By Madison Frederick
Is it already time for the holiday season again? I don’t know about you, but my years seem to roll faster and faster. I barely get the decorations cleaned and put away and it is time to reuse
I have tried to think ahead in preparation of all the bustle that is certain to accompany the season. (I also do that each year!) Thinking about gifts and purchasing them as I find bargains all throughout the year gives me a false sense of organization and efficiency. Many times I forget where I have hidden them. Or I am out shopping and forget that I already have that particular
family member’s gifts finished. I am thrilled to find just the thing for that hard-to buy- for person.
So then I get home and realize that I have overspent on that person and must go out and buy some other gifts to keep it even for the other folks in my family on my list. In other words, efficiency is not
“buying ahead” for me. On the other hand, it is a real bonus for my children!
And speaking of kids, I am always asked: “What’s on your list this year, Mom?” Isn’t that sweet of them? I am thankful to have thoughtful adult children. However, that is a much harder question than you think. Honestly, have you tried answering that with your adult children? And let’s face it, the old “being with you is present enough” answer isn’t exactly correct.
And besides that is a present that is hard to open when everyone else is opening presents and you are cleaning up the kitchen!
So once again this year, in the spirit of getting a jump on things, I have tried to compile a list to be ready to answer when I get that question of what I want for Christmas. I’ll share with you my thinking: Please don’t give me anything electronic that you have to “teach” me how to use.
Please don’t give my anything that I have to invest time in to accomplish. I will feel like a failure if I cannot appropriate the time to do it and I will feel guilty about it. And I will have to hide my unfinished product from you in the basement or garage.
Please don’t give me anything that requires you to know my weight or size.
What would I like? Most of us (mothers, aunts, Boomer females) are not that hard to buy for … really. Some of us love the gift card presents ( for spa treatments, restaurants, even online shopping).
Some of us love the romantic gestures like perfume, flowers, jewelry. It really isn’t that difficult to find the gift that we will love. Just take some time to think about what we value or treasure and add to that. My loving husband has finally learned that it doesn’t matter how many bracelets I own, if he wants to see my face light up when I open the box, it should contain a bracelet.
I must admit to you that it has not been a lesson quickly learned. (We have been married 42 years!) In his mind, all I needed was one bracelet. Poor misguided man.
Another helpful tip for gift-giving is to honor what your parent values. By that I mean give a gift which memorializes someone she loves. While it is true that all of us like adorable pictures of the children in our families, don’t neglect honoring the old photos that your parents may cherish of their parents or grandparents. A gift made from framing ancestor pictures or shadow boxing handmade doilies or preserving war medals is sure to please.
After all is said and done, the holidays are about relationships and many of us Boomers love to capture that feeling of being someone’s child once again. So the best gift you’ve ever given your parent may be hidden in a box in the garage or the attic just waiting for your attention and care. Old is good!
A writer from North Carolina who started her career at the lifestyle magazine Bangle, Madison Frederick uses a pen name because she likes write about personal amusing stories from her girlfriends. She is a semi-retired, happily married mother of grown children.