Presents for Mom

When my sisters and I were growing up, buying presents for my mother was not exactly easy. But for either her birthday or Christmas, and occasionally both, she would receive some product from Jean Naté. It was “her” product line. I didn’t even know it was still being made until I looked it up; it’s now owned by Revlon.

When she, my father and baby sister moved down to Charlotte, she started collecting decorative bells. There are LOTS of bells out there, so this made purchasing easy.

Still, I wanted to go off script, and in 1981, I decided to buy her an LP, Joe Jackson’s Jumpin’ Jive, based on my understanding that she liked some of the original Louis Jordan and Cab Calloway songs. She was a tactful woman, but it was quite evident that she did not particularly enjoy my selection. I went back to the bells.

Then around 2000, she decided the bells were just dust collectors and got rid of all but a handful of them, indicating that she didn’t want any more. Suddenly, I didn’t have a gift for which to be on the lookout. I would ask my mother outright, and she’d always say something useless, such as “You don’t need to get me anything.” Yeah, Mom, but I WANT to. Ultimately, I’d just ask my baby sister, who lived with her.

For either her birthday or Christmas 2010, I found this just perfect sweater – warm, the right color purple. Plus I got her those word puzzles that she liked to do to keep her mind sharp.

Today would have been Mom’s 85th birthday. I wish I still had to struggle with what to buy her.

0 thoughts on “Presents for Mom”

  1. Hugs for missing your mom.

    Still remember getting (and receiving) Jean Nate. Actually loved it, but I also adore the smell of Old Spice on men.

    ( 🙂 “Note to self: take up collecting an obscure object to make Christmas and birthday shopping easier on relatives…”)


  2. Funny how all those irritations seem to fade away in their absence, isn’t it? We usually go with consumables for the parents. Dinner/movie/theatre certificates etc.


    1. Lisa – in the last couple years, I did often get her a gift card for her local food store. Or Home Depot. She just didn’t go to movies or theater much, even when she was younger.


  3. Roger, a hug from me, too. My mom passed over twenty years ago, just four months after my dad. Her favorite gift from me was so much fun… I’d get a notepad and decorate each page with a simple symbol of Christmas, like a candy cane, and ornament, a Star… so she could use them for thank-you notes. I loved making them; she loved having a handmade gift, and yes, I miss making those damned pads!

    I tell all my relatives to give to charity in my name. Then my bipolar big sis (not on meds) always sends me a box of Avon crap and one year, a hand-knit scarf… well, she got carried away, forgot to stop, and the thing was so long, when it looped around my neck, it still dragged on the ground! Talk about spacing out…


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