Selecting the perfect gift for a friend or family member is a sign that you care for them in a very special way. Your Holiday Gift Advisor is here to help you find just the right present to make this holiday season a memorable one.
Dear Holiday Gift Advisor:
Last Christmas I gave my wife a nice wicker basket filled with batteries of various sizes–D, AA, AAA and those hard-to-find kind you put in smoke detectors. She didn’t seem too excited, and has been very mopey and sarcastic ever since, saying things like “I wonder what Mr. Thoughtful has in mind this year?” when she leaves the room to get another Nehi Diet Orange Soda.
HGA–this is contrary to the advice you gave me in November of ’15, which was that women appreciated the thought and effort you put into a gift and didn’t care about luxury. We are a young couple just starting out, and those batteries will come in handy as we live in a tornado-prone area of the country and must make sure that our flashlights and radio are available in an emergency.
Lyle Oderberg, Shawnee-Mission, KS
I have researched my files and you misconstrued my comment, I suspect deliberately. I said “women appreciate the thought and effort you put into a gift perhaps more than any other consideration.” Careful planning for a natural disaster is no excuse for being a cheapskate, and you probably could have found a nice dish rack or pot scrubber just a few aisles over from the batteries.
Dear Mr./Ms. Holiday Gift Advisor:
My nephew is a senior in high school and I want to do something special for him this Christmas in recognition of this milestone. My brother-in-law, whom I will call “Earl,” has given me a list that includes all sorts of video games, “rap” CDs and a “Jackass Boxed Set,” whatever that is. I was thinking more along the lines of a monogrammed wallet or a nice pen-and-pencil set. I personally have always thought my sister married beneath herself, but I do not want to offend Earl needlessly. Can you suggest a compromise that is both dignified and consistent with the white trash tastes that my nephew has apparently picked up from his father?
Miss Jane Heloise Putnam, Dubuque, Iowa
Dear Miss Putnam:
You seem to have an overdeveloped sense of propriety–lighten up! The youth of today are the hope of the future, and childhood is but a fleeting moment in the sunshine before the twilight and eventual gloom of adult responsibilities. Here are three gift suggestions that bridge the chasm between adolescence and apparent maturity:
Notorious B.I.G. autograph model chain wallet. The fashion accessory no “gangsta rapper” should be without! $24.95, firearm not included.
Adult model “Jackass” pen by Mont Blanc. The writing instrument of choice for overpaid professionals around the world. Retails for $1,200.
Specially-modified, gold-plated Game Boy. Comes with “rumble pack” and three-family apartment building. $25,000.
Dear Your Holiday Gift Advisor Person:
I have been asked to be a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding. I say “friend” but in fact this girl Danielle is getting married to a guy I dated for two years in high school. I’m thinking if I have to contribute to her bridal shower I shouldn’t have to buy her a Christmas gift too, especially since it could be me getting married instead of her. What do you think?
Cindy Dworpkin, Youngstown, OH
I understand your sense of double-resentment. Bridal showers are getting out of hand, with the old-style potluck lunch going the way of wedding-day virginity. Here’s a tip for the frugal-minded: Have one of the other bridesmaids bring a nice floral centerpiece, divert everyone’s attention by dropping a glass of red wine on the carpet, take the flowers into the bathroom and turn them into a beautiful hat for your two-timing friend. When she puts it on, she’ll really be a blushing bride!
Dear Holiday Gift Advisor:
My husband is one of six children, and his brothers and sisters persuaded him to “pitch in” on a bass boat for their father for Christmas. Long story short, we wrote a check for $3,000 towards a used Skeeter SX-20, which his brother Lowell bought in his own name to “keep it a surprise.” Next thing that happens is his dad goes and dies of a heart attack last week when his beloved Kansas City Chiefs lost their fourth straight game to the crappy New York Jets to knot their record at .500 after a 5-0 start! Now Lowell is in the cat bird’s seat because the boat is in his name, and he’s offering to “buy us out” for $2,000 because he says he did all the leg work. I don’t think that’s fair–what are your thoughts?
Jeannie Sue Moore, Knob Noster, Missouri
Dear Jeannie Sue–
If you look deep within your heart I think you can understand how the loss of his father could make Lowell distraught and irrational, and lash out at other family members in this fashion. I would suggest that you contact the Johnson County District Attorney and ask him if Lowell may have violated any laws by applying for a boat title in his name with your money–there is nothing to bring a grieving relative to his senses like a knock on the door from the sheriff’s department!
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