Today, I bought Christmas presents for my grandmother.
Buying presents for my grandmother is difficult because it is pointless. Anything important is lost upon her, anything useful would go unused. Her birthday, which falls on Christmas Eve, is even more difficult; she understands that the day is someone‘s birthday, but she cannot recollect that it is hers.
A few years ago, I hit upon the solution.
Practical things. Like coffee mug and tea sets.
You see them in big box retailers this time of year. Two, or four, coffee mugs, packaged in a nice gift box. Maybe they come with tea. Maybe they come with cookies. Maybe they come with coffee or hot chocolate.
I buy the sets for the coffee mugs. She can have the tea or the coffee or the cookies. What I need are the coffee mugs.
You see, I’ve discovered that coffee mugs are migratory creatures, like toothbrushes and razors and toothpaste. Coffee mugs are always disappearing, taking flight and moving on to a different clime somewhere else entirely. Thus, I repopulate the coffee mug gaggle, and the migratory habits of coffee mugs do not inhibit my coffee intake.
I also buy my grandmother cheap candies. Maybe mints. Maybe chocolate sticks. I can wrap them, and she will have three or four things to unwrap Christmas morn.
She unwraps things slowly on Christmas morning. She doesn’t realize she has things to unwrap. She tries to save them for later.
I went to Big Lots today, and I bought her the practical things, spending less than ten dollars. I tell myself that I should feel bad, that I spend so little on her Christmas. Yet, I would feel bad if I spent any more than that; I would simply be wasting money and effort on something that, for good or ill, is ultimately unimportant.
I’ll wrap them in a few days.