By Emily Lundy
Ask any teen what he really wants for Christmas. Usually he responds quickly, “Cash,” Ganny, “the green stuff.”
I have never seen cash on sale or half price. It’s no fun for the giver who wants to try to find an impressive gift (but usually doesn’t). I have lived to shop.
On the other hand, cash or gift certificates are an easy way to shop; this year I’ll have some pleasure in shopping by getting different gift-cards or ones from unusual places because I have shopped until I’ve dropped.
I think getting an American Express card redeemed anywhere I chose would have a tinge of excitement.
Last year I heard the murmurs and the direct conversation clearly. “Ganny, we could help you shop as you are getting a little confused or no one gets her right size.” They are right. Malls no longer call my name. I like a place I can drive up to the front door, go in and make a purchase. Of course, the girls’ solving of the situation made me feel a teensy rejected, but with gift carding, I can still get a wince of excitement as I have to think about card of choice.
Now there are $15 cards for eating places, even less for faster food places. Along with the $50 ones come a variety of little ones to add spice.
I have to show no partiality by giving everyone the same amount, but the spending establishments do not have to be the same.
One day I wondered how long gift giving continues, like with graduation announcements from another generation after another and from a new college or university. Of course, this does not mean a gift, but why do I feel guilty if I don’t send something.
What happened to that rule “if you have a child or grandchild graduating this year, we don’t expect a gift. We’re just sending notice of achievement.”
When do the grandchildren gifts go down in price or importance? Never? When one marries? At age 23 even if that means only one person will be that age?
I know everyone in my living room on Christmas morning is expecting a gift. Sometime even I get one. I’m not telling but simply seeing these busy people is my gift, the best ever.
Sure, that could be turned around, but I don’t want to be the one to say it. It has to be realized. Usually when it is, it is too late.
Never a Christmas I don’t think of my Grandmother’s $2 bills in banking envelopes. Or Granny next door who didn’t and couldn’t buy gifts and I never noticed until I was a Granny myself.
I see my late dad opening a gift from me that embarrasses him like the white-face cow with velcro on her teats for the little calf ready for food. After all Dad raised white-faced cattle. I thought this was a real find.
Almost before it was too late, I discovered what made my mom happiest – baskets of small containers of powders, scents, soaps, hand creams, the works.… Never could she have too many.
Mostly my husband and I agree on “no gift” or “something little we’d like.” I’m still saving that slip of paper to redeem that reads “I promise, Christmas in Tennessee with snow.”
A flutter of snow here would mean almost as much.