For as long as I can remember, my father has bought my mother the same pair of running shoes for every Christmas. Well, no, technically SHE is the one who buys the shoes and probably wraps them too, and maybe she even signs the card, I don’t know. In turn, my father buys himself something or another for his computer from her, wraps it himself and stashes it under the tree.

Opening gifts with them was always kind of horrifying, not because they weren’t totally happy with what they were getting but because they were. It was like looking into the Ghosts Of Christmases To Come.

Someday, some year, Christmas would become all about the Practical, Sensible and Boring. Someday I too would reach thrilling new heights of glee when I unwrapped a brand new toilet brush set with matching toilet seat cover. I might even get tearful if my name were monogrammed right there, because how thoughtful and yet practical at the same time!

Or maybe it was just my boring parents. Maybe other people’s parents weren’t so dull and drab. Maybe they’d open new baubles from Tiffany & Co while sipping mimosas on their yachts. Sure, my parents SWORE that they were young and hip at one point in time, but I distinctly remember stories of “calculus class” and “beanies” neither of which screams “I am cool.”

Now I’m scared.

This year, after I couldn’t come up with anything frivolous that I absolutely NEEDEDfor Christmas, I was left with a startlingly small list of things that I wanted for Christmas. And then, for the first time in, well, ever, I PUT THAT LIST ON PAPER. In order to get anything that I might actually use for Christmas, I made a Christmas list. I realize that most adult people people do this on a yearly basis, because they are smart, but I am not those people. Because writing a list means that I have to organize myself well enough to do this. Also, I am lazy.

I’ve learned, however, that if I do not direct people to items that I might want and use I will wind up with a whole host of things that I do not want and then I am stuck wondering what on earth to do with my brand-new case of expired powdered milk. While I always appreciate the gesture that accompanies the gifts I get, anything we don’t need is donated to charity right away.

I’m scared because this year, tired of finding homes for more things that we do not need, I have made a list of practical things that we’d like for Christmas. It’s disgusting how practical my list is. Pillow cases! I asked for PILLOWCASES! And a SPOTLIFTER! I mean, how much more boring–yet sensible–can one person get? If my former self could see me now, she’d be throwing up all over my mom jeans.

Gone are the days when I ask for a Coach purse! Farewell to diamond earrings and Movado watches! Adieu my collection of Jimmy Choos! Gone forever are the days of my impractical youth!

What’s even worse is that I’m sort of excited about getting them because it’s one less annoying thing to spend my money on and one less framed whimsical light-up Santa Claus paintingthat I have to lug over to the Salvation Army.

I’m becoming my parents.

HOLDME.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

55 Responses to Christmas As An Old Fart

  • Tapered jeans and white keds?! Say it ain’t so!!! I have promised myself that I shall not: wear sweat suits, white keds, mom jeans, nor cut my hair in the “mom” fashion. I will remain youthful forever! Muhuhahaha!

    The worst gift I ever got was a very ugly satin-y quilty jacket (not unlike something a grandmother would wear. I think I was about 22, and it came from my dad and step-mother. My 20-year-old sister got the exact same gift, and we both gave them away to Goodwill. ~shudder~

  • Shanna says:

    Ok, this goes way back to when the earth was young and I was too. I so wanted the lovely new doll B*by Thataway for Christmas, you know, the one that had the lovely plastic blonde hair, painted vacant staring blue eyes and permagrin and could CRAWL, yes CRAWL people! That was a must for Santa to bring me.

    Well, for once Santa came through for me that year. Happy tears on Christmas morning. Where are the batteries? Where is a screw driver small enough to get out these dang screws to put the batteries in? Oh shit, we, I mean Santa didn’t bring the right batteries. Guess we wait until the stores are open tomorrow to get this doll fired up.

    So, tomorrow finally comes and we slog our 5 miles, through snow covered gravel roads, because you can’t plow down to the gravel because they are also the local snowmobile trail to Podunk town mercantile to purchase the last pack of appropriately sized batteries then slog our way back home. All in the little, lemon yellow, two door, 3 speed on the floor Chevette, which had about 2 inches of clearance on dry roads. You can bet my father was thrilled about this doll already.

    So now after all that build up and waiting and finally getting the batteries into my lovely new doll, we flip the switch and put her on the floor. Why isn’t she moving? The batteries must be cold. Oh wait, there she goes. Wait, what is she doing? Are the batteries in backwards? No. Then why is she crawling BACKWARDS? Yes I got the one doll at the freaking mall in Duluth that crawled backwards. Tell me that ain’t a fun gift? She was pretty fun when I still had that stupid doll after heading off to college and I would bring friends home on weekends and after coming home drunk from the bars we would fire up the doll. Much funnier when we drunk then when I was 10 and totally looking for the action that was shown on the commercials.

    Want to hear about the yearly flannel nightgown that I invariably hurt myself, every flipping year, not 10 minutes after donning it? ;) You asked.

  • Kristine says:

    My unwanted presents tended to be clothes. A hand painted shirt – WAY after hand painted shirts went out of style. A vest jacket – I ask you, if you’re body is so cold as to need a jacket, why wouldn’t your arms also be cold? A sweater…with poofy sleeves…in 2001. And clothes that were one size too small. Fat people cannot guess the size of a smaller person – they shouldn’t even try, they could have just called and asked for my size.

  • Miss Grace says:

    Wait for it:

    Paint by numbers Fanny Pack.

    I was an adult. It was not the 80s. It was not a joke.

    I win.

  • The Mommy says:

    I had an elderly aunt who used to wrap things up that she would find around her house. My gifts were always, um, unusual, but my brother’s gift took the cake. One year, my youngest brother got a man’s wallet set…my oldest brother got a woman’s wallet set! We have talked about that every.single.year.since.

  • Madame Yu See says:

    I’m torn between the Paint By Numbers Virgin Mary, or the year my parents couldn’t afford $3.00 for a real Barbie doll and got me a $2.50 ‘Babs’ doll instead….
    I actually painted the Virgin Mary painting (but never framed or hung it) and all of the other girls with real Barbies mocked my Babs doll, even in real Barbie outfits…
    Fortunately, I didn’t get these two gifts the same year.

  • heather says:

    I feel old, too. It rather sucks.

    I only recall one craptastic Christmas gift EVER. It was an old-lady style embroidered sweater vest with rabbits on it. Two sizes too large. And with a coffee stain on the pocket. They don’t sell coffee stains at Nordstroms, do they?

  • melanie says:

    butt purses………..

    well that is what my sisters and I called them, my aunt made purses out of cousins old jeans and the “but” part was the purse……..what the crap were we going to do with those!

  • FatChick says:

    NOT THE MOM JEANS!!! For the love of all things good and holy, JUST SAY NO TO THE MOM JEANS!

  • Coco says:

    *shhh* *rocks* I won’t let the evil taper-legged, waist-up-to-your-bra-straps mama jeans get you, Becks. *shhh, now*

    Worst X-mas gift ever. Hmm. How about a phone call from my mother (when I was a freshman in college who’d never lived alone) saying “I’m moving back home with my dad this summer, so we have to pack up the house when you come home for the holidays. Good luck finding a place to live!”

    OK, you wanted an actual present. How about an itchy purple polyester nightgown with one of those weepy-eyed, scary looking clowns on it? Yep. I bleached it.

  • Kelly says:

    My paternal grandmother once gave me some used pajamas of my older cousin, that were already too small for me. My cousin is 7 years older then I am, so they must’ve been sitting around in the attic for a while. I wasn’t exactly my grandmother’s favorite. That cousin, and my younger sister always got new stuff. An grumpy alcoholic, that grammy of mine.

  • A cork screw and a set of steak knives. While I was ten days from giving birth to his third child.

    He’s lucky I didn’t use them as weapons and kill him. No jury would have convicted me.

  • kbrients says:

    A pair of to small high waisted wool pants from my mother in law.

    Yeah.

  • Badass Geek says:

    One year, I got a green and purple sweatshirt that said, boldly, “HANG TEN!”. I got it from my great-grandmother.

    I don’t remember if there was anything worse than that, for me at least.

  • Jessi Louise says:

    You’re not getting old until you start collecting something strange like ceramic cats or arrowheads. I hope you’re in the clear.

    The worst gift was probably a calendar of kittens that I recieved as an adult. I would have loved it when I was 10.

  • Karen says:

    A wet/dry shop vac from my then-boyfriend, now husband.

    When I thought I’d be getting and engagement ring.

    It really was a gift that both sucked and blew (as advertised on the box, even)

  • Brooke says:

    Now you listen hear, missy. I’ll be DAMNED if I am going to let you wear tapered leg mom-jeans. Drive the minivan, hell, even ask for carpet cleaner for Christmas. But NO MOM JEANS. Got that? Good. Now pass the decaf will you? I need a boost.

  • Kyddryn says:

    Oh sugar, I’m so sorry you’re sick! Want me to ship you some soup? It’s homemade…

    Or cookies?

    I would ship you a housemaid, but they keep escaping before I can tape the box shut!

    Meanwhile, I once got nothing for Christmas…does that count? I mean, technically Nothing isn’t a gift at all…

    Shade and Sweetwater,
    K

  • Lynanne says:

    My worst gift? Used clothing from my mother-in-law. Including underwear. I kid you not. She thought I would appreciate the gifts because I often shop second-hand stores. (NOT for gifts, mind you). Sheesh.

    Feel better soon!

  • Kristen says:

    For a miserable girl, you sure can make me laugh.
    My mil has always loved giving me xxxl shirts from the plus size store. I am not a plus size. It used to hurt my feelings a lot, until I realized she had no idea what to buy a woman who has boobs, which I do.
    My hubby loves to buy me cd’s and dvd’s that he likes, or the ipod video he bought me 3 or 4 years ago that he has never let me use…
    This year I bought myself an espresso maker and I am loving it!

  • baseballmom says:

    Strep? That SUCKS! I hope you feel better. Our worst gift, when we were broke and needed money and not a gift, was a CLAPPER from my late mother-in-law, and get this, it didn’t even WORK! We returned it and got like six bucks back.

  • Emily R says:

    A straw Star of David for Hanukkah.

    Sorry you’re sick!

  • Jenn says:

    I absolutely LOVE lists!! It’s probably my #1 favorite thing that isn’t human or chocolate! And I’m full of “the lazy” too, haha. I like lists because that way I only have to write about the things that need to be done rather than actually doing any of that stuff. ;)

    Lots of white pillow cases…. You don’t have any plans to start burning crosses on peoples’ lawns, do you?

    Umm my worst gift ever was a coffee maker. I hate coffee. I hate the smell of coffee. I hate the thought of coffee even existing somewhere nearby. (I’m such a bitch about it that I won’t even let people with paper cups of coffee bring it in the house.) Yet my in-laws thought it would make a great gift for me. Blech.

    My favorite gifts (which I’m going to tell you even though you didn’t ask just because I still feel like typing) are books, pajama pants and SOCKS. I’m SO exciting. ;)

  • Jenn says:

    Awww, strep throat? That’s the worst. I had it THREE times last winter and I’m really hoping I don’t get it this year. I think my husband hopes that I do though because then I tend to lose my voice. That would probably be his favorite gift!

  • SciFi Dad says:

    White Keds are hott.

    So are tapered jeans.

  • LilSass says:

    I thought I didn’t have a worst gift ever but then I remembered … one year my grandparents got all 5 grandkids fire-proof safes. We were in high school or college at the time … what the HELL were we gonna put in a fire-proof safe? Cans of beer? Condoms?

    Needless to say, we ALL got rid of them at the same garage sale, though years later my sister and I have joked … “Damn, I WISH i had a safe now. What happens to my life insurance policy and social security card if this place goes up in flames?” Yeah, we’re boring grown ups too!

  • Sandy says:

    I had a boyfriend who got me plastic wheel covers for my Ford Aspire. There’s so many things wrong with that sentence, and yet it’s totally true! It was my second year of college and I LURVED HIM!!!!

  • Sarah says:

    From my MOM: A Gene Simmons doll, when I was, like 22.
    From my best friend: A teapot that doesn’t pour. Granted that was justified given the extraordinarily ugly VEST I knitted for her out of green yarn with little rainbow flecks all over it without a pattern.

  • Julie says:

    This is a true story.

    My stepmother’s sister gave my two sisters and I ONE. PAIR. OF. SIZE. SEVEN. GRANNY. UNDERWEAR. APIECE. When we were skinny teenagers (not in size seven undies at that time- do they even size undies like that anymore?).

    She bought a pack of size seven granny underwear from TJ Maxx and split it between us.

  • SCY says:

    Worst gift? Honestly cannot think of one? Maybe it’s stage fright? Hehe…

  • heather says:

    Anything my daughter’s grandmother used to give me. Everything always smelled like cat piss.

    When I was 16 though, I got a pair of purple earmuffs and a calendar, both from the dollar store. From my parents. That was it. For Christmas.

  • Chris says:

    Worst gift my hubby ever received…..Nothing. His lazy, alcoholic father drank away his entire paycheck and forgot to buy his oldest son a gift. Meanwhile, several weeks prior to Christmas, oldest son had helped his father use some money to buy the other 2 sons gifts. I wanted to hunt the father down and choke his drunken ass.

    Worst gift I ever received…..A flannel nightgown with lace at the neck and wrists. My boyfriend (now hubby) and I had just moved in together and she was LIVID at this arrangement. I think she sent the nightgown as a way to say NO SEX SHOULD BE TAKING PLACE UNTIL YOU’RE MARRIED NEXT YEAR! I returned it to JCPenney and purchased the sluttiest thing I could find. HA HA MOM.

    Another worst gift for my hubby…….My mother sent him a polo shirt one year that might as well have come with a sign that said, “I’m in the mob, I wear a pinky ring, I have copious amounts of chest hair, and my nickname is Vinny the Chin. You got a problem with that?”

  • A Snicker bar (not even a king size!) and a pair of slipper socks. From my husband, who was my then-boyfriend. For our first Christmas. Yeah. I still married him less than a year later!

  • RhoRho says:

    One year my then-husband gave me a sparkly window-hanging thingy. Like stained-glass or something. Weird. Like I said, THEN-husband.
    Hope your Strep gets gone fast! Oiy.

  • Dot says:

    Oh, you ungrateful children! Just kidding. Here are mine, from my ex-husband:

    First awful gift, the crotchless underwear. The following year, I gave him a list of ten items to choose from. He decided to ignore the list and give me, TA DA, a knife sharpener made up of two ceramic sticks that you place into a wooden block. (It was something he wanted. Come to think of it, so was the underwear.)

  • Danielle says:

    I did that this year! Our vacuum took a shot and so I asked for one for Christmas and a duvet cover for my down comforter. I’m a loser…

  • Stacey says:

    I have a hard time coming up with a worst ever gift, probably because I wipe them from my mind and remove them from my house within days of getting them.

    The one that comes to mind, because I still actually have it, is an enormous pillar candle, scented with citronella. It was about 4ft tall when I got it,it’s now about 3.5 feet tall. it was given to me by somebody who is a very outdoorsy type. I am not, in part because of the all the biting bugs. Hence the candle. I think they actually thought I would take it hiking and camping.

  • Susan says:

    As others have already said: say “NO” to the mom jeans. They’re wrong on so many levels. I have a matching set of crocheted, (I’d prefer to spell it crotched), coasters and placemats. White and brown. Like vomit.

  • chris says:

    A mug…I hate getting mugs. People think just because I’m a teacher that I like mugs.

    I actually like being old, it’s the responsibility and the maturity that I despise.

  • rebekah says:

    Effing strep. Get well and drink fluids and all the whatnot.

    1984. Bellbottom pants. I needed a pair of black pants to play with the school orchestra, so my “early” ‘smas gift (I don’t come from particularly generous people) was black BELLBOTTOMS. In 1984. I’m not even sure where you would SHOP to find bellbottom pants in 1984. Out-of-touch-R-us?

    Fortunately I had NO FEAR, cut off the bells, safety pinned my polyester pants together and played PUNK ROCK CELLIST for the holidays.

  • Catizhere says:

    Ugh Strep. Hope you feel better soon.

    My worst gift was a cordless screwdriver. My Grammy figured that since I was moving out into the big bad world to my.own.apartment! I would need it to fix stuff. Yep, that’s what landlords are for.

  • CLC says:

    Oh, my christmas list is scarily similar to yours. I wish for the days when I could actually ask for and receive cool clothes. This year I will be lucky if I get new sneakers.

  • Kate says:

    It took me years to convince my mom I don’t wear hair bows. YEARS.

  • Beth says:

    Worst gift:

    From my husband’s aunt and uncle. My hubs opened the box and inside was a sombrero-ish item. Wicker-ish, purple and red stripes. We had only been married for a year, and I wondered if the first anniversary was the hat anniversary and I had missed something. But they looked at us expectantly and while we made nice noises over the item (nothing specific, mind you — more like “Thank you! This…um…this is great!”), my hubs picked it up and started to put it atop his head. Which is when I noticed the little sections in the sombrero. So I grabbed it from him, just as it reached his head and hissed, “it’s a tray, T. A TRAY.” But a very very ugly tray that could double as a sombrero.

  • Rachel says:

    With God as my witness, I swear I WILL NEVER OWN A MINIVAN!!!!!!!!!

    But I do admit to being less fashion conscious, and if the spit-up stain on my shirt isn’t really that bad, I’ll wear it to work.

    The one thing I really do miss from my youth? Nipples that point straight out instead of at the floor.

  • Fancy says:

    A couple of years ago my sister got me slippers that weigh 25 pounds each because they have a battery pack in the bottom of each one to vibrate and a gel pack in the top to heat up. I tried them, but they are in now in the attic in the same gift bag they came in.

  • Jane says:

    One of those giant 3 wick candles that smelled exactly like Palmolive dish detergent. That same year my husband (boyfriend at the time) got a giant FRAMED poster of a peace sign surrounded by cartoony flowers.

    When he moved out of his apartment the following year, we carefully propped the poster against the front steps of the building and placed the (lit) candle in front of it. Like a little shrine to tacky, stinky peace.

  • honeywine says:

    You’re screwed. I hope you put the sweater with the applique of Christmas trees on that list. lol On the other hand, if you need to donate some of those bags, I can always hand them out for you.

    What? What do you mean “ulterior motives”? lol

  • Who doesn’t want crotchless panties?

    Worst christmas gift I ever received was a pair of QUEEN sized pantyhose.

    they were used.

    And had a run in them.

  • Betts says:

    I can’t think of any bad gifts… only a favorite gift that might seem like a bad gift to you. My mom got me “Barry Manilow Live” when I was a kid and I cried because I was so happy. I’d asked for it earlier in the year, but she said no and I really, really wanted it. I still have that album. I’d pull it out and play it, but it might make me cry again for a different reason. What was I thinking

  • Twigs says:

    My husband once gave me three fire extinquishers. No shit. We were married less than five years and the romance was totally gone…fire extinquishers and a few Corelle serving dishes. Isn’t that pitiful.

    Second worse, one of those rhinestone/stud setting thimajigs from my brother and wife. I was a senior in high school for craps sake! Not a 10 year old girl!

  • Sarah says:

    First, and I say this with love, despite having an aversion to Chicagoland et al bigger than my ass, if you post a pic of yourself in tapered-leg mommy jeans (I will hesitantly, RELUCTANTLY forgive minivans and white keds) I will hop in my sad sedan, drive to where the rest of the women who took this stance are, pick them up and show up on your doorstep – which we’ll mysteriously disocver the location of in some heretofore unknown and fabulous manner – where we will impose an intervention that will involve stuffing you into something clever and adorable. And then you’ll thank us.

    Second, I hope hope hope you’re feeling much better, these three days later.

    Third, I used to regularly get cards for Christmas and birthday from my great-grandmother with $5 bills inside and a cheerful suggestion to “buy a new pair of pretty panties” with said $5. This continued from around 1st grade until my 17th birthday, after which she rather rudely died. God bless her soul. But even as a 6 year old, I was just really thankful that she sent the cash, not the panties… I liked to think it was something of a “Sweetheart, we both know you’re not buying panties – don’t spend it all in one place!” but really, I just wonder why she didn’t assume my mother had the pretty panty department well covered.

  • michelle says:

    first: ID bracelet…. engraved with my name. One for EVERY MEMBER of the family from my grandfather and his girlfriend, who worked at Sears at the time. Yeah, it was 1990 and I was like 16. My parents, my sister and I, our boyfriends, cousins, the whole gang got gold plated speidel ID bracelets with our names on them. Some of them were even spelled correctly…..

    As an adult: Harry Potter snowglobe and 20″ embroidered pillow. From. My. Mother. In. Law. I had gone to see the movie, so she thought it would be fabulous for me as my holiday pollyanna gift, since I was like an uber-fan or something. We had no kids. Just saw the movie, since I had read the books with my students at school. I like to keep up with what my students are reading and talking about (teaching middle school, you have to be somewhat in the know). A Snowglobe. I was 25. No kids of my own. Yeah. Lovely. Harry Potter on a BROOM in a globe. Lovely.

  • Heather says:

    My worst gift ever was a Christmas sweater. A sweater I received about 6 or 7 years ago that never made it out of the box it was delivered in. This sweater looked like something purchased at a craft bizarre.

    Anyway, when I opened the box at first I was not even sure what the sweater was. I saw these little wooden angels on top of sweater fabric and I thought perhaps the fabric was a separate gift. But no, alas, they were all one piece. Little wooden figurines hooked to this wonderful sweater vest in a lovely, old lady fashion. (Alas, I did not take any pictures and I have been unable to find anything on google that would even do it justice so you will have to take my word for it.)

    All I could do was stutter out a thank you and quickly close the box before any of the holiday elfin cheer escaped. When I got home that box got put on a shelf in my closet where it stayed.

    Anyway, I felt so bad about throwing it away that the sweater moved with me, once… possibly twice. Finally about 3 years ago I was getting things ready for goodwill and the sweater and I said our final goodbye. I hope it will be very happy with it’s new owner.

    As a side note the next year I ALSO received another super fun holiday sweater only this one came from an actual store. I didn’t know who would sell such a sweater but I remembered her saying how this new department store had just opened and that she bought a lot of her gifts there. So I took a chance. I walked up to customer service and looked at the woman and said… do you sell this here. Imagine my surprise when she said yes!! I expected her to laugh at me and say no, no one would sell something that ugly. So I promptly returned it and every year since I have specifically requested gift cards!!

  • trish says:

    Last year my (now) sister-in-law gave me a toilet brush and toilet paper for Christmas. I posted about it on my friend’s blog here: http://lisamm.wordpress.com/2008/01/24/guest-blogger-trish-on-the-worst-gift-ever/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 

About Twitter Band Back Together Facebook Muschroom Printing Subscribe

blog advertising is good for you
wholesale kids clothing

Cheap and cool tutu dresses with readers

Buy Cool Toys for Your Children at Everbuying.com at a cheap price.

Archives

Marchin’ for Mimi!


blog advertising is good for you