‘Tis the season for gift buying and gift getting. I love buying gifts for people. I love trying to get something the recipient will appreciate if not love. And if I am buying for a gift exchange I try to think of something that has broad appeal because there is nothing worse than getting a gift you can’t use or hate.
My family started to do a gift exchange once my brother and I were too old to expect gifts from everyone. Usually during the Thanksgiving get together everyone put their name in a hat and made up a brief list of gift ideas for a certain price. You only had to buy for whomever you picked and you were given a list of possible ideas. That worked quite well for a few years and then someone suggested we change it a bit. Instead of drawing a name, we’d all buy a gift for around $20, pop it under the tree and then pick one at a time. You could steal another gift if you wanted instead of opening yours. I’m sure you are familiar with the game.
Anyway, one Christmas we all gathered around the tree for the gift exchange. There were all sorts of cool gifts typical of my family (alcohol figures heavily) and when my turn arrived I eagerly picked a lovely wrapped gift. I should have known better. The fanciest wrapped is usually the crappiest gift!
I opened it up and found…boxer shorts. And not just any boxer shorts but XL white boxers covered in huge blue colored whales. Uhm…huh? Who the hell buys boxer shorts as a Christmas gift exchange??!! And size XL no less. The possibility of finding a happy recipient of such a gift is pretty limited when at least 50% is female and of the men participating, only 2 or 3 could FIT into XL boxers.
Needless to say, I was pissed. I had no idea who had put the gift in the exchange but I suspected my brother. I thought it would be something he would do. The rest of the exchange I watched cool gift after cool gift get opened. No one wanted to steal my gift of course.
After the party I plotted. I would photograph those boxers in all sorts of really weird places, print out the pictures, make up an album and regift the boxers to some sucker NEXT year with a note explaining the adventures the boxers had! It was a wonderful idea but as time passed I forgot about those hideous massive boxers lurking in my drawer. And then Christmas rolled around again and I remembered my plan…but I was too late to put it into action. I did wrap up those boxers again and regift them BUT I was nice enough to stick a $20 gift card in the crotch pocket.
It was very amusing to see them unwrapped again and hear someone exclaim, “Hey, weren’t those boxers from last year??”
Turns out my brother wasn’t the loser who threw the boxers into the mix for gifts. My aunt, a woman known for shopping and buying fabulous wonderful gifts, forgot and in desperation grabbed a pair of boxers she’d bought her husband for Christmas and wrapped them up for the exchange. I guess she hoped maybe her husband would end up picking them.
Sigh, at least I learned to shake carefully before picking and to not judge a present by its cover