Past and Presents

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Every year in early December I get a Christmas list from my daughter. They started coming as soon as she was old enough to write.

Now, I know what you’re saying: isn’t that cute.

Well, you should know that my daughter is now 27. Do you think it’s so cute?

The lists are legendary, with every detail a buyer could want to know: product name, description, the page number from the catalog she found it in, the name of the store or the web address of someplace that stocks it; the color and even the product number, so you won’t be confused, as well as the price.

Now, just so we’re clear here, these aren’t inexpensive items.

These are watches, expensive watches; jewelry, and again, expensive jewelry.

The list goes on to include boots, high heels, two pairs of Gucci sunglasses, Wii games (note the plural), a listing of a closet full of clothes, a digital food scale, coffee maker, a lighting fixture for her dining room (is that right, a lighting fixture?) and even a hot pink Ralph Lauren passport cover.

I’m glad one of us will have money left over to travel.

And if that’s not enough, she then lists nine different places she’d also enjoy gift certificates to.

The problem is, I’m to blame and I know it. I’ve created a monster.

But this year it’s gotten worse, if that’s possible.

The wife and the other daughter have decided to take up the same game. And, if that’s not enough, both daughters have also encouraged their boyfriends to join in the gift parade.

My kids have no clue what Christmas was like in my day.

Christmas morning you’ d get a stocking with a couple of small items, like a pack of baseball cards, in it. And you’d love it.

In my family of five kids we’d each get one “big” present. And, just so we’re on the same page, I’m talking like a baseball mitt. Maybe 25 bucks.

My dad’s idea of an expensive watch would’ve been a Timex, functional and cheap.

We’d also get something from our grandparents and then, the gift of gifts from my Auntie Flo.

Now, just so you can picture my Auntie Flo, she was my mom’s aunt. She strongly resembled the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz, only scarier.

As a young kid, I figured she was old enough to have celebrated the first Christmas. You know, with Jesus in the manger.

Anyway, every year Auntie Flo would show up with a white, button-downed dress shirt for my brother and me. Something every 8-year-old wanted.

And every year when we got old enough, in the days immediately following Christmas, my brother and I would track down the store that those white shirts came from and take them back.

Oh, the memories. It was so simple then.


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