My mother and father occupied opposite ends of the gift giving spectrum. My mother was literally Santa without the hat. Christmas was her year round occupation, starting with day-after-Christmas sales and ending with Christmas Eve bazaars. She squirreled away presents in every closet of the house.
“Hey Mom, have you seen my …”
“Don’t go in there.”
“But I’m just looking for …”
“Don’t open that door!”
She not only showered our nuclear family with gifts, she sent care packages around the country to her extended family. She left our mailman a gift. She left gifts in every mailbox on our street. (And we lived in the country. Our street was a two mile stretch of road!) She sent Christmas goodies into work with Dad. She came into school with cookies for our classrooms. She gave our teachers presents. She brought the front office staff presents. She gave the principal a present. She gave a little something to the clerk at Thriftway, where she got her film developed. She brought in goodies to the office of her doctor, her dentist, orthodontist, ophthalmologist, otolaryngologist, pulmonologist, podiatrist, internist, dermatologist, psychologist. Once, she gave her psychiatrist’s mother’s brother’s nephew’s neighbor’s daughter a Christmas gift. (No! I’m kidding.) But you see the problem, don’t you? When you have a list that large, where do you stop? You’re probably thinking right now, “Hey, how come I didn’t make her list?”by