Don't Rush Me
Oh Tannenbaum, what presents be beneath thee?
Or, Don discovers more reasons to shop local first
December 09, 2009 - Old Man Winter kicked it up a notch last week, dropping the mercury in our thermometers 30 degrees in one, 24-hour session. From 40 degrees to subzero with windchill is hard for a body to acclimate to. At least it's the Christmas season and in these parts that means it's s'posed to be cold.
I see tons of homes with Christmas lights a-twinkle, which makes me smile more and curse less as I drive the windblown, ice-covered roads. Yep, as sure as there's gonna be a backup on I-75 at the Sashabaw Road exit during the morning rush-hour, it is time to think of Christmas presents.
I've already presented to my two sons this fact: Don't know what's in Santa's bag, but for Christmas this year, your dad got you a fuel pump for the pickup truck. I tried to sweeten the deal by adding they got their present two weeks early. (If anybody needs a fuel pump present, too, and a trustworthy mechanic to install it, call Rich at GoodRich Car Center, 810-636-3798.) I don't know if Shamus and Sean believed me or thought I was joking.
Hah, hah . . . I wasn't.
Of course, I have told them, too, when they grow up and want to visit me in my retirement, to look for the big cardboard box under the overpass at the aforementioned highway exit.
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One of the bummer parts about this time of year (starting in October), are the commercials for gift giving. The point on my red felt Christmas hat stands on end and the white fuzz ball shakes with emotion whenever I see the Jared the Galleria of Jewelry commercial. "He went to Jar-red," my icicle!
I won't get anybody a Snuggie -- those fleece blankets with sleeves, even though this year they have new styles. Yep, they now have "designer" Snuggies in tune with those with a "wild" side. I think there's a contradiction between people who like blankets with sleeves, so they can lay on the couch, point the remote and change the TV channel easier than with a regular blanket and people with "wild" sides. Oh, those designer patterns are leopard and zebra.
Not everything you see on TV is bad. I have petitioned for years for the Big City Slider Station ($19.99 plus shipping and handling) and the Bug Zapper! ($9.95 plus shipping and handling). The slider station lets you make, I think, eight "slider" hamburgers at a time (think White Castle), and was hawked by the late Billy Mays. The Bug Zapper, is an electrically-charged racquet used to swat bugs. Though Karma harming, it sounds like fun!
I was curious, so I went online and found the "as seen on tv" website. I started counting how many things I (or you) could buy, but stopped at the 295th item -- the Contour Anti-Snore Pillow ($29.95 plus shipping and handling). The list was alphabetical, so there is plenty more in the alphabet to look at after the Cs.
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I want to get my sons each a Fanny Bank ($14.95 plus shipping and handling). I think this gift will help foster a sense of money-saving while at the same time, satisfy their adolescent male funny bones. The tagline for this gem: "Saving pennies will be a real gas!" When you put a coin in the bank, it -- well, it makes a sound that resembles a natural bodily function. Does anybody want to pull my finger?
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As I was scrolling down the listings of stuff to purchase, for some reason I stopped and clicked through to the Bra Smart traveling case ($18.95 plus shipping and handling -- and mayhaps I stopped for the same reason I looked at the Sears circulars when I was a kid?). At any rate, what caught my attention, was not the bras, but one of the selling points of this product, "Keep your undergarments safely tucked away from prying eyes."
I just thought that was interesting, because if you use this product, you'll be advertising where your undergarments are. The case is hot pink and in big black letters says, Bra Smart.
Another thing I won't buy, even though I like coins, is the gold-plated, colorized Hawaiian quarter with Barack Obama on the face where Washington should be ($9.95 plus shipping and handling). It's so easy to make a political joke about this ten buck coin being worth 25 cents, that I won't. (But if you want to, be my guest.)
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Another holiday season is here, and as always, shop local first and if you cannot afford presents, maybe now is the time to teach your kids the value of giving, rather than receiving.
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org