Christmas Gifts for My Grandparents
When my dad’s mom and dad grew older, it became harder and harder to find a Christmas gift that they could use and would want. It was the same for anniversaries and birthdays. They already had all of the furniture that they wanted and needed. They still had clothing in the original cellophane packaging it the dresser drawers upstairs.
I was at a loss of ideas for gifts until one day I was visiting and heard them respond to a commercial on the television. It was for Col. Sanders “Kentucky Fried Chicken.” Granddad said, “That really looks good. We’ve eaten it before and it tastes good.”
Bingo. I had my plan when Christmas rolled around. I knew then what I was going to do.
When we were younger, Grandma used to put out a few decorations for the holidays, but when they reached their eighties, decorations stopped. It became too big of a chore for them to decorate. I thought that was sad, not to have something special, at least for Christmas.
When the next Christmas rolled around, I went to a local store that sold pre-decorated pine trees that were about eighteen inches high and bought it. With the tree tucked in the apace behind the front seat yellow Chevrolet Nova, I drove to the other side of town to the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant and bought the entire meal deal; biscuits, mashed potatoes and gravy, Cole slaw and a twenty piece chicken meal.
With the gifts tucked in my car, I headed to my grandparent’s house. It was the week before Christmas, but there was no need to call and see if they were home. They only left the house for funerals and doctor’s appointments. I hurried to be sure I got there before their meal time and so that the food would still be hot.
The chicken smelled so good, I was sorely tempted to reach behind me and take a drumstick out of the bucket. But I was a good boy and managed to get to their home meal intact.
Grandma answered the door with her usual greeting, “Well bless my soul, Edison look who’s here.” and she gave me the customary hug. She was short and her arms barely reached around my waist.
Grandpa joined her and I said, “Hi Grandpa. I have to be going, but I wanted to drop off your Christmas gifts early so I was sure you would have them.”
I sat the food on their kitchen table. (You always came in through the kitchen door.) Granddad took the little pine tree after we shook hands.
After another hug and “Thank you” I left.
I know that the food lasted them most of the week. Their appetites had waned and ate small amounts. The pine tree in the spring was planted outside.
I bought the same gifts for the next few years and Grandpa had started a pine forest, so I changed a bit. I still bought the chicken, but that year I bought a medium sized Crèche. I was surprised to see it perched on top of their television set several weeks after Christmas, but Grandma said she liked it and there it remained. When they died, I claimed it and it has a place of honor on a bookcase in my entryway. I bring it out for every Christmas.