Ho Ho Hell


imageAt the risk of being politically incorrect, this blog will be about Christmas. I know that due to religious beliefs, many of you do not celebrate Christmas. To those people, I say bravo! You’re the people in the express checkout cline with a smile on your face as the rest of us wait in line looking like shopping zombies or Shombies, as I call them.

The first thing you should know is that there are certain gifts that you should never give. Women don’t want vacuums, cooking implements or the dreaded Chia Pet! Men don’t want socks, ties or anything you might find in aisle seven of Home Depot! …and nobody wants a damn fruitcake!

The hardest thing to do is buy gifts for people that you don’t know very well. The “Secret Santa” tradition at the workplace is the worst form of modern torture known to man. Draw a name from a hat and buy a gift for someone with whom you work and barely like. You don’t need to know these people very well if you start to pay a little attention right now. The person who comes into work the day after every payday, looking like they might have actually died the night before: give them a small bottle of liquor. They probably drink most of their paycheck every week, so it’s like you’re helping them save money, plus you might get that promotion instead of them when they drink their bottle at the Christmas party and puke in the file cabinet. The workaholic, you know the one. That person who is there before you arrive and still at it when you leave. Give them some fancy coffees. Chances are likely that their love of work is partially fueled by caffeine. Not only will they appreciate the extra dose of energy, it will also ensure that every time  pee, they’ll think of you and really isn’t that what the holidays are all about? The hardest person to buy for at work is your superior. The supervisor, “team leader”, boss, whatever you call them… How do you shop for that person? It’s easy, two words: Gift Basket! Nothing says,”I just want to go unnoticed until next Christmas” like a nondescript basket of cocoa, candy and soap.

imageNow comes the hard part… Buying for family members that you only see once a year. Make this holiday special for them by using your head! You have that sister in-law that always acts like she’s doing you a favor by taking time out of her busy schedule to cram herself into a dress two sizes too small and make an appearance every year at your house. Give her a gym membership. That way you can help and insult her at the same time. That’s just dam efficient!  Now you have that exceptional male cousin that is way too fashionable, an avid outdoorsman and is constantly rubbing his success in your face. Give him a gift certificate to a sporting goods store like Bass Pro Shop or Dick’s. Keep him outside as much as possible, it’ll be more peaceful for everyone inside. Plus  you’ll get to say to him, “I know how much you like Dick’s”. Next you have Gramma and Grampa. They have been married for over fifty years, so this should be easy. Grampa gets alcohol and Gramma gets alcohol. It’s no accident that they’ve been together for this long. Finally there’s the in-laws. Every year your father in-law gives you a hug or a hardy handshake and then just sits quietly on the couch, waiting for the festivities to be over, so he can go back home and sit on his own couch. Get him anything tv, sports or snack related. This man has dug himself into a nice little rut and is quite comfortable there. Your Mother in-law seems to be always cleaning up and always entirely  too tense. Get her a nice “back massager” and lots of extra batteries. Enough said.

Lastly, there are those people who agree that you won’t exchange gifts and then get you “just a little something” anyway. They are the most annoying of the lot. When this happens, you thank them, excuse yourself and now it’s time to get creative. If you’re in a bar or restaurant, there are inevitability vending machines in the bathroom full of gift ideas. Everyone needs mints, hand sanitizer, a glow in the dark condom or a tampon every once in a while. If you don’t have that luxury, there are two avenues you can take. One is to excuse yourself, sneak out and find the nearest convenience store. Beef jerky and a key chain always gives the impression of “It’s the thought that counts.” Two is to thank them and say, “I got your gift online, it should’ve arrived by now. I can’t tell you what it is, I want it to be a surprise.” Then, either order something the next day or hope they forget in a few weeks. My stock response to that situation is saying, “Every day I don’t kill you is a gift from me.” That might not be for everyone.

I hope I have made your Christmas a little less stressful with these ideas. Remember, it’s the season to give. For all of you that don’t celebrate this holiday, I say sit back and enjoy. The real gift is not having to spend your Saturday at the mall waiting to hear the statement, “I’m sorry, I don’t know. I’m just seasonal help.”

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About: Ted Snyder

I'm just a guy who loves the simple things in life. I play bass, love craft beer and enjoy all things horror. I spend my time walking or hiking with my dog, going out to restaurants, bars and to see local bands . I stay up late and get up early. My idea of a great time is sitting on the shore of any body of water and having a beer.

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