The Worst Christmas Presents Ever
by Peggy Browning
Ho ho ho. So here it is…that most jolly of seasons when everyone is merrily skittering around…filling their shopping baskets with gifts for giving to others. They are happy and excited, trying to choose just the right gift. Unlike me, they are not giving the worst Christmas presents ever.
They’re choosing presents for people they love, people they like, and probably for a few people they don’t even like, but feel obligated to buy a gift for.
They are buying wrapping paper and tape…ribbons and bows…and festive Zip-Loc bags to wrap up all those precious presents they are sure the recipients will love…or at least like…or not exchange for a gift card.
I don’t like gift giving season. In fact, I kind of hate it. I suck at gift giving.
I’m serious. I am a terrible gift giver. Nobody wants to get a gift from me. Because I give the worst Christmas presents ever.
No one wants me to draw their name from the Christmas hat. No one want s me to be their Secret Santa. Even my kids don’t like to get gifts from me.
I am notorious for giving bad gifts. I have no excuse for it. I’m just truly bad at it.
One year, I gave my grandson a huge package of various sized batteries, a battery organizer, and a big orange box to store his other junk in. He loves batteries…he needs batteries for many of his toys…he loves to put stuff in boxes…orange is his favorite color.
So that’s what I gave him. I was so pleased with myself for finding that battery organizer and the orange box.
Needless to say, the gift was less than impressive. My present was questionable among all the other packages. The faces of the adults present said “What the hell, Grandma?”
OK…so I give the worst Christmas presents ever!Whaddya want me to do about it?
Last year, the same kid won an award in Cub Scouts for baking cupcakes or something. I was so proud of him!
So I made him an apron and bought some cake mixes and cans of icing and mailed them to him so he could bake cupcakes in style. Little did I know that the Cub Scout thing was a one-time activity to earn a cooking badge. He’s not that fond of cooking and the gift of that manly-looking apron elicited another look of, “What the hell, Grandma?”
So that apron landed on the list of one of the worst Christmas presents ever.
One Christmas, my son Ben asked me, “Are you giving us more of that home-made crap this year?” He was about 19. So…no…there was no home-made crap that year. Honestly, until that time, I had thought my hand-crafted gifts were appreciated. . C’est la vie…you never can tell.
Fewer people are traumatized by my presents these days because I have stopped giving Xmas gifts to people who are not my grandchildren. I do still try to give them something that makes them smile.
So I give them what I loved as a kid. They get a new pair of pajamas, a new Christmas tree ornament, and a flashlight.
I loved my warm pajamas. Our house was always cold because we had open flame butane heaters and my mother was afraid we would die of carbon monoxide poisoning if the fires burned after we went to bed. Flannel pajamas were greatly appreciated. (and lots of heavy quilts.)
I loved our Christmas tree as well as the old glass ornaments. We didn’t buy new ornaments every year, nor did we decorate with a theme. Our tree had ornaments that had weathered many a Christmas season. Each one was unpacked and hung on the tree with a child’s wonder. I still have my very favorite one…the one with Silent Night and a frosty old church inscribed on it.
I loved flashlights. We lived in the country, where the nights were dark and the stars shone bright and the Milky Way was visible. We didn’t have mercury vapor lights way back then…or at least we didn’t. So if you needed to check on a sound outside, or walk to the barn to check on a cow, or make shadow figures on the ceiling…a flashlight was a necessary part of life.
Here’s my wish for everyone on my very small gift list: Be warm…Be happy and filled with wonder…and Let your light Shine.
So that’s what my four favorite people get. Warmth, Wonder, and Light.
Everybody else gets…well…nothing. Settle down…I’m saving you from experiencing the worst Christmas gifts ever. Don’t be disappointed. At least you didn’t get any home-made crap from me this year!