Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Best and Worst of Christmas

Ok, I have to get in one more post on Christmas. It's one that's been brewing for awhile, but I keep forgetting to write it down.

We all get gifts that we love, where we can't stop thinking about and playing with and looking at the magical item that we got that we didn't even know we wanted or never really expected even though we hoped against hope that maybe we'd find this piece of heaven under the tree.

Then there are the other gifts. The ones that we open, smile through gritted teeth and then surreptitiously check to see if there is a gift receipt, letting out a mental sigh of relief if we see one and calculating what we can do with it if there is no such receipt.

This year, hands down the best gift was the Vitamix. I can't wait to start making me some good whole food when I get back from San Antonio. I'm totally geeked about this gift. I've read through the cookbook and the directions. More than once.

The "worst" gift was easy, too. My husband sticking the Alamo Bowl tickets in my stocking - the tickets I bought that were addressed to me when they arrived earlier this week - shouldn't even count as a gift. He says he just didn't want to look bad in front of the wee ones.

Over the years, I've gotten many presents that have stuck out in both the positive and negative. Hands down, the best gift ever was one my husband thought up for me back when we were still dating. He knew I was always cold at night.

Now that I think about it, my top two gifts have to do with me being cold at night. An ex bought me a snuggly warm down comforter one year that I still use today when it gets too cold. That was totally unexpected, and a wonderful gift. Then again, that particular ex rocked with the gifts. The gifts he got me the first Valentine's we were together were by far the most thoughtful I've ever received. I'll be using him as an example of gift giving as the wee ones get older!

Anyway, my husband found something even better. It's not quite an electric blanket that warms the top of you but tends to get tangled up and around and doesn't work so well for me. Instead, he found a mattress warmer. Considering that he gives off the heat of a nuclear power plant, he did well in finding on that has two controls so we can each be comfortable.

Since it goes on under the sheets, it never slips around. We turn it on high when we start getting ready for bed, then I turn it down to two or three before slipping under the now fully warmed covers. On colder nights, I may leave it up a little higher, but I'm always comfortable. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

Then there's my aunt. She's the queen of inappropriate gifts. For Mister Man's first Christmas (when he was two months old), she gave him a magnetic advent calendar tree. This year, he's finally really into the tree, but last year was the first year we even took it out of its box.

But she topped herself one year with a gift from me. Let's just say that this year I didn't get so much as a card from her, and I'm really ok with that. This particular gift arrived when I was 27 or so. I had owned my own home for a few years at that point and had lived on my own since heading to college at the age of 17 (I turned 18 shortly thereafter, don't worry).

Yep. She sent me a book that literally talks about how long you can keep produce in the fridge, how to dust, how to wash dishes, etc. The woman never made it to my house (they live in Minnesota), so it isn't like she had somehow seen (fabricated) evidence that I was a poor housekeeper. No, she just thought this would be a perfect fit for me. Or maybe she didn't think at all; I'm really not sure which. Regardless, I'm still insulted by it. I keep it only for laughs when I sometimes feel the need to page through it in utter disbelief.
So what are your all time best and worst gifts?


AutoSysGene December 27, 2008 at 3:40 PM  

The first year that I was married to my ex my inlaws gave him socks and underwear and me a cookbook and a sewing box...yeah, nothing like hitting just about every stereotype there is, huh?

I pretty much have all of my family well trained now...I get cash and gift cards for Christmas and I'm ok with that! :)

Aunt Julie December 27, 2008 at 4:58 PM  

I could have used that mattress warmer last night...our furnace quit on us! Fortunately, it was an easy repair, so we are warm as toast again. Hope you and yours had the Merriest of Christmases!

Anonymous December 27, 2008 at 5:32 PM  

yeah that mattress warmer sounds great. I really don't have a bad gift list. My best gift is Hubby being home from the Sand box with me and the children. I hope your Birthday gifts are better

MaBunny December 27, 2008 at 7:38 PM  

LMBO! That book is pretty funny.
That should be somehting that a newly leaving the nest kiddo should get or whatever.

Gratz on getting the mattress warmer - my hubby too, gives off enough heat to make it almost too hot - then add two dogs and its unbearable, lol.

J Cosmo Newbery December 27, 2008 at 8:22 PM  

Next Christmas you could send her something by Dale Carnegie.

Irene December 27, 2008 at 10:28 PM  

Hi there! So sorry I haven't been around much - hopefully things will settle down soon. I miss my buds!!

Anyway, my worst gift? Definitely when my husband bought me a gift when we definitely decided we weren't buying for each other. I was pleasantly surprised that he ignored my plan and anxiously tore open the paper to see what treasure lie beneath. And what was it you ask? Socks. Athletic, white, ankle socks. Socks that I often borrow from him so he thought getting my OWN would be a nice touch. Let's just wasn't...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

WeaselMomma December 28, 2008 at 10:05 AM  

I love the mattress warmer idea! I would have to think about best and worst gifts.

Michelle December 28, 2008 at 5:20 PM  

Melissa - Wow, that's pretty good. but hey - at least you know they weren't singling you out, right?

Veggie Mom - Oh, ouch! Furnace quitting in winter is never a good thing. Glad to know it was easily fixed at lesat.

Elftea - Ohhh that mattress warmer is great :) And yes, your gift definitely tops any that anyone else could get or buy!

MaBunny - Yep, that book would have been fine the first few years that I left home but ... it was a little late, in my opinion :)

J Cosmo Newbery - Nahh, too much effort. I just send her a Christmas card and that's it. They're a little flaky, and it's not worth making an issue in the family over. I just shake my head and laugh each time I think of it.

Irene - No worries. I know you've been busy! And ummm wow. Yeah, that's ummm not such a good gift. I'm sure that he's learned since that incident?

Weaselmomma - Oh, it's a great one. It's something that every house in the Chicago area should have, no?

Cookie December 28, 2008 at 7:08 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cookie December 28, 2008 at 7:09 PM  

OMG! That book is too funny!

Umm... I hate to admit this and I'm too afraid to post it on my own blog. But I hate Christmas and I hate exchanging presents... guess I'm a bit of a scrooge :S

Cookie December 28, 2008 at 7:09 PM  

Oops! Sorry I deleted my original comment because it had a typo and this darn internet wouldn't let me edit.

Cookie December 28, 2008 at 7:10 PM  

Ok, now it's just fun to keep uppping your number of comments ;)

Michelle December 28, 2008 at 10:01 PM  

Cookie - You're cracking me up here! But I'm all for more comments ;) I only like exchanging presents if I *want* to exchange presents, if that makes sense. It's the obligated and required presents that I don't like!

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