The Christmas Inventory has begun

Last night I received my first gift of clothing – a Columbia sweatshirt made in Sri Lanka. (Thanks, Randy and Sheila.) I’ve added it to the “The First Annual Where Are YOU Wearing Christmas Inventory Contest of Destiny” post.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it to my mom’s family’s Christmas in Illinois this past weekend. We got about 8 inches of snow that came along with 40 mph winds. Mom’s family has a tradition of gifts that require explanations and/or are accompanied by belly-aching “please-stop-or-I-might-pass-out” laughter, and the occasional inappropriate comment that puts the X in X-mas. We have a blast. And it’s just not the same giving or receiving gifts when were not all crammed in my Grandma’s basement trying to crack lude jokes without grandma or the younger, more sensitive cousins catching on.

For instance, I bought a plastic gold chalice bejeweled with the word “PIMP” for a cousin who is in his first year of college. The value of this gift is not in its utilitarian function, but in its opening and the eruption of laughter that follows. Now, the UPS man will leave it at his dorm. My cousin will take it back to his room and open it alone, or perhaps in the company of his roommate, and think that I’m even weirder than he thought I was.

I have a notion to take the chalice back to the store. But what could I say? It’s embarrassing enough spending twenty bucks on a gold chalice bejeweled with the word “PIMP”, but it would be even more so returning it. “Err…I thought those were real jewels.” Or “It was gift for my cousin. He already had a gold chalice bejeweled with the word PIMP.”

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