|My Sweet Dad and His Usual Christmas Gift -- A Book|
Purchasing Christmas gifts for my dad has resulted in a tradition to which I look forward each year. I usually purchase a couple of new books for him, and take great pleasure in researching the titles that would please him -- a natural and enjoyable thing for a librarian to do. Dad also receives books from other family members for his birthday, Father's Day, and Christmas. We all understand the pleasure he gets from reading and want to make sure he always has something good to read.
This Christmas presented a special challenge to us. Dad is experiencing age-related physical problems, all to be expected for an 89-year-old man. This is the conversation I had with him a few weeks before the holiday:
Me: "Dad, you mentioned that you were having trouble seeing the print in your books. Would you like some large-print books for Christmas?"
Dad: "No, I plan on getting new glasses and I don't want to start reading large-print."
Me: "I guess books-on-tape wouldn't work either, until you get your hearing corrected." (Dad has hearing aids, but still has some problems under certain circumstances)
Dad: "No, I wouldn't be able to hear the books-on-tape."
Me: "How about a DVD? Have you watched the one we got you for your birthday?" (The History Channel's "America".)
Dad: "No, I don't know how to work the player. Rick has to put it in for me." (Rick is my brother)
Me: "Um, okay."
I might mention that my Dad is very frugal and has always kept items of clothing given to him until he needed them. You could shop his closet like a department store.
I thought and thought and made a decision -- I was going to give him something that I knew without a doubt that he would use -- or should I say consume. Caffeine Free Coke. As a Diet Coke drinker, I wasn't aware that Caffeine Free Coke Classic is sometimes hard to find. I learned this when Dad and I were together and tried to find a twelve-pack. (Remember, Dad is frugal and we were looking for a good price as well.) That day, we didn't find it. Dad informed me that he was often frustrated looking for his favorite beverage.
The other consideration is that Dad is 89-years-old and the season of ice, snow and bitter cold has arrived in Oklahoma. It would be good if he had a good supply of his favorite drink handy.
My daughter and her family came from Alabama to be with us for Christmas. I asked her to check for Caffeine Free Coke Classic anywhere that they stopped on the way. She brought several 12-packs and we were able to find several here.
All of us went to visit Dad on Thursday and presented our gifts. He received a plate of peanut butter fudge. He also received one Caffeine Free Coke Classic in a gift bag. I told him that there were 155 like it in the garage.
He laughed and said that he was happy to receive them. He was also happy with the peanut butter fudge and offered some to his three great-granddaughters, who politely refused. (My daughter and I had instructed them to do so, since there was a supply for us waiting at home.)
It made me feel good to know he was happy with his gift. I look forward, of course, to shopping for books for him again. I'm still a librarian, after all.