Monday, November 29, 2010

Things I Do Not Want for Christmas

It's that time of year…actually for my husband it won't be that time of year until 4 pm on December 24th, but other people may do Christmas shopping prior to the moment when Santa is already hovering over the Czech Republic. With that in mind, I've come up with a helpful list of things to not bother yourself with buying for me. Please. 

(It must be said that none of the items on the following list have ever come from my husband, who, once he gets started, is an excellent gift giver. This were presented by ex-boyfriends, a boss with anger management issues at a humiliating temp job, and badly misinformed Secret Santas.)
  1. If it is an appliance that will be used to prepare a meal for the gift-giver, that’s not so much a gift as a lien on my future (limited as it is) free time. How about giving yourself the espresso maker and fixing me a nice latte?
  2. A Jean Nate gift set, picked up at the drug store when you were grabbing bandaids and an extension cord. Not only does the scent smell like loneliness, but it tells the recipient that, to the giver, they’re about as important as shaving cream or gum.
  3. A gift basket filled with smoked cheese that has the consistency of plastic. I don’t eat cheese tubes and stale crackers during the other twelve months of the year; why do you think I will make an exception in December?
  4. Anything advertised in a chain jewelry store commercial as “a sure-fire way to win her heart.” It won’t win my heart, but break it. If I want cheap sentimental jewelry that makes me look like I’m just counting the days til Junior Prom, I’ll shop at the Jean-Nate-selling drug store.
  5. Clothing stenciled, embroidered, or beadazzled in holiday themes. I love Mrs. Cranston, our septuagenarian neighbor who has a themed top for every holiday, including Arbor Day. I’m just not ready to be her yet.
  6. Holiday sheet music that reminds me, again, that I have let nine years of diligent piano study go completely down the crapper. I can plink out Jingle Bells with my two pointer fingers, and that will just have to be enough.


  1. Don't forget the fancy garage door opener, or new ski bindings - both actual gifts given to my mother from my father. That was a lean Christmas with not a lot of talk around the table at dinner.

  2. One year my mother gave me what I dubbed a menopause survival kit: Evening primrose capsules, some other homeopathic stuff, and moisturizer (OK, expensive moisturizer). I was years away from even thinking about it. Worst gift ever.

  3. As you are aware, our lovely cat's name is Kitty Nate. She would be heartbroken to read your dismissive comments regarding her namesake fragrance line. She is banned from reading your blog until further notice...

  4. A friend received a glass figurine with a broken/missing hand. The missing appendage was not in the box. This means either the buyer did not notice or was hoping my friend would not notice.

  5. Had I known kitty Nate was such a fan I would have been more circumspect, though I'm sure she smells better than the perfume. Su-San I can't believe your friend didn't appreciate Handless Josephina Jackson, I picked it out for her specially.

  6. Great reminder for my husband. Last year he thought an artichoke steamer was a great stocking stuffer.

  7. Oooh, does Jean Nate still exist??? I wonder if the scent of it will take me back to 1976 and date night for my parents...only I hope it won't take me back to the one specific date night when my brother bit the babysitter - that became a family-trauma legend, mostly because it was the last time my parents went out until we were old enough to be left alone.

    Jean Nate! Jean Nate!

  8. Nancy, I once got a scale from my beloved husband. I am surprised that we are still married. :) You will enjoy that he actully packed it in his luggage to bring on our trip to the Adirondack family lodge for Xmas so I would have it to open on the real day. Whyever would I want only to HEAR about it after all? In his defense, we were only 23 and 24 so, youthful idiocy? Keep writing! I love these. Jennifer

  9. Jennifer, I am speechless. And that doesn't happen to me much.

    Jen - Jean Nate existed in the K Street Corridor in Washington, DC back in '93 or so, when the mean boss gifted it to me after running out to CVS for some hemorrhoid cream or something. Since then I've always avoided that aisle.

    But like you I can still sing the jingle. "So fresh, so smooth, makes you feel like there ain't NOTHIN' you can't do!"


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