TO BE READ ON CHRISTMAS DAYby Art Buchwald
If you weren't sure what to get your mother and father this Christmas, perhaps you could read them this column, which I'm sure would mean more than any gift you could have bought in a store.
"Please, dear Mother, why donít you go into the living room and watch television with Father, while we, your devoted children, will clear the table, and do the dishes, and see that all the leftovers are put away in the icebox, so you will not have to cook tomorrow."
"Do not worry, Father, we will clean up all the mess around the tree, including the torn wrapping paper and cartons and boxes and other trash. It is our responsibility because, after all, we were the recipients of all these wonderful presents."
"Mother, I want you to know that everything you bought me fits perfectly, and you will not have to go back and stand in line on Tuesday and exchange any of your purchases. You are indeed a wonderful person for getting not only our sizes right but selecting the perfect colors for each item of clothing."
"Father, Brother has asked to play with the trains you bought me for Christmas and I, of course, said I would be very happy if he would. He in turn has urged me to take his radio-controlled racing car outside and use it as long as the batteries hold out. Father, I wish to thank you and Mama for giving me such a wonderful younger brother to share my Christmas gifts. He is a joy to be with at this time of year."
"Dearest Mother, do not fret because the beds have not been made and it is four o'clock in the afternoon. Although we have plans to see our friends, we shall cancel them so we can clean up our rooms. Why donít you relax here by the fire with a hot toddy while we proceed to bring some order out of this tumultuous day."
"No, Father, I will not need the car this afternoon. Why donít you and Mother go for a drive on this festive day and see some of the lovely decorations? Please do not protest. A son does not take the family's only mode of transportation on Christmas Day and leave his parents in the lurch. I shall be very happy to take the bus and even transfer twice in the icy cold so I may visit my girlfriend on the other side of town."
"No, Mother, I shall not be going out tonight. Christmas should be spent with one's family, and I wish to share these happy hours with my wonderful relatives who will stop by to visit us today. I hope all my aunts and uncles and cousins come so that I may wish them a Merry Christmas, and they may do the same to me. We are lucky to have so many people related to us, and I couldnít stand the thought of being away for an hour knowing they were here."
"Dearest Father, although I am home on vacation, I will not need any money as I managed to save several hundred dollars from my allowance in anticipation of my visit for the holidays. Although you have never deprived me of anything during the holiday season, it is my belief that when one goes off to college one should try to be independent of one's parents, particularly when it comes to asking for money just to have a good time."
"Mother, I have canceled my trip to Florida with my sorority sisters next week so I can stay home and take down the Christmas tree and put away all the decorations."
"Father and Mother, would either one of you have any objection to our giving all our hi-fi speakers and rock records to the Salvation Army or Goodwill Industries? The noise seems to be interfering with our homework, and we donít want anything to hurt our grades in the upcoming year."