Unless one is under 10 years old, dads seem to be especially hard to find a gift for. By the time I was well into adulthood, my ideas for a gift for my father were down to zip.
His interests were fishing, hunting, and on occasion, making potato pancakes.
Spouse and I had been pondering this gift-giving challenge while we were at the grocery store, stocking up with the usual holiday supplies for Christmas dinner. Dean’s job was to take care of the dairy aisle while I took care of the produce.
Always more efficient than I when it comes to shopping, he finished his list while I was still working on mine and met me by the lettuces. We pushed our carts efficiently past kale, radishes, cucumbers…and then we stopped. Abruptly.
There, among the carrots and onions, was a two-foot by three-foot box of twelve identical russet potatoes. Beautiful, big, tawny potatoes, each precisely placed in its own nest of gold paper.
Spouse and I took one look at each other and burst out laughing.
“Perfect!” we said simultaneously.
Flash forward to my brother’s house for our annual Christmas Eve dinner and gift opening. We’d suspected those potatoes were the perfect present for a guy who loved to eat but when he lifted that heavy box, unwrapped it, lifted the wooden lid and saw those spuds, we knew we couldn’t have found a more perfect gift.
To this day I can’t look at potato in the eye* at Christmas without grinning at the memory of my father with tears in his eyes, doubled over, laughing harder than I’d ever heard him laugh before or since.
*Sorry; I can’t resist a pun.