Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Worst Christmas Present Ever: A Belated Tribal Blogs Carnival

Okay, okay, so I missed the first Tribal Blogs Carnival.

The theme was "The Worst Christmas Gift Ever."  My post is late because I got so depressed from thinking about all those crappy Christmas gifts from years past, I couldn't bring myself to write about it.  (Not really, but I needed an excuse.)

When we were kids, my mom made all our clothes, including new outfits for Christmas.  That's fine when you're a little kid, (loved the flannel jammies,) but as you approach your teens it becomes a source of angst.  We really wanted the store-bought clothes all our friends had.  So one year my mom decided to cut labels out of other clothes to sew into ours to fool our friends.  Uh... yeah.  That's gonna work.  We never fully appreciated our mother's skill as a seamstress, although she really was good at it.  (Sorry, mom, wherever you are!)

But in all fairness, we weren't wizards when it came to buying gifts for our parents, either.  Our allowance just didn't stretch that far...  so my mom said we were only supposed to spend a dollar on each parent.  My dad had a drawer full of all the handkerchiefs we got him... I was always so proud when I managed to score some with an "L" for Larew on them.  Classy!  And mom had a drawer full of really tacky holiday pins that we found on the "Gifts for $1" table at the local department store.

As soon as we were old enough to write, we made "Wish Lists" for ourselves. After awhile, things on the Christmas lists were usually the ONLY gifts we got.  My mom told us if we didn't give her a wish list, we wouldn't get anything.  So the trick became putting enough things on the list so there would still be an element of surprise involved in opening the packages on Christmas morning.  (And we were smart enough to put our lists in numerical order to indicate which things we REALLY wanted, although the ponies never materialized.)  In later years, my mom would put in some actual surprises... gifts she's gathered from her world travels.

Finally, the year came when I didn't make a Christmas list.  (I was in my twenties at the time.) When mom kept pestering me, I just said in frustration, "I can't think of anything, just buy me underwear and some candles."  And my mom was true to her word.  As everyone else opened their gifts, I was the recipient of two items.  Cotton underwear two sizes too big and some candles.  Bummer! 
It was many years before I neglected to write out a complete Christmas list again!  But I had plenty of underwear to grow into in years to come.

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Looking for a great gift this season?  How about a goat from Oxfam?  I just bought mine.  Go to to get yours today!  It's much better than underwear!  (While you're at it, be sure to visit Margaret at Nanny Goats in Panties for her special goat give-a-way!)

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