May 25, 1999 12:00 AM

“I’m not sure if my father still understands Christmas, but I’m certain he understands giving,” Patti Davis, daughter of former President Ronald Reagan, wrote in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine. “My father’s office is high above Los Angeles. Blue sky and rooftops are the view from the windows,” Davis wrote. “He still goes there for a couple of hours on weekday mornings. There isn’t much for him to do, but that isn’t the point. It’s a routine, and with Alzheimer’s, routines are important.” Reagan tore open a gift of chocolates. “Those are all for you, Dad. You don’t have to share them with anyone,” his son Michael told him. “Oh, good,” the former President responded, playfully pulling the sweets toward him.

  • “When my brother and I leave, I ask him who was given the greater gift, our father or us,” Davis wrote. “He doesn’t need to answer me; we both know.”

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