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Friday, December 26, 2008

It's the Thought That Counts

Palm tree-embroidered toilet paper. Hand-made, palm tree-embroidered toilet paper that my friend warned I was not to take out of its festive cellophane wrapping when a closer inspection was required. A present you are forbidden to open or use. It sits on the back of your toilet tank. It's a decoration. Duh. All this talk of layoffs and a bad economy yet there are still so many untapped markets.

A neighborhood cat, perhaps annoyed that we are back in town and jealous of the time our own cats now spend preferring our company to his, left his scatological season's greetings on Grice's skateboard and strategically rolled it out from under the bench on our porch into the walkway.

Presents left by gift-givers, blood relatives you haven't seen in a year, who won't make the effort to wait a few more minutes until you arrive or who refuse to travel from the comfort of their couch to meet you partway after your total driving time of six and a half hours to visit them are not worth a flip. If it's merely an exchange of assets to fulfill your holiday obligations and absolve your guilt, mail us a check next year.

People worried about the economy should not be buying costumes and presents for their dogs. Or jeweled cases for their cell phones. Or flamboyant lighting displays and monstrous inflatables. And if you can't afford to keep those giant air-filled grotesqueries going all day long, don't even bother. Nothing says Merry Christmas like a flaccid St. Nick.

Stocking stuffers purchased Christmas Eve from the local grocery store after you blanked about the fake furry footwear dangling from your holiday display at the eleventh-hour can be acceptable and appreciated.

A gorgeous mock croc leather handbag and an electric tea kettle under the tree -- after mentioning that your four-year old purse finally fell apart and the canvas tote you are currently hauling around is too big to easily locate items and arouses a great deal of suspicion in retail venues, and voicing regrets that you left your electric tea kettle in Australia when you desperately wanted a speedy, scaldingly hot cup of tea -- are the perfect ways to show your Christmas spirit and that you really were paying attention.

A neighbor's pair of salvaged antique oak and leaded-glass door built-in bookcases hauled from the curb to the safety of your in-law's garage late Christmas night before the regular dumpster divers and municipal trash collectors arrive even though you are dead tired from the day's festivities and still have a three hour drive ahead of you is another way to show your spouse you care.

So is leaving her alone the day after Christmas, without children, without having to venture near a store, with a pile of books and magazines, to, hypothetically, lie around in her bathrobe all day if she so chooses, blogging, drinking scaldingly hot tea, and polishing off the cookies for Santa.

The beautiful cake and cookies left anonymously on our doorstep last night are greatly appreciated but will remain uneaten until the donor can be determined. We are back in South Florida, you know.


rae said...

Happy insightful holidays, Lynn.

sheila said...

I know you meant all that, but I laughed quite heartily at most of it. Clothes for dogs - you MUST be in Florida. Merry Christmas!

L said...

Thanks, guys! Same to you!