Monday, December 13, 2004

Christmas Gifts on a Tight Budget

It's that time of year again - when holding a lump of berries over someone's head is romantic rather than creepy, having deer on your roof isn't a sign of a horrible practical joke, and you let a fat, old stranger into your house to steal food from you in the middle of the night. No, it's not your sister's wedding - it's Christmas!

Or Money-mas, as some would call it. Or Christ-shop. Or "Holy Pete, Why The Hell Do I Have To Buy a Thirty Dollar CD For My Parents When They Make $80,000 a Year?" Day. The point is, by now you've spent all your money on whiskey and gummy bears, and don't have enough to buy gifts. Well, decent gifts, at least - you can probably still afford this crap.

The Clay Ashtray

Remember the second grade, when all your parents ever asked of you was that you didn't try to dress the cat up like Batman? Remember when your parents gave you a mountain of toys, and asked for only "something you made" in return? Remember the smiles on their faces when you gave them the clay ashtray that you lovingly made for them in school in about twelve seconds? Makes you wonder why you even tried to get them something different next year, when you already had a winner! Best still, you don't even need to make another ashtray! You can just nab the first one and give it back to them!

The Hug

If you're really hard up, you can lift their wallet while you're at it.

A Warm Can of LaBatt 50 That You Found in Your Laundry Hamper

Canadian Beer is considered to be some of the finest beer in the world, is it not? And it is acceptable to give gifts of alcohol, such as fine wines or whiskey, is it not? So, given that, a slightly dented can of LaBatt 50 would make a fine present, wouldn't it? Not only do they get to enjoy the extra-fizzy goodness of warm, partially shaken beer but when they've finished, they can use the empty can to hold pencils!

The Empty Promise of Doing Household Chores

"Sure, Mom!" you say, cheerfully wrapping a bandana around your head as you pull out the Oven Brite to clean the couch, "I'll scrub the house from top to bottom twice while I'm back home! Sorry I don't have any money to buy you a present!" A noble gift? Sure. Will your mom appreciate it? Of course. Should you keep an eye out on Christmas Day to see which of your gifts should be pawned to pay for maid service? Damn right.

The Goldfish

There's nothing that says "I love you" like the gift of a small fish with the life expectancy of a lit match, stuffed inside a plastic bag. In fact, your friend will spend countless hours watching the goldfish swim to the left, watching the fish swim to the right, watching the fish eat what looks like carpet lint, and trying to pry the fish out of the toilet. If that doesn't inspire peace among all mankind, I don't know what will.

The Collect Call

Even if you're really stuck, there's still no reason why you can't reach out and touch those close to you with a collect call. Granted, you're not so much "reaching out and touching someone" as you are "asking someone to pay perfectly good money to put your cheap, guilty mind at ease," and they aren't so much "those close to you" as they are "people you feel obligated to buy things for," and this article isn't so much "finished" as it is "finished wasting your time with worthless suggestions when you should be writing a nice card or making an ashtray or something."