I admit it. I hate Christmas shopping. It would make sense if people wanted intelligent gifts but none of the people I buy for seem to want that. At least, that’s my wife’s contention.
Personally, I think a couple of four-ply tires are a great Christmas present, but my wife always says off-putting things like, “What would a four year old want with those?” or “It really may not be the best gift for your grandmother, TV. Anyway, I’m not sure the nursing home would let her keep them.”
I just think she is being picky to make me feel uncomfortable about the whole Christmas shopping experience. Well, she has succeeded.
Now every time I go into the lumber yard to shop for my friends or relatives, I don’t feel as confident about my regular choice of cedar two-by-fours for gifts as I used to be.
Just between you and me, I have for years felt that a cedar two-by-four is the perfect gift (well, second to a large cardboard box, of course).
For the child it is a good thing to hit other things with which every child loves to do, for the preteen it can be stood on to perfect one’s balance (early training for Olympic gymnastics), It can also be used for the support for a tree house, for teen girls in love, initials can be carved into it and for parents of young teens in love, it can be used to threaten boys coming over to the house to visit their daughter.
As I said, the perfect gift.
It even smells nice and it keeps moths away. Talk about multi-functional..
But this year as I headed for the lumber yard to do my Christmas shopping, my wife stopped me and suggested I try another tack for seasonal gift giving.
“I think you’ve given a piece of cedar to pretty much everyone we know,” she said with a pained look on her face.
“But they might have lost them,” I said.
She then mumbled something under her breath that I didn’t quite catch but it sounded vaguely like, “Yeah, in the fireplace.”
You see, yet another use for the two-by-four. As I said, it’s the perfect gift.
My wife said I should be more sensitive in my gift purchasing. For instance, she pointed out she has seen a certain lack of sensitivity in my selecting of gifts for her.
I challenged her on that point, because I feel that I have been very responsive to a lot of the messages she has been sending. Just last year, one of her friends said she was hoping for a “big rock” so I went down to the sand and gravel company and picked one up for her. I think it looks great in the garden, but she still isn’t satisfied.
That same Christmas she dropped some hints that she wanted “something hot” to wear in the bedroom. It took a lot of doing, but I found some woolen long-handled underwear. They were red too and even had the flap on the back.
Was that cool or what?
Well, she didn’t think so.
She’s been taking me to all these upscale places to shop. And because of that, I have come up with a couple of new rules for my Christmas shopping. For instance, If the person waiting on you has any purple in her hair, you can’t afford anything in the store. If the store has a coffee bar, you can’t afford anything in it, (including the coffee). If a store’s piped-in music doesn’t have at least one George Jones’ song within three minutes, you can’t afford that store either.
Those three rules alone eliminate about 95 percent of the stores in most malls.
I think I’ve decided what I want to buy as gifts though. And my wife can sleep comfortably. It isn’t a cedar two-by-four.
No, she will be happy to learn I am going to go a more traditional route.
This year everybody on my Christmas list is getting a large cardboard box.