Christmas Gifts For Pack Rats

The Christmas season was always a trial for Cynthia. For as long as she had been an adult she had been aware that her mother’s problem with compulsive acquiring had gotten out of hand. Her mother justified a lot of her shopping as being gifts to give at Christmas, but the truth was that when the time came, she couldn’t find the things she had purchased. The wrapping paper and gift bags from Christmases in the past were still part of the detritus filling the house. The most frustrating thing for Cynthia was her mother’s obliviousness to the chaos in her surroundings. What can you give to a person who has too much stuff already and no place to put any more?!  Fortunately, she had found support in an online group called Children of Hoarders, and knew that she was by no means alone in her situation.

So,  what could she give her mother for Christmas? If she gave her cash or gift cards there was a good chance she would lose them. She had learned it was futile to give her books about becoming organized and she would never, ever, again “gift” her by cleaning up her home while she was away. The possibility of making a donation in her mother’s name had some appeal but she really wanted to do something personal. She opted for treating her mother to a “Girls Day Out” at a local spa and going with her. This would enhance their relationship and get them away from the point of contention, the way her mother lived in her own home.

Harriet Vaughan

About Harriet Vaughan

I am a Senior Move Manager, working with Senior Citizens and their families when it is time to downsize or just make the home safer and more comfortable for aging in place. I help these people make decisions about what to keep, throw out, donate, or sell. I also offer workshops on "Getting Things Done When You Are Over 60". I write about how to overcome memory lapses and how to use your physical energy well. I have a degree in Home Economics from the University of Maine. I live in Coopers Mills, about 14 miles east of Augusta. I have been married for almost 50 years to my husband, Chuck Vaughan. Our business is called Legacy Years Transition Services.