What Do You Want for Christmas?

I have asked Mom that question twice in the last two weeks and received the same answer both times. “I don’t know. I don’t really need anything.” But what she means is this: “When you give me stuff, I worry about what to do with it. Being a Depression era child, I can’t throw it away. But, being in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, if I put it somewhere, I may not be able to find it again.”

But of course, she would never say that.

My friends suggested getting her a gift card to a restaurant. Which is a lovely idea. Except I’m the one she takes out to lunch each week. So purchasing a gift card is a lot like purchasing a gift for myself.

Feels sorta self-serving.

Another possibility is buying a set of Amish fiction books. When she’s finished, we could donate them to her church so she doesn’t have to worry about them. It’s another lovely idea. But with Christmas only 2 days away, there’s no time to call her church and compare what’s available to purchase to what they need and double check it against what Mom’s already read. Which is most of the Amish fiction that doesn’t include vampires, and she doesn’t like vampire fiction.

Not even Amish vampire fiction.

Yesterday, I had a third great idea. How about a digital picture frame loaded with family photos, old and new? It would eliminate the problem of not being able to throw out the pile of photos people have sent because they could be scanned and added to the digital collection. This idea sounds like a winner, especially since Staples sent an email with a 20% off coupon for guess what? Digital picture frames.


This could be a sign from God. Or at least an answer to a conundrum common to children whose parents have reached a certain age. Of course, it’s only an answer if my technological skills are up to loading the thing with photos, and that’s debatable. But I’ll give it a try. Which means I’m down to just one question.

Mom, what do you want for Christmas next year?

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