By Ashley Lodato

My family wasn’t the only one to watch Winthrop’s Christmas at the End of the Road fireworks from afar on Saturday night. As soon as we realized the fireworks had started a half hour early (presumably due to the rain), we hopped in the car and headed to town. Along Twin Lakes Road in the Wolf Creek area there were at least a dozen cars pulled over on the shoulder, drive-in movie style, the people inside enjoying the light show over the town.

Holiday shopping season has now officially begun, and in light of asking kids to prioritize giving over getting for Christmas this year, I figured I would start with a list of things a random selection of Methow Valley moms say they would love to receive from their children, in ascending order of popularity.

10. Instead of going out with your friends, stay home and play games or watch a movie with your parents. (Plus, we need you to help us figure out how to operate the remote control devices.)

9. Help cook dinner once a week.

8. Pick a photo from your childhood, print it, and write your memory of that moment.

7. Read a book and discuss it with your parents.

6. Pick up your wet towels off the floor every day until next Christmas, without being reminded.

5. Create art for your parents — a painting, a poem, a play.

4. Cook something that we can put in the freezer for later: bread, cookies, soup. Don’t forget to clean up the kitchen when you’re finished.

3. After saying, “Mom, you work so hard to take care of us. Sit down for a moment,” give us a nice long neck massage.

2. Brush your teeth twice a day, every day, until next Christmas without being reminded.

1. Coupon books. Moms cannot overestimate the value of a thoughtful coupon book chock full of offers to shovel snow, do the laundry, or refill the kindling basket. As long as kids are willing to follow through on their coupons’ offerings, these little treasures are pretty much all that moms need from their children.

One mom talks about coupon books as the gifts that keep on giving. Although this mom has long since redeemed the services offered, she has kept the actual coupons for the past six years, and takes them out from time to time to have a chuckle. Take this gem, for example, which offers a mudroom tidying session. Writes the 8-year-old on the coupon, “Oh no, the mudroom is messy. Who you gonna call? The Mudroom Patrol!”

Laughter: always and forever the best gift of all.

PREVIOUSLY, IN WINTHROP

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