Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Spirit, Gifts, good and bad

I wrapped some gifts yesterday and finally got a little bit of that holiday spirit. Oops, sorry Bill O. I meant to say Christmas spirit. I was beginning to think the spirit would pass me by this year. Oh, that would be so sad if it had. Instead I began to give Burl Ives a run for his money singing, “Holly Jolly Christmas”. I have no idea why that particular song came to mind.

It was just Murphy and me sitting on the floor surrounded by all the things you need when wrapping gifts. We had a very good time as I sang and he tried to lick my hand.

I wrapped Fred’s present to Mr. Pop and I wrapped the gift Murphy is giving Mr. Pop too. Those two fur children are great shoppers but not so good with paper, tape, scissors and ribbons. They start playing with the stuff instead of using it as they should.

So in the holiday/Christmas spirit let’s lighten this place up for the next few days. We’ll start here. What was your favorite and least favorite Christmas gift you have received in years gone by?

My favorite and most memorable gift was the ring Mr. Pop gave me the Christmas morning that he asked me to marry him. My least favorite as a little girl was the Christmas my maternal grandmother gave me a doll’s suitcase. When I unwrapped it, I thought there would be a doll inside the case but I was wrong. The small suitcase was filled with dried apples that she had dried herself. In retrospect I appreciate her efforts but at the time, not so much.


Blogger Lew Scannon said...

My most used present is a griddle I received from my ex when we were still married. It fits over two burners on the stove and is used to make quesadillas, burgers, french toast, and other items. It gets used several times a week.
I have a litany of bad gifts, the most recent came from my brother. They're frames you put album covers in to hang on your wall as art. I live in an apartment, not a trailer.

December 19, 2006 3:23 AM  
Blogger fallenmonk said...

At my age the Christmases seem to run together in a blur of memories. I can't really think of a bad present over the years but I am sure there are some I didn't want or need.
There have been a lot of great gifts but mostly I remember big family gatherings and the few times I was blessed with a fresh snowfall on Christmas morning.

December 19, 2006 5:13 AM  
Anonymous Knox Rover said...

When I was around 19, I asked for a size 12 brown corduroy jacket (they were in fashion at the time) for Christmas. Instead, my mom got me a size 18, maroon-colored, velveteen jacket. I don't know what she was thinking. That was one of the worst presents.

One of the best was a Lowepro camera backpack that my boyfriend got for me for Christmas 2000. It was exactly what I wanted, as I did a lot of hiking and photography at the time. Also, as a child, those Breyer horse statues were always cherished gifts. I still have a couple of them packed away, awaiting a larger place to live so there's room to display them.

I wish my pets would stop helping me wrap presents. Our kitten, Simone (aka McSkitterson), has put herself in charge of ribbon distribution, much to my annoyance.

December 19, 2006 5:17 AM  
Blogger Sue Woo said...

I am going over to lew's for all that food.

December 19, 2006 5:52 AM  
Blogger Mimus Pauly said...

Best gift ever? No idea. Worst? Ditto.

These days, a Sears gift card is enough to satisfy me. I go through socks in a fiendish manner, and once in a while I need to buy a new tool or two. Or merely a pack of razors for my utility knife, which I affectionately refer to as Instrument 1. (I go through razors in a more moderate yet fiendish nonetheless manner, but it's a work-related thing, don't worry -- without my utility knife, I am all but unemployed.)

The worst gift I could receive would probably be a Wal-Mart gift card. Their merchandise is so phenomenally shitty in a bazillion ways that I wouldn't buy a piece of Bazooka gum from Wal-Mart if I could get that from the Exxon station a block away for seven hundred dollars more. Wal-Mart has done less good for the world than all the good Yoko Ono did for The Beatles. The person who gives me a Wal-Mart gift card will reap my ingratitutde in more ways then either of us will care to number...

December 19, 2006 7:40 AM  
Blogger Pogo said...

Best gift - tie between Meet the Beatles (Christmas 1964 - I think) and my first guitar (same year). Worst gift - ceramic toothpaste tube roller (embossed with picture of a Maxwell). Nothing comes even close to a tie on that one.

December 19, 2006 8:40 AM  
Anonymous RJ Adams said...

Didn't you just hate those well-wrapped gifts from grandparents, aunts and uncles, that turned out to be socks, or underwear, or "something nice for school" - or, in your case, a doll's suitcase stuffed with apples!

My best ever Christmas present? Well, you'll find that HERE.

Happy Christmas, PoP.

December 19, 2006 10:10 AM  
Blogger andi said...

least favorite: there's a whole class of them - baubles, chachkies (sp), dust-collectors, candles, etc. ok candles i can use when we lose power.

the rest of them - well, if they don't provide some kind of service beyond decoration i'd really prefer not to receive them to begin with. i always end up giving them away later anyway - then i forgot who gave them to me in the first place, and i don't want to risk giving it back to the same person, so it gets donated to goodwill anyway. maybe i should just suggest that people donate to charity in my name. it would save a bunch of steps.

favorite: it's a toss-up. last year my husband got me a teeny tiny mp3 player that's still somehow up and running - it's my best friend on runs. but yesterday i just got back into contact with my late mother's neice, who i had about given up on.

i'm still shaky - it's the best gift EVER.

December 19, 2006 10:21 AM  
Blogger Time said...

I loved my mother and would do things for her that I would not do for anyone else.

I was 13. For Christmas my mother gave me a sweater. This was no regular sweater.

It was a carrdigan, argyle, alpacca wool, glow in the dark colors of red, orange, yellow, and green.

I have no photo of it, I wouldn't allow a photo of me wearing it. Someday I'll take a photo and send it to you. It's one of those things you have to see to believe.

It was right out of Richie Cunningham's closet. I felt like Ralphie in his pink bunny suit.

I put it on, at her request, as soon as I opened the package. I have 6 brothers, they giggled and smirked out loud. My mother was offended by their response.

I lied, and told her it was beautiful. I NEVER wore that sweater in public. I wore it only on a few Christmas days, the next few years, just for her.

I still have it. I've never even shown it to people, even as a joke. It's probably worth money as an antique of a sterotype of its kind. I know it was expensive when she bought it.

I keep it as a symbol of her love for me. She thought I looked great in it. She obviously loved the sweater and thought it was great on me.

It was, I thought, the worst Christmas present I had ever recieved. A guy could get beat-up wearing something like that.

I should have proudly put it on and went out in public, just to show her I loved any present she would give me, I just could NOT.

When I think of it now, i feel guilty about how much I hated it, because she liked it so much.

December 19, 2006 10:22 AM  
Blogger Peacechick Mary said...

You seem to have stirred up a lot of memories here. Trying to wrap presents with a cat around is an olympic event and I usually end up having to banish them from the room. Fun stuff, tho.

December 19, 2006 10:27 AM  
Blogger PoliShifter said...

I watched The Bishop's Wife last night which always gets me in the Christmas Mood.

Especially at the end when the Bishop gives a sermon talking about the empty stalking and the birthday no one seems to remember.

He asks everyone to hang a stocking for Jesus and fill it with Love, Kindness, and Tolerance.

Tolerance is something our country desperately needs.

December 19, 2006 10:47 AM  
Blogger Ole Blue The Heretic said...

Dried apples? LOL! That would have disappointed any kid!

December 19, 2006 10:51 AM  
Blogger Sewmouse said...

The worst present I ever got was back when I was running an after-school-care center in the basement of the parochial school. All the mothers figured they had to give the "babysitter" something, so I got all kinds of little useless stocking-stuffer gifts, which was nice, but one mom... sold Avon.

I don't believe there is anything that causes me to want to upchuck so badly as the smell of Avon's "Charisma" did. The bottle was huge. You could have "scented" the entire population of a small european country with it.

The best one... well, the little hand pressed into air-dry clay was one of them. The rocking chair from my ex was another (before he became ex-material). I think the very best, however, was getting my grandma's hexagon quilt. It wasn't an official present, but it came at holiday time, and it just says Grandma to me just by looking at it.

December 19, 2006 11:07 AM  
Blogger The Fat Lady Sings said...

Lord, honey - over the years there have been enough on both sides of that fence to call it a wash. I prefer giving to receiving. I’ve never been good at getting either compliments or presents. I'll tell you what gave me the most satisfaction, though. Being able to give my best friend enough money to put a down payment on her first ever home. It was my Christmas present to her three years ago; and I gave up building a green house on my property in order to do it - but it ranks right up there as the best Christmas present ever – for me, actually. I felt so phenomenally good doing it. Every year now when she sends me pictures of her dog Benny lying in front of her Christmas tree I feel like Scrooge on Christmas morning – you know – that ‘no one has a right to be this happy’!

December 19, 2006 1:04 PM  
Blogger HillCountryGal said...

My favorite was a 250 Shadow from Hubby.
My least favorite was a Pyrex dish from my Aunt, who had not ever bothered to WASH it before she wrapped it. Obviously, used.

December 19, 2006 1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is Blueberry. For some reason, blogger isn't let me comment here. What's up with that? Anyway, this month, we've had 2 sets of redneck neighbors move away. Woo hoo!! Buh bye, and take your "Marriage = man + woman" yard sign with you. Not exactly a "gift", but much more appreciated.

December 19, 2006 1:41 PM  
Blogger Blueberry said...

This month, we've had 2 sets of redneck neighbors move away. Woo hoo!! Buh bye, and take your "Marriage = man + woman" yard sign with you. Not exactly a "gift", but much more appreciated.

December 19, 2006 1:44 PM  
Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

At my feeble,old age, I have trouble remembering LAST Christmas, let alone a few hundred of them.:)

Fav: I asked for hunting boots and vest; I got them - along with the most beautiful .410 shotgun in this world!! I still have it, it still shoots, although I no longer hunt. 45 years ago! Ye Gods!!!

Worst: ANYTHING with a note that says If these don't fit, you can take them back. Here's the receipt. Makes me want to kill...(:

December 19, 2006 3:01 PM  
Blogger Pursey Tuttweiler said...

When I was a little girl they kept advertising this bride doll on TV who would waltz down the aisle and toss out her bouquet. Ohhhh, how I longed to have that doll and have her toss her lovely bouquet to me. I wanted it so. Santa Claus brought her to me, but the damn thing tromped down the aisle making a horrible hissing, grinding sound and her bouquet toss looked just like a karate chop, she attacked you with the damned bouquet! I was thoroughly disgusted with her and it put me off of marriage for quite some time.

The best, hmmmmm. I guess it was the time Mom convinced me to donate to charity instead of buying gifts and she picked the charity. We ended up buying a water buffalo for some farm gal in Kansas. That was kind of a hoot. I never met the water buffalo or the farm gal, but I still crack up whenever I tell the story. I am sure it was a good water buffalo and I am sure it meant a lot to that farm gal, but still, I have to giggle.

December 19, 2006 3:14 PM  
Blogger L>T said...

My cat brought in a dead bird this morning. He didn't wrap it.

December 19, 2006 3:27 PM  
Anonymous liz said...

I keep saying happy holidays too and I hesitate before saying Merry Christmas. HEHE!

December 19, 2006 5:26 PM  
Anonymous pekka said...

Being a bad boy that I am, Santa has obviously lost my address. When he still used to visit me occasionally, the all time worst present that I got (from then my wife) is a HUGE abstract oil painting which in it's sheer ugliness was condemd by all. The love for the woman made me nail it on the best spot in our living room where it stayed several years and the rest of our marriage, partially explaining my present erratic behaviour.

December 19, 2006 5:35 PM  
Blogger Tom Bailey said...

The apple part of your story hit home for me. I remember getting a safe for a gift and inside the safe there was a picture of the gift I wanted. The note said if you really want the gift in the picture here is a bank for you to save for it.

At the time I didnt like it but later in life it reminded me to save money.

December 19, 2006 5:46 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

Favourite gift? A new sled when I was 9 years old - we lived in Michigan and there was so much snow...

Worst gift? The beige cardigan sweater with faux suede strips down the front (sorry mom)

December 19, 2006 6:06 PM  
Blogger Haider Droubi said...

merry xmas and happy new year

wish y the best.

December 19, 2006 9:32 PM  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

Best ? hmm...My son really wanted a bunny when he was 4, and Christmas Eve , a neighbor brought us an injured Bunny ( 14 pounds of scared white fluff) that her dogs had been trying to eat in her yard...she brought him to us to take care of..my son was sure that Santa was responsible. The big docile Bunny " Benny" lived in my son's room for the next 8.5 years, ( the whole of Benny's life) always sleeping at the foot of his bed, or on his bed....

December 19, 2006 10:32 PM  
Blogger Gort said...

The worst Christmas gift I ever got was simply nothing. I was 8 years old and my father's factory had been on strike for a few months. We sometimes didn't have food on the table let alone money for presents.

The best one was from my wife when we first started dating. I was living in a small apartment with almost no furniture, 2 plates, using an old bucket for the garbage and always running out of things. She bought me a nice kitchen trash can and filled it with household items such as dish soap, toothpaste, etc. It was the most thoughtful and practical present I ever received.

December 19, 2006 10:44 PM  
Blogger Pursey Tuttweiler said...

That is a great Christmas story. Cheers to the wife! I never grew up without presents, fortunately we were not poor. My grandfather however was and he recalls his best Christmases as those where they would get an orange and an apple and some pecans in his stocking. He still enjoys his oranges, apples and pecans. He never got over how special those treats were when he was a kid. Especially the fruit, they did not have mass transit of food back then like they have now so it was quite exotic and expensive.

December 20, 2006 6:57 PM  

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