Humor Magazine

A Few Words About the Christmas Gifts I Mailed

By Dianelaneyfitzpatrick

I thought about writing little notes of explanation and tucking them in the boxes I was getting ready to mail. But the notes would have been on the back of Walgreens receipts for embarrassing products I recently purchased. Which wouldn't have mattered because they were likely to get lost in the balled-up newspapers I used to pack the boxes. Which would have required another form of apology note. And what good does it do to have a blog if you can't use it to make an announcement to all of your family members anyway?

Kathy, you got a gift this year but Pam and Reenie didn't. Don't let it go to your head or read any favorite sister clues into it. The gift was something I intended to make for you for your birthday in June, but my plan to position myself as a DIY craft goddess in 2015 fell apart by early February. By the time I finished the project in September, it was looking more and more like a Christmas gift or next year's birthday gift. So I'm congratulating myself for pulling off the earlier of those choices.

Pam, you did get a birthday gift this year, but you have the annual advantage of being a New Year baby. My plans to be perfect crumble early, but not on the first day, so you have a clear advantage. You'll get a gift from me again next year. You can look for it around March or April.

Speaking of me never keeping things equal with relatives, Sheree, you're getting a Christmas gift from me this year, but Debby, you are not. I'm sorry. I know I should have picked you up something. You're not hard to buy for, but it just didn't happen. I'll make it up to you by giving you my share of the deviled eggs and shrimp cocktail at the next family gathering.

I think James and Jacob will like their gifts, but Lilly got a dud. I promise to pick her up some lip gloss or a headband from Claire's sometime this year and hope real hard that it miraculously mails itself. Her gift is part of the theme I stuck with this year, but I had five kids to buy for and basically the theme ran dry by the time I got to Lilly. When I saw it in the catalog, I thought it was something I would have loved when I was her age. So I ordered it. Then when it arrived, I remembered that I was a weird kid at her age. She's a well adjusted, normal girl so she might wonder what she's doing with something you might find on the sale rack in the gift shop of a sad museum of some type. If she doesn't like it, she can give it to me. And I'll send her something from the mall, something for normal people.

It wasn't until I wrapped and labeled Noah and Ruby's gifts that I realized I probably should have swapped them. I stupidly was driven by the FOR AGES on the boxes. FOR AGES 2 AND UP would have been more appropriate for almost-3-year-old Noah and FOR AGES 3 AND UP would have been fine for almost any kid, because it's a White House pop-up book and no one is too young to enjoy a tiny paper Bo digging a hole in the Rose Garden to bury the leg he chewed off of Andrew Jackson's desk.

For my Russian family members, let's pretend Russian Christmas is in June, shall we? By the time I shopped for gifts, found a box, packed the box, decided not to risk the bulging top of the box, unpacked the box, repacked a larger box, looked up how to write your names in русский, I had missed the deadline to get the box through the devastatingly complex Russian postal service in time for the holiday. Any holiday. Even May Day.

Before any of you throw out the boxes and packing materials, look carefully for any gift cards that might have been put in there without an appropriate holder. Because the Hallmark store wanted $6.99 for a decorative gift card holder shaped like a pinecone and you can forget about that. Don't get your hopes up, though. Not very many of you are getting gift cards.

One last thing, and this applies to all of you who live out of town: You know you won't be getting these gifts before Dec. 25, don't you? The post office is nuts right now and paying $50 to overnight a bunch of ill conceived, inappropriate presents is just plain dumb.

So Happy early spring birthday or Merry Russian Christmas or Happy Latter-Part Kwanzaa or - whatever calendar you choose to follow. I'll take the one that doesn't require a disclaimer note.

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