Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A list of things that I hate about the holiday season would include:
  • Cold weather
  • Guilt over not delighting my child by hanging lights outside our house
  • Crowds
  • Guilt over letting my parents see me ignore Hanukkah
  • Turkey-based meals
  • The whole rigmarole with the tree (Really? I'm supposed to drag a goddamn tree into my living room? Are you pulling my leg?)
  • The insertion of religious symbolism and ceremony into my everyday life
  • The fact that people resent me for removing religious symbolism and ceremony from their holiday season
  • ....
That's just the tip of the iceberg, but let's cut to the chase here. What I hate MOST about the holiday season is buying gifts. Oh, good lord, I hate the buying of the gifts.

It's not just the crowds in the malls or the expense, but rather the inefficiency of the whole process. It's the idea that I want some book, but instead of just logging onto Amazon and buying it, I have to give my wife some sort of clue about it. Maybe it's a hint of an author I like, or perhaps it's a dramatic sigh when I look at the books on my night table, but more likely than not, it's me adding a link on my Amazon wish list to the exact book I want. It's like a treasure hunt with particularly dull-normal clues.

We did some shopping for Winter Present Tree Day this weekend by visiting our local knick-knack shop. Knick-knacks are the dregs of gifting, but tradition dictates that you gotta cram something into the goddamn stockings. The knick-knack store was ridiculous. It was filled with shelves of decorated items that I never before realized needed to be decorated, like toothpicks. We've all seen the toothpicks with the frilly little bits on them, but these were even more ornate and stately. I guess that's a gift. Hey, merry Winter Present Tree Day, here are some goddamn toothpicks.

They also had dish towels with clever little phrases on them. Would I want someone to buy me those? No thanks, I hate being out-clevered by my linens. We're just one step away from giving out decorated toilet paper as gifts. I can imagine someone buying me artisan hand-etched toilet paper and I'll have to stare at them and say, "Do you know what I do with this stuff?"



Siôn said...

"Winter Present Tree Day" still makes me laugh. So I checked out your original Winter Present Tree Day post for some nostalgia...
4 years ago? What? Who's been stealing time?

Meg said...

Hold on, I need to run back to the knick-crap store and return your gift. Here I thought you'd love toothpicks decorated with toilet paper! Urgh.

We are the evil parents that told always told the kids we were Santa. They refuse to believe us. I've been trying to find things for stockings but everything screams "I'll be stuck under the sofa for ten years" or "I'll stick to the side of the bed and stain the sheets" or "oh yea, you need more craaaaaaaaaaayons" and my favorite "oh yes, you'll trip over me in the dark and be in the ER AGAIN this year. Urgh. Bah.

Mike said...

Siôn, you're still here? Good god, man! I think you win the award for longest-time reader. I should bake you a cake or something.

Meg, congrats on not being a Santa family. As a former Jew, the whole thing seems weird to me.

Portlander said...

Me thinks you may soon find yourself discussing this matter with the ghosts of Winter Present Tree Day Past, Present, and Future. Hopefully they don't read blogs. As Tiny Tim might say under the circumstance, "Science bless us, everyone!"

Mike said...

Portlander, both you and Tiny Tim are wise men. Thankfully though, science has already blessed us.

patsy said...

I have been reading about your hypo-allergenic cat and my neighbor has two kittens , would you like one?
I'll send it when I send the Obama's their hypo-allergenic dog.
bye the way happy tree day.

Mike said...

And a Merry Christmas to you, Patsy.