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Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Christmas

Christmas shopping and gift giving can be a lot of fun….and it can be a total disaster. I never really understood how Santa felt, having to figure out what people want, fighting traffic and lines of frustrated mommies and daddies and then giving gifts to kids who have shorter attention spans than J-Lo. By the time you wrap the latest Playstation 2 game, there is a bigger and better one for sale….how do you compete with that?

While I don’t have any small children (knock on some SERIOUS wood) I have spent the last 2 months drilling my boyfriend for ideas, listening closely to my little sister, racking my brain for something that might impress the in-laws, and trying to figure out what kind of gift I can give my brother that might put him on his path to success. It’s madness. And I’m sure everyone can relate.

(Side note: this morning I mixed my coffee with hot cocoa mix. INCREDIBLE. Add a little milk and you’ve got café mocha to die for.)

Back to presents. You want to buy the perfect gift. And you want to buy for everyone you know. But you can’t. It’s not possible. You can save and think and plan and buy and buy and buy and you still might end up giving a fruitcake, getting a fruitcake, or feeling like a fruitcake (what???). So just relax and enjoy the season and remember to get gift receipts.

My parents are great about gifts. My mom does most of the shopping; my dad picks out a few special items he likes to buy for us. Then my mom wraps the gifts, and my dad comes up with creative tags to put on each gift. For example, one year my brother got the Sopranos first season boxed set. The tag read: “To: the little guido, From: Big Pussy.” Classic. It was great to hear that on the family Christmas video.

Every once and a while my dad will make a tag and have no idea what it is, who it was for or what he was going for. That’s how you know they were drinking when they did the tags.

There are a few Christmases that really stand out in my mind. A long time ago in a galaxy far away when T-Rock was just a little princess, she wanted a Barbie Dream house. You know the one- two whole floors of pink party goodness. Totally furnished with a white bed, a porch swing and all of the rest of the plastic that dreams are made of. Two days before Christmas I announced that I wanted the Barbie Dream house.

My parents were broke. The stores were empty. But my Pop pop (see hot cartoon entry) knew I couldn’t live another day without it. That, and I said to him, “Pop pop, I love you so much, and I just know you will get me the Barbie Dream house. You always take care of me and get me whatever I ask for. I love you!” (Yeah, I actually said that. Remember I was young and little kids have no pride, or shame.)

So, pop pop scoured the tri state area, found a Barbie Dream house and had it wrapped and under the tree by the time I woke up Christmas morning. The man has never disappointed me- never.

When I was about eleven, my brother had a huge obsession with Joe Montana and the 49ers. Christmas morning I picked up a huge box with my name on it and ripped into it. Inside I found a red sweat suit and a Joe Montana jersey. I thought it was pretty cool that Santa had thought to leave this for me! Red was my favorite color!

Well little brother started to cry, my mom yelled at me for opening a present with my brother’s name on it, I yelled back because 1) it had my name on it and 2) I wanted the damn red sweat suit! But alas in the end I parted with the sweat suit and the jersey. Joe got his 49ers apparel…..and I got…..that’s right!!!! A Miami Hurricanes Starter jacket and a Steve Urkel doll! Yeah, baby!

I learned an important lesson that Christmas- be patient, even Santa can make a mistake. And if you give your brother his Joe Montana jersey you get even luckier with a Starter jacket. I mean, no one even knows who Joe Montana is anymore….but Starter jackets are timeless.

Here are a few more gifts worth mentioning:
- Hyper color t shirt and tie dyed leggings. I have a picture of this if anyone is interested
- The Coach bag I got last year from the Greggster. I think I hyperventilated when I opened it.
- Tetris
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe novels
-"My So Called Life" boxed set
- NKOTB Sleeping Bag
- The miracle bra (the gift that keeps on giving)

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