Only 365 shopping days left until Christmas.

Did Santa bring everything you wished for? I took the lazy route this year and mailed gift cards. Much as I have become a “White Elephant” gift expert (booze always wins), I predict my gift cards were some of the most highly appreciated. The worst gift is usually clothing. In fact, clerks at Macy’s should be trained to discourage it so they don’t have a stampede of returns tomorrow.

“Hello, Sir. Is this lavender cardigan a gift?” she asked knowingly.
“It is.”
“Put it back.”
“Turn your blind ass around and put this back where you found it.”
“But it’s for my mother.”
“I don’t care if it’s for your poodle. Put it back and I’ll start processing the gift card you’re going to send instead.”
“But …”
“No ‘but.’ If you give this to your mother, she’ll smile, thank you, and need to waste gas and time returning it. She’ll stand in line with a group of similarly annoyed mothers, and yours truly will suffer the brunt of her attitude as I process the return.”
“She likes sweaters.”
“Ah, I don’t doubt you. Here’s the thing: She likes sweaters that she picks out. You don’t want her to pick out your jeans, do you?”
“Well …”
“You don’t. When you give her a gift card, she can toss it into her purse and not think about it until she happens to be shopping. A return will wear on her as she reminds herself to bring it and the receipt the next time she’s in the area.”
“Maybe I could buy her perfume.”
“Are you not listening? Your choices are cash or a gift card. Cash shows no creativity or thought and it will probably go toward her electric bill. Hence, a gift card.”
“Good boy.”

Another fine gift is scotch. It never spoils and actually improves with age–good stuff. In these rough economic times, I’ve fallen in love with mini-bottles. I can easily load my pockets with a few and save $7 a drink when I’m out. Sure, road sodas are a bit ghetto, but a man has got to drink and pay his mortgage. Did you know that Bailey’s now comes in mini-bottle size? Fo’ shizzle! Pick up a few and bring them to Starbucks. Twist off the cap and dump away into your burnt, brown morning speed. It’s such an improvement and so festive! If the barista tries to charge you a corkage fee, kick him in the gonads and run.

There are only 365 shopping days until Christmas, my friend. Remember: booze or gift cards.

P.S. Before you’re tempted to correct my math, note that 2012 is a leap year.

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Author of humorous essays about relationships and lifestyles.


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