays, programs, etc. that every school, organization and religious group we participate in has decided to hold. When I’m not attending I’m driving an offspring to a rehearsal, shopping for their new outfit, delivering them for a new hairdo for the performance or stitching on a costume.

I also am expected to come up with a variety of cookies, treats, casseroles and other gourmet items to take to these events. One thing I have discovered – the more religious the activity, the more food you will be required to donate. The church Christmas party requires and meat dish and a dessert whereas the scouts only want cookies and some orange drink.

Where my daughter thinks I’m going to find the time to purchase gifts is beyond me. Of course that’ assuming I have any money left. I have yet to convince any of my children that the rather expensive clothing, jewelry, tickets, etc. which they seem to require just before the holidays could be considered early Christmas gifts. And no matter how may specific items they tell me they want, they still expect a few gifts which have not been requested or even mentioned. Otherwise where will the surprise be on Christmas morning?

So my solution, arrived at over the years, is to buy one or two items that have been placed on the wish list, hinted at with a great deal of enthusiasm or out and out requested. Then the day before Christmas I arrive at the nearest store with no preconceived ideas and just buy anything left that I think they might like. It’s always a surprise, not only to them but to me. And believe it or not some of the best received presents have been acquired this way.