Monday, January 02, 2006


Bad Christmas Presents

One of the sometimes humorous and sometimes frustrating aspects of Christmas are bad presents. It's fairly rare that I get a truly bad Christmas present, especially since most of the bad presents over the last 20 years came from my ex-wife's family.

This year my 12 year old son received a gift rental certificate from a movie rental that went out of business 2-3 months before Christmas. Undoubtedly, his aunt who lives about 25 miles out of town received the certificate as a gift some other time and decided to re-give it without checking to make sure the store was still open. This is the same aunt who once gave us the same gift we had given her the year before. Her husband, who is my oldest son's godfather, once gave my oldest son the exact same duffel bags two Christmas's in a row. These were cheap little duffel bags with "Everlast" on the side that he probably got for free since he was a high school baseball coach.

In every other way, this couple is generous and considerate but selecting appropriate Christmas presents seems to escape them. Much the same way, my brother gives me nice presents except that they are rarely something I will ever use. He's given me two sweaters over the past several years. If he observed my dress, he would realize I never wear sweaters. I'm warm natured and usually wear short sleeved shirts under my jacket. If he'd only ask I'd gladly give him some nice, cheap suggestions.

Since Christmas is a time of giving, I try to focus on the giving but sometimes a gift, such as gift certificates to out-of-business stores, is so absurd that I can't help but roll my eyes and laugh.

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