The way Alzheimer’s disease has ravaged my dad’s capabilities is especially hard to bear during holidays. I wish he could more fully participate in and enjoy our family traditions. So often it seems that he just doesn’t understand, and the meaning is lost for him. Recently, though, he gave me my most unexpected and treasured Christmas gifts ... and taught me invaluable lessons at the same time.
Mother’s Day brings a spending spree as Americans dole out a record $21 billion this year for cards, flowers, jewelry, gift certificates, electronics and gardening tools, as well as creating a crush at restaurants for brunch and dinner on Sunday.
When the kids were growing up, Mother's Day brought breakfast (crumbs) in bed, handmade gifts and special dinners. But with adult children, is the notion of "Queen for a Day" as outdated as the 1960s TV show?
Once when I was in Switzerland, I met a local woman who went out of her way to show me around the resort town of St. Moritz. She refused payment - and even my attempt to pay for lunch. When I finally had time to pick up a gift for her, it was Sunday, and all the shops were closed. Except, of course, the touristy one. So I bought her a box of chocolates. I gave a Swiss woman a box of Swiss chocolates! Fail.
"You've won the lottery today!" a TSA staffer exclaimed to a couple about to board their plane in Portland, Ore., last weekend, as he ushered them to a special, less-invasive screening line. For those who dread fumbling with their jackets, belts and shoes or can't seem to remember where, exactly, that bag with the 3 oz. liquids is packed, any sensible relaxation of security procedures is certainly an early gift.
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