My mother was born on Christmas Eve, 1921. Mom always said the timing of her birth was poor planning on her parents' part because she never had a proper birthday party that was separate from Christmas celebrations - to say nothing of the fact that my grandmother had to hastily depart a very good dinner party to go and give birth.
As I write this, Mom is in the hospital after suffering respiratory distress due to congestive heart failure. She's getting better slowly, but it's unclear if she'll be at home or in hospital over the holidays. Either way, we'll visit and bring both birthday and Christmas gifts along with her favourite lunch - homemade spinach quiche.
A couple of weeks ago, I asked Mum what she'd like this year in the way of a gift. "I don't want anything I can't eat, drink or smoke", she said only half joking. It's true that at 95, there's very little she wants or needs that she doesn't already have. So, a couple of weeks ago, I was wandering around Chapters Book Store looking for gifts and I noticed this:
I decided to gift Mom with a list of reasons everyone in my family loves her together with photographs of her celebrating special occasions with us over the years. Here's my list of reasons we love my Mom (and you would too, if you knew her!):
Like most people my age, I have drawers and boxes full of old photos. One day recently, I sat down and looked through them all, searching for pictures of Mom with us - photos that would remind us both of wonderful times past, funny moments or travel adventures together. Here's an idea of how it turned out:
I think my Mom is going to love this gift - I hope so! Sometimes, it can be difficult to think of a meaningful gift for someone so elderly. If you are still thinking and wondering about what to give to a beloved senior this Christmas, try making a photo album of memories. It was fun to create and I think it will be even more fun to share again and again with family and paid helpers.
Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas, Mum!