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This Is What I Want For Christmas

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In an attempt to not write sports and celebrate Hanukkah — neither of which ever happens all too frequently in this guy's world — we present you the seventh of an eight-part series, "The Magical Hanukkahtime Section Variety Hour." On the seventh sundown, it's the gift of: Blogcritics Culture!

Is it legal? Moreover, is it religiously acceptable?

I know this whole tour des sections revolves around the Jewish holy holiday, for reasons unknown to everyone including the author. It may seal my afterlife fate, but we'll find out if they point to this article when I meet my maker — or, more accurately, Bob Diamond.

Still, it's just about time to discuss this guy's ultimate beef with holiday gift-giving. (Mmm… ultimate beef…)

It has nothing to do with the commercialization of Christmas or even the exchange of tube socks. But it's simply that we're still attempting to keep each other's gifts a total secret, because we're all apparently still 12 years old.

The element of surprise is so top-priority that just about every retail commercial begins with, "Can't find the perfect gift?" Of course not, chief, because we haven't asked yet. And no, I don't think the perfect gift for my grandmother will be a John Deere anything.

grinds my gearsLike with my parents, I had no idea what to get them. So I call my mother: "What does Dad want for Christmas?" And then I get an answer. Awesome. Then I move on: "Okay, what do you want for Christmas?" Pow, shopping done.

Spirit of giving? Almost. Christmas is about the spirit of giving people what they want. Were it not, they'd call it The Day Where You Thought Your Family Loved You, But Clearly Not, After Getting That Horrible Looking Coat.

In fact, directly manning up to your loved one and flat out asking what they want is a sign that you love them. Running around and shopping behind their back? Well, that's just downright deceitful. And this is a house of love and truth.

And — much unlike most of my other ideas — this one has a practical purpose. Suppose it's December 21. (Well, it is December 21. So pretend it's not, then pretend it is.) Hypothetical Man really wants to buy himself a Nintendo DS Wi-Fi USB adapter, an item three days ago he realized exists and could enable him to play his DS on the Internet. But Hypothetical Man didn't tell anyone exactly what he wanted, so he might be getting a Nintendo DS Wi-Fi USB adapter and doesn't know it. Ergo, going out and buying one looks foolish if four days from today Hypothetical Man receives said Nintendo something-or-other adapter. He can't go out and just buy one for himself.

Ah, but Hypothetical Man actually told his family all he wants are some Mystery Science Theater 3000 boxed sets. Not only is he guaranteed to satisfy his treasured MST3K jones, but he can immediately carpe diem — that is, sit on his ass and play Tetris online with strangers.

For the record, Hypothetical Man isn't me. I asked for a pound of Omaha's famous Ultimate Beef.

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About Suss


    Dave Barry called; he wants his limp, white-bread humor shtick back.

  • Elvira Black

    Matt said:

    “Spirit of giving? Almost. Christmas is about the spirit of giving people what they want. Were it not, they’d call it The Day Where You Thought Your Family Loved You, But Clearly Not, After Getting That Horrible Looking Coat.”

    I hear you on that one, Matt. How many “what were they thinking” moments must one endure during the holiday season?

    Sometimes I get something I actually like and will use, but it’s a real crapshoot. Ill fitting sweaters, ugly jewelry, and assorted useless chotchkas that one may or may not feel too guilty to just shitcan. And then there’s always regifting. I know there was one fruitcake that was circulating amongst my ex-boyfriends’ family members for decades.

    On the other hand, cash is perfect: always the right color, and one size fits all. But you can’t exactly hand your mom a wad of Benjamins.

    I just give fancy food baskets now and I’m done with it.

    I was watching the Home Shopping Network the other day for a few minutes, and they were hawking a 10 piece corkscrew set. I can only imagine the millions that are made every year by companies that specialize in manufacturing gifts that no one in their right mind would ever use, but that at least alleviate the guilt of coming up empty handed.

    Maybe one outside party could be the family Santa–you tell him what you want and he passes the word on, so this way at least there’s a go between.

    Happy holidays!

  • alessandro nicolo

    I’m not mature enough to hide my displeasure when I get a crappy gift. What the f am I going to do with a panoramic picture frame?