More Advice

(Or – Aren’t You Glad Christmas Comes Before The Next Column)

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

Shame! Shame! Shame! Just like last year and the year before, the days are zipping by and you haven’t done your shopping.

Not to worry! Here with Little Jimmy’s Advice for the Permanently Frazzled column, we can solve your gift-giving woes in less than three minutes – five if you are a slow reader and have to sound out the words.

I find many people get stressed out at this time of year, not because of the rapidly diminishing shopping days factor (after all the convenience stores are open ‘til 11 on Christmas Eve, and sometimes all night), but because most last minute shoppers have no idea what to buy.

Let us then take a few moments to plan your last minute dash to the mall, dollar store, or if you live on Maple Drive, a high-end car dealership. Where you shop depends naturally on the price range you have set for yourself. For instance sir, you and I will likely be considering something in the $25 to $8,000 range depending on whether our gift is for the wife or the mistress.

For you ladies, perhaps you are thinking about a little something for the old guy sleeping in the chair across the room, wearing a torn undershirt and pajama bottoms with the bum out. Or you might be thinking of some little trinket you could purchase for your stud muffin who, at the moment, is helicoptering his way to his luxury condo wearing something casual, like a solid gold suit.

First, by simple logic, ascertain what he or she is expecting. If you forgot your loved one altogether last year because of outside circumstances like an extension of the Happy Hour at your favourite drinking palace, or some kind soul brought a gallon of wine into the sauna at milady’s health spa and the hours just dribbled away, it is quite simple. How did he or she react upon opening nothing? If you recall an outburst of tears or a hissy-fit of staggering proportions, you might want to consider something a little more expensive this year, say in the $5 range. I realize a fiver is not actually expensive, but since you spent nothing last Christmas he or she will think you have gone overboard this time and will be overjoyed you remembered at all.

A sheer nightie for Madam to buy for herself to wear on Christmas morning might be a surprise for your hubby. You can often find one on display in the adult room at Value Village or the Salvation Army Thrift Shop. It all depends on whether you feel he would appreciate seeing you next to Au Naturel. If not, you might just buy the loser a nice pair of white tube socks.

As to what to buy for milady, is she the athletic type? (This isn’t part of my gift-buying advice; there are rumours that the Leafs are in trouble once again and are scouting around for a big burly defence person.)

If she is the outdoorsy type, a bright orange hunting jacket can often be found hanging on a hook outside a makeshift outhouse in the hills behind Minden or some other God-forsaken place. It will be too late for this year, but keep it in mind for next October. Remember ‘it isn’t how much you spend, it is the thought behind it’, an expression many cheap people use this time of year? Your wife will appreciate the thought behind the used ironing board you so carefully chose for her. You might want to purchase a cover to hide the charred spot. Granted, it will be a few dollars more, but it will look better if she is ironing when her divorce lawyer drops by.

Madam, you might want to look into purchasing a small stack of 649 tickets for the man in your life and a couple for your husband too. Just remember to sign them on the outside chance you pick a winner. That way there will be no need to run up expensive lawyer’s fees when you walk out the door.

Remember it is best to have a plan. I have a friend who decided quite early in the marriage to buy a gift one year and skip the next. In his twisted mind, he felt he was shopping at half price. Being thrifty, I was naturally interested in how this buy-one, skip-one idea worked out. I will never know. His bride laid him out with a lamp on the first ‘skip-one’ Christmas. That was in 1997 and he has yet to come out of the coma. She visits occasionally but can’t stay long. She doesn’t want to upset her stud muffin wearing a solid gold suit, hovering overhead in his new helicopter.

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