Fribble Ode to Mom at Christmas

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By Jeffrey Haught (
December 20, 2000

Dear Mom,

Happy Birthday! And Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to let you know, I GIVE UP! We go through the same routine year after year.

"What do you want for your birthday?"
"I don't need anything!"
"What about something for Christmas?"
"I told you boys, I don't need anything. Save your money and use it for something you need for the car, house, etc."

Well, wouldn't you know that with four boys who have inherited your temperament and determination, we would eventually find something for you for your birthday and for Christmas?

When we were growing up, you made sure that we wanted for nothing. That camera I had to have, the stereo system for my 16th birthday. I would get them, but don't believe I didn't notice that you went without. You wore the hand-me-downs you got from Mamaw until they were threadbare. But we would have new jeans when school started in the fall.

Then when we grew taller than you, you got our hand-me-downs -- the ragged T-shirts, sweaters and jackets that we grew out of in about a year's time. But all the while, I had big plans for you, Mom. I was going to grow up and take care of all of your needs; you would want for nothing.

Then those plans always seemed to fall through. First, there was college, then there was getting started with my first apartment, which of course, had to be furnished with NEW furniture. Along came the new car which replaced my hand-me-down, second-hand car.

But I wanted to thank you, Mom, for the one hand-me-down you gave me. That ability to balance the books. I remember watching you every payday. Paying the bills, and when times got tough, juggling the numbers to make sure you still had money left over for the essentials. You taught me that you can't make money overnight, so you need to plan for the long-term picture.

It has taken some years, but I think I have finally learned. And I think that is why I make such a circus about your birthday and Christmas. I want to show you that your kid's done good! Still, you continue to tell me that you don't need anything -- AND IT DRIVES ME ABSOLUTELY BATTY!

Mom, you said that the best present was to know that your children are healthy, able to keep a roof over their heads, and pay their bills. Guess what, I can do all that and then some! I still need the occasional purse-string from the International Bank of Mom for when those disasters hit, but I have it pretty good with the bank president!

And you know what? I don't want to completely lose those purse strings, because those strings keep me grounded. They give me strength and especially the comfort knowing that you are always with me!

And when you get ready to visit Mamaw and Pappy, you can sit down with them and tell them how well your kids listen.

Happy Birthday, Mom -- I hope I've done you good!