Monday, December 9, 2013



Sure it's the thought that counts when giving and receiving gifts, but it is probably easy for most folks to remember the best and worst gifts they have ever given or received.

As a kid I really wasn't that great at buying gifts.  Being rather selfish, plus short on cash and ideas, I tended to grab things that were either cheap or convenient, or things that I wished I had.  Like giving my mom an iron or a blender or dish towels or a bathroom scale for her birthday.  Or giving my brother the Styx Paradise Theatre album and a poster of Basset Hounds, just because I liked them.  How horrible!  My little sister wasn't much better at gift giving, buying a size large robe for our petite, bird-boned oldest sister, shrugging and saying, "she can just return it" when I told her it was way too big. 

I have received more than a few crappy gifts myself.  There was the time my parents forgot my birthday and they slipped a $20 bill under my dinner plate.  :[  Or the time my oldest sister scrawled a nasty note all over the Christmas gift she gave me -- something like YOU ARE A LIAR AND YOU DON'T EVEN DESERVE THIS.   Or the time I was perplexed and intrigued by a very heavy gift under the Christmas tree for me -- it was about 8.5" x 11", maybe 2-3" thick, and heavy.  I opened it up and it was a ream of paper.  I was so disappointed.  Or there was the time when a certain someone asked me to front him money so that he could take me out for my birthday.  HUGE GROAN. 

Now that I am old older, I try to be more careful when giving gifts -- paying attention to  others' likes and needs, hopes and dreams.  I try.  But Christmas gift giving stresses me out.  The sheer volume of gifts to give can be rather staggering, not to mention the amount of money needed to do it.  Many times I hurry to get all of the gifts purchased, and then I berate myself for not trying harder and for not taking the time to get better, NICER gifts.  Annoying!

Sometimes people drop hints about things they really, really want.  Sometimes this is extremely helpful.

A while back, I was sitting next to my weirdo nephew Zachary. We were at a family reunion, and we ended up sitting next to each other to eat lunch. Zachary woefully picked at his lunch and grumbled in his monotone voice, "I sure wish I had some pop tarts."  I looked at him, and he sighed and explained, "I really really like pop tarts and my dad doesn't let me have them."  I clucked and agreed that that was a shame, and he said, "Yeah, I'd pretty much do anything to get me some pop tarts."   He made several more mentions of his love/desire/need for pop tarts throughout the day, and all I could think was SHUT UP ABOUT THE GODDAMN POP TARTS ALREADY!   Needless to say, guess who will be giving him a case of pop tarts for Christmas?  ;)

Pop Tart Nation


Kathy @ Vodka and Soda said...

we've reached a point in our relationship (friends and my hubby and i) that we publish gifts online and share these lists. seems unconventional but this is exactly what we want so what's so bad about that? it's actually a great help because although you may not know what you're getting, it's a guarantee that you'll love it :)

Vodka and Soda

Stephanie said...

My Dad always got me a carton of smokes, lol. He was a practical kinda guy.

RAINETTE (l'énigmatique) said...

c'est bon des Pop Tarts

Felicia said...

A ream of paper?!?!?!?!?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Once I got a box of training bras. I stomped up to my room, slammed the door and cried. I WISH my nephew only wanted Pop Tarts!! That little spoiled brat only wants some expensive video game system.

cerebral e said...

A ream of paper. Brilliant. Once I received a roll of gaffer tape for a Valentine's Day present.

Jennifer Hyduk said...

I have maybe 12 people in my life that I spend real time and effort on and enjoy buying/giving their gift. All the other stragglers? (Husbands family of weirdos)I give the least amount of effort. They sit around on Xmas eve and all tear into their piles at once. It's horrid. Nobody pays attention to who gave what, no thank you's are spoken, just a big pile of greedy idiots. My companies white elephant party is more dignified and thoughtful than that train wreck.

Tiffany Kadani said...

Haha! You are an AWESOME aunt!

Lorena said...

Lately I just give kids gifts. They usually - appreciate them more. I say "UsuallY" as last year i had my friends child day "i hate clothes" when he opened the gift... this year he's getting a toy. Hopefully the response will be better.

Elle Sees said...

haha...i'll never forget last christmas when everyone got ipads and mac books, and i got a cheapo digital camera. and i was the only one who was good last year!

KaH said...

Ream of paper! Love it... Pop Tarts, now that is a gift I can appreciate.
My worst gift was the fake cabbage patch kid cause we were too poor for the real one. I think I got my mom a dust buster that year too. Also, holy flash back. I got that Styx album for my 6th bday from my favorite uncle (played in ob my fisher price plastic record player). Still remember that gift - loved it!

Trissta said...

HAHAHA okay, I have the same feelings when it comes to Christmas presents. My siblings always got the things that I wanted the most. It was terrible. I've been trying to be more thoughtful about gift giving lately, but most of mine usually come from a thrift store or are handmade as of late, because I'm cheap as fuck.

Much Love,