Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Tis a Gift to be Simple

Random holiday thoughts on the first day of winter:

  • Four days til Christmas, and probably 95% of the gifts are wrapped. I'm not a great gift-wrapper. No one will ever mistake one of my packages for something from a high-end trinket purveyor. But, in my childless days, I had devised a very effective way to wrap presents with a minimum of taping, thus allowing the gift to spring open at the slightest of tugs by the receiver, with a bonus of having reusable paper at the end. That style quickly ended with the inclusion of children. Now I tape those suckers down as much as possible. It's the only way I know to slow down my kids' commercial carnage on Christmas morning.

  • If toy manufacturers continue to put their toys into these oddly-shaped transparent blister packages, they should by law be forced to provide specially-constructed wrapping paper to put them in. I'm so tired of wrapping asymetrical polydecahedronal containers that I could scream. Although I do feel better when I can write words like 'asymetrical' and polydecahedronal.' And don't bring up 'Christmas Bags.' They're the coward's way out, and they're damned expensive to boot.

  • The first day of winter, for all it bodes of dark and dreary days ahead, is welcomed by me in a small way: for the next six months, each day will be slightly longer than the next. And this cheers me a little. Conversely, the first day of summer brings me a little bit of sadness. Such is a balanced life.

  • A blogger I read on occasion was complaining about sending out 30 Christmas cards and receiving only three this year. She wrote that next year, she'll only send out three cards. My comment was that if she did this, those other 27 people will, remorsefully, send her Christmas cards next year, and she'll be the one sucking guilt. Of course, if she decides to send out 30 again next year, she will once again only get three back. This is one of the lesser-known Miracles of Christmas.

  • The two youngest got out the stockings in preparation for hanging them this year. Much discussion was made on whether or not to hang three of the stockings: STBEW's, Homeless Son, and Lt. Trouble's. STBEW will make an appearance on Christmas morning, as (most likely) will Homeless Son. The El-Tee, however, will be absent, since the commute from Iraq is a bit much this time of year. Last year, when we got them out, we discovered the orange, still in the toe, of his stocking. Fortunately, the heat and lack of humidity in the attic gave us a perfectly petrified orange, that was then taken to school for discussion by their classes. So, of course, this year the kids checked to see if history would repeat itself. It did. Inside the stocknig was a card from my parents. From the shape I could tell it was a 'money' card. Knowing my mom, it might have been a check, so I opened it up. Nope. $20 cash. I emailed him and told him about it, saying that if he wants it back, he'll have to come home to get it. If I know my son, he'll be sure to duck more bullets if there's a Jackson at stake.

  • On Monday, I was walking through a local mega-grocery store, looking for a Christmas card, when I saw a bunch of shelves done up in green. Not Christmas green. Saint Patrick's Day green. Let me reiterate: On December 19, a store had a display up shilling gifts for a holiday that takes place on March 17. Here's another way to look at it: Two days before the first day of winter, they were pushing gifts for an event that happens three days before the first day of spring. Take Three: It's 89 days away. To sum up: They were bypassing Christmas, New Years, President's Day, Valentines' Day, Ash Wednesday, and Mexican Flag Day. For Saint Patrick's day. Saint Patrick's Day. A holiday known for green beer, and (most recently) homophobic marchers. Are retail stores just a bit too far ahead of the curve these days? I think so.

Don't know how much I'll be posting between now and Christmas (which, to the non-retail world, is the next event on the calendar), so Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Happy Saint Paddy's day!



Blogger Colleen said...

all i can say is this: gift bags, gift bags, gift bags.

did you take a pic of the orange? i wanna see!!!

i wonder if the giving nature of your stocking is the opposite of the lost sock syndrome dryers have. ya think?

merry christmas mijo!

12:44 PM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Nope. This was last year, and we dissected it. I should have taken pics, though. It was cool.

Gift bags are a buck apiece. Action figures run about five bucks. That's a 20% increase in price just for the wrapping? I don't think so.


5:22 PM  
Blogger Colleen said...

good point. didn't think about that. and it is better with kids to have a lot of presents to unwrap than a lot of presents shoved into a gift bag.

smart daddy

10:22 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I love the way your mind works.

1. Besides the wrapping paper, toy companies should also provide child-safe scissors for cutting through the Kevlar plastic.
2. Your reasoning behind the first day of winter is exactly why I was married on the solstice.
3. Christmas cards are a pain in the ass, but they're a great excuse for me to keep in touch with people and to make new friends while I wait in line at the post office.
4. I wish you the best for all your motley stockings and all the stuff they drag inside.

6:15 PM  

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