Reflections: Christmas Gifts

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By Thomas W. Ivines

A radio commercial I like is the one where the guy practices being excited about receiving Christmas gifts that he really doesn't want. I listened to it and laughed, but then I realized I find myself in the same situation every holiday.

What I really don't understand is how some of these gifts have remained on the market for years.

My favorite useless gift that has been given for decades is the fruitcake. No one really eats fruitcake. I think they just pass them on. The fruitcake you got five years ago may be the same one you got this year.

Another one of my least favorite gifts is the bright green boxer shorts with an extra large picture of Santa, an elf, or Rudolph on the front and the words "Merry Christmas" printed in bold letters on the back.

Of course, there is always the traditional tie. However, the ties I usually get are anything but traditional. One year I received a tie with battery operated blinking lights, and the next year I got one with a risqué picture on the front. This year, I was fortunate enough to be given a black and white checkered tie complete with matching box.

Every year there is a new version of the crooning toy dog that howls "You Ain't Nothing But A Hound Dog," and sounds just like Elvis. Last year I got a green frog with legs two feet long. When you push the button his legs clap together, which make the bells on his feet ring.

I'm still trying to figure out why I continue to receive wine glass rings. I mean everyone should have multiple sets of these, right? How could anyone possibly have wine glasses without colorful rings on the stems? Ugh, about the only thing I've found them good for is plugging up the dishwasher or getting stuck in the garbage disposal.

Food seems to be a popular gift to give during the holidays. There are those stacking boxes of filled chocolates with unidentifiable flavors and the 10-pound tins of popcorn. Well, I guess that's why my New Year's resolution is always to lose weight.

Every year, a distant relative sends me pounds of those tiny, stale, dry frosted cakes that come in a brightly decorated box. The box is probably as tasty as the cakes. I can't even get the dog to eat them.

Speaking of the dog, he usually gets an unusual gift or two. Last year he got a green elf's hat, which he refused to wear. This year he got a chicken that makes an awful sound when you squeeze it. The poor dog is still hiding under the bed.

I hope you had a Merry Christmas!