The Most Beautiful Flibbertigibbet of Them All

It may come as a surprise, but my flibbertigibbetness didn’t just appear. (I know it’s not a word, but how else to describe?) It was inherited, a simple trait handed straight down from my lovely, sweet, beautiful, flibbertigibbet mother. No, really, I can take no credit.

My mother’s flibbertigibbetness is generally in overdrive on Christmas day. It is in full force for all the family to see, and she displays it well. There was the year when my brother opened a gift box from her–he ripped off the bow, tore open the paper, thew out the tissue … and found nothing. Yep, an empty box, just for him! It wasn’t a mean prank. She forgot to include the gift certificate.

And there was the year that my sister opened a beautiful pink sweater and said, “Oh, Mom! I love it!” My mom responded with, “Oops. That one was supposed to be for Stacy.” (Don’t worry–my sister had an equally gorgeous sweater waiting to be opened.)

Oh, and there was the year that she said at the end, “I know I got you an alarm clock, Stacy! I just don’t know where I put it!”  It turns out, she left it at the store.

But the one memory that takes the cake came to light not on Christmas Day. It was a cool day in March, and I was digging in my mother’s closet for a dress I could have sworn I had left in there. Digging would be exactly the right terminology. You have to excavate to find anything!

As I explored deep into the recesses of her closet, in the very back corner next to the shelves, while my right arm became tired from holding back all of her dresses, I saw an exquisite antique chair with red velvet upholstery.

And yes, I hoped it was for me. She knows I adore antiques. I ran to my mother and told her I found the chair in her closet!! She looked at me blankly. What chair? I took her in there, pushed back the clothes and pointed to it. Her expression turned to horror.

“Oh no!” she exclaimed. “That chair was your sister’s Christmas present … for last Christmas!” Immediately she called my sister and said that she must have felt a little slighted because her main Christmas present was never given to her.

My sister still loved the chair.

Leave a comment


  1. michelley

     /  December 27, 2010

    Love that story, hoped Mom liked her gift friend!!

  2. cleveland05

     /  December 28, 2010

    What a wonderful story! I couldn’t help but smile and think about my own mother. Like my mom, I love this time of year. My fondest memories growing up involve Christmas time! Every year, my mom loses a gift (I learned this year that my mother-in-law does the same). I’ll never forget the summer that we had really bad storms and one night lost power. I must have been in 5th grade. My parents were searching all over the house for candles and flashlights for themselves and my siblings and I, when my mom found two flashlights: one for me and one for my older sister. She handed them to us and said, “I got these for you girls for Christmas last year, but forgot all about them.” It’s moments like these that make time with family and these wonderful memories that much more special. Thanks for sharing your story! Your mom sounds like an amazing woman!

  3. I think we have the same mother! Your stories of her are much more endearing than the ones I can write of mine 🙂


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