Tuesday, December 19, 2006

How to shop for Christmas

So, I finally ventured into the Christmas shopping world yesterday. Every year, I end up waiting until the most procrastinated second, so that, typically, it's me and hundreds of like-minded idiots fighting over the one shirt that isn't Marlon-Brando-sized. This has a tendency to dampen the holiday cheer, turning gift-giving into a Darwinian fiasco of conspicuous consumption, but when you haven't had a paycheck since, say, late October, you're stuck with the last minute gift-grab. I'm not going to bitch about it thought. No. Today, we're optimists. This isn't going to be a five-paragraph whine about how Christmas is too commercialized or how there's a war of Christmas or anything else that could be confused for the ten unsettling minutes of the O'Reilly Factor prior to the next 50 downright disturbing minutes of high-volumed yelling and visual proof that it's actually possible to contract Down Syndrome during an hour long broadcast. I wouldn't do that to you.

Instead, here are some important strategies for procrastinated Christmas shopping.

1- Go to Costco: So maybe you don't have a special something for your little sister. You'd check the book store or the record shop but she's deaf and illiterate. That's why you go to Costco. Nothing says thoughtful like a 30-pack of C batteries and a maroon Kirkland turtleneck.

2- Add to your friend's weird collections: If you've got a friend who collects doo-rags or dented cans or who stockpiles shotguns for the robot apocalypse, then buy them a doo-rag, take a can out of your neighbor's trash, or buy me a pump-action cyborg-mutilator. Get cracking. They're organizing their forces as we speak.

3- Buy Crap: When in doubt, find some one of a kind bric-a-brac at a garage sale or thrift store. Sure it's one of a kind because there are (at most) three people on earth who want a "Symphony of Destruction" music box, but imagine the joy on that special person's face when they open a box and find a unicorn, circling a carousel, to the soothing vocals of Dave Mustaine. Can you say "New Best Friend"?

4- Give Personalized Gift Certificates: Nothing says "thoughtful" like a gift certificate made by the giver, perhaps 20 minutes before the giving, written in ball-point pen and rife with misspellings, especially when its for something the giver does for free anyway. "This Gift Certificate entitles the recipient one (1) accompanied walk to the liquor store and the coverage of half (.5) the incurred cost of one (1) domestic six-pack," for example. You'll be everyone's best guy.

5- Get their gift first: The worst thing about getting a great gift is when you give something horrible in return. If you're getting a digital camera and you're giving some white socks you bought at Walgreens, while, have a nice divorce. So it's always good to pretend you left the rest of your gift at home or that they haven't delivered it yet. That buys you time instead of looking like a thoughtless prick. And that's what Christmas is all about. Either that or Baby Jesus. I'm going to need to look that up.


Katie L. Thompson said...

I totally went to Costco to buy my roommate's present (a giant box of Easy Mac with a bow on it) but then I got distracted with the free samples, saw the long lines and said fuck it. I came home and told him about my idea for his present and he said the idea of the gift was enough and that was that.

I also would like to tell you a tale of holiday joy that took place at work today: we had our holiday show where the kids put on a play and sang songs and did dances. Right after the audience clapped for an act, there was silence before another act went on. In that exact moment, one of the children let out this awesomely loud and long fart & it echoed in the gym. The entire audience -- children, parents, teachers, & staff -- erupted into laughter. It took a good 2 minutes to restore order as children fanned the air and pointed fingers at each other. Sometimes I really love my job.

Digital Art Photography for Dummies said...
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Digital Art Photography for Dummies said...
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Space Nakji said...

That reminds of a woman I used to date. One Xmas, she presented me with a gift all wrapped up in a brown paper sack stapled shut. The bag was cold to the touch, and she said, "You better hurry up and open it so we can put it in the freezer."

I opened it to discover a box of 300 frozen chicken tamales and a "value pack" of film.

I think that was the first time in my life where I couldn't bring myself to fake a smile.

Sean Carter said...

Hey thanks for the cool tips. They are truly amazing. Peep into My Blog for some unique gift ideas and loads of other fun stuffs.

kasi said...

I gave my sister a thoughtful booklet of personalized gift certificates a couple years ago. Most of them were for "one free night of babysitting". It didn't go over so nicely. Maybe it had something to do with not having any kids at the time. I love Christmas.

birdmonster said...

The problem with having the Turing test off is "Digital Photography for Dummies" starts posting comments. I thought that vacine I took would still be working...

Katie: See? Farting unites us all. Even Chaucer knew that.

SN: Oh. My. Lord. That's okay if it's your upstairs woman, but your girlfriend? Pish-posh. What did your birthday net you? Tube socks? Cinder blocks? Rebar? (fingers crossed for tube socks)

Kasi: Wow. Once my grandma gave me a blouse. Either it was supposed to be for my sister or she was hoping I'd become a transsexual.

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