Gift for Mom no easy decision
Editor's note: This week's column is written by Trey Flynn.
I didn't know what to get my mom for Christmas.
As most you may have already realized, you are not reading the words of Mandy Flynn. I am her son, her teenage son, who over the years has been namelessly exposed to those of you familiar with her column. My apologies to those of you whose Sunday routine I have interfered with, but allow me to get along with my story.
Procrastination is an art form, a language. And I as a high school sophomore consider myself fluent. However, just over a week before Christmas I came to the annual realization that I had yet to buy my mother a Christmas gift. With the clock ticking down, I examined my options: a 12-pack of candles never to be opened -- nope, that was last year's; the first book I could find that managed to garner Oprah's approval -- wrong again. The list grew longer as I painfully became aware of my inadequacy as a gift giver. And out of pure desperation, I was forced to consider the category of "it's the thought that counts" gifts, knowing full well that the only instance in which such a gift can be successfully given is kindergarten arts and crafts.
As I have witnessed over Christmases past, gift-giving is a strenuous process. How easy would Christmas shopping become if there were a gift-giving equation, a festive algebraic function that balances our loved ones' interests and needs and leaves us with the perfect gift? We would no longer be forced to blindly guess at what they might like, and my father would be absolved from his annual responsibility to pretend to like my mother's choice of sweater.
Unfortunately, Santa and his legal staff of scholarly elves have copywritten such material and we are left to blindly pursue the quest for the perfect gift.
So, there I was this year, caught off guard by the accelerated approach of Christmas with only a single present left to buy. I had put off shopping for my mother since she is always the most difficult to buy for. After a few minutes of unfruitful brainstorming, I decided to admit defeat to the pressures of holiday gift giving and plainly ask her.
"For you to love and cherish your family," was the answer I expectedly received. This was the Christmas wish she usually gave me. So, I replied as I always had, telling her jokingly I'd rather get something which can be purchased.
With no more ideas than I had started out with, I asked myself what she likes: hot tamales, flowers and writing.
She has written professionally for more than 20 years, captivating readers of the only region she has ever known. I have watched her as long as I can remember, tirelessly whipping up random snapshots of our family while flavoring her images with the sweetest Southern touch.
So, for her Christmas gift I wrote her this column -- helplessly wrapped up in a way so distinguishable by mothers of teenage boys. It is, for her, a week off from work.
Merry Christmas, Mom.
Contact columnist Mandy Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.