Thursday, January 10, 2008

Christmas Crimes I Committed That I Learned From My Mom

This past Christmas the metamorphosis of myself from young, hip, cool chick into my older, ultra practical mother continued. There have been many small instances throughout the years in which I have more and more developed into this woman that my all-knowing, adolescent self vowed I would never become. This Christmas, though, I broke several cardinal Yuletide rules I once claimed unbreakable. My mother has committed these what I once considered heinous acts for years.

  1. We used to call my mom 'the lumper.' If you were receiving a clothing item of any sort, you knew it because it was never in a box that could have you guessing its contents. No, it was simply folded up and covered in some snowflake patterned paper adornment. You knew clothes were beneath and no matter your partiality to the contents, you simply weren’t surprised. I used to enviously admire the beautiful packages of different sized and shaped boxes decorated with colorful, shiny bows at our friends’ and relatives’ houses. Mom would say, “I don’t have enough time to put everything in a box and I am not going to PAY for boxes. Who needs bows? You are just going to throw it away anyway.” I lumped every clothing item I purchased this year. EVERY ONE! I did put bows on them; however, without a hard boxy surface for it to adhere, they all fell off. Next Christmas, who needs bows? I have boys for crying out loud!
  2. My mom used to buy her own Christmas presents. I found this appalling and used to think it a direct reflection of 1) Mom’s dominating personality (which she isn’t) and 2) Dad’s laziness (which he isn’t, either). I never considered that she was simply ensuring she received her own portion of the Christmas budget for what she truly wanted and that Dad maybe didn’t have a lot of extra time to shop with the busy lifestyle stemming from being a father of 3 working full time. This year, I bought my own Christmas presents for the above reasons.
  3. My mom WRAPPED her own Christmas presents. Fast forward to 2007. I mean, they were right there; I knew what they were already; and I was wrapping anyway. Why not? Mom probably thought the same.
  4. Mom was ALWAYS so excited to tell us what we had under the tree. She used to put the presents out and watch us shake them and sometimes ask us if we wanted to know what was in them. She wanted to tell us more than we wanted to know. She would inevitably allow us to open at least one before the official unveiling day. Obviously, we never refused. I let my kids open just a few small gifts the night before our own official opening this year. It was fun and made the joy last longer. I may do it again.
  5. She would try to talk us out of our ideas. When I was 8 or 9 or so, I KNEW I HAD TO HAVE the Betty Crocker Juicer Blender. I relentlessly begged for this item every day from mid-November through Christmas Eve. Mom and I would argue back and forth, Mom insisting that I would never use the coveted treasure. She was not going to spend the money on something I would NEVER use. I insisted; however, I was SURE I would not receive my coveted culinary gadget because when Mom spoke of practicality, she rarely caved. On Christmas, I opened the one box that I thought MAY be large enough to be my prize. It WAS! I opened the juicer blender devouring its components, instructions and recipe ideas, eagerly using it that afternoon. Mom took my picture stating as she took it, “I better get your picture using this blender since this will probably be the last time you ever use it.” She was DEAD ON! I NEVER USED IT AGAIN! It sat in my closet haunting me because I hated it. I hated getting out all the parts and cleaning it after use (which mom cleverly made ME do). The juice I made was terrible. Ever since the Betty Crocker Juicer Blender incident, I believed my mom about practical gifts, mostly because she would say, “You only think you want that. Remember the Betty Crocker Juicer Blender?” It became a family joke. Regardless, I know now that my mom knew best and she wanted to spend our Christmas budget on something SHE KNEW I would use. When my kids asked for something that looked SO appealing on TV, yet I knew they would never use, I tried to reason with them. It yielded the same results as it did on me when I insisted on the kitchen gadget I couldn’t live without – an argument. This year one of their “must-have’s” was Aqua Dots. “Aqua Dots were made in China and recalled. Little boys and girls who have them are getting sick and dying from lead poisoning.” (True enough, by the way, except for the dying part.) Whenever they asked for an item to which I responded with an immediate “no,” they inquired, “Was it made in China?” “Yeah, I think so.” (Perhaps true) MOM KNOWS BEST and if it requires a tiny little white fib to smack them over the head with that logic, so be it!



  1. That is too funny. The BettyCrocker juicer blender story translates to me to today. I often buy these wonderful kitchen gadgets, sure I'll use them, and rarely do.

  2. From the Old Mom side, THANK YOU! I know I will never hear my children say I was right, so I'm taking your words and the only acknowledgement I'll probably ever get! LOL!!

    Nice to meet you, by the way!

  3. OMG! I'm turning into my mother and didn't realize it until JUST NOW!

    I'm so glad I LIKE my mother!

  4. Very funny! And, you are right - we are slowly morphing into our mothers. Take care. Kellan

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  6. Ahh, I so relate to this. My mom had little money, as a single mom, but wanted to have many gifts under the tree, so she'd wrap sweat bottoms and tops in different boxes.