|Biography of Grieb||
Observation 4. 18 November 30, 2004
'Tis the season.....for crowded malls, long checkout lines, rude people maneuvering shopping carts. How about trying to untangle those stupid lights, and picking all of the needles up from that tree that "wasn't supposed to shed that much," or so that ass-hole salesperson said. Don't forget about running out of tape while wrapping presents, or worse yet, ripping the present that you just wrapped. Yes sir, how can one not be in the spirit?
But seriously, Christmas is my favorite holiday (I think I said that about Halloween). Outside of shopping in crowded stores, I love everything else about it - putting up the decorations, picking out the tree and placing ornaments and lights on it, visiting family, and, of course, opening presents (I don't like talking about the after-Christmas stuff - taking down the tree and decorations, etc.).
Of course, picking out presents can be a difficult thing, especially for parents. We used to have a set-up at Glenolden Elementary School called Santa's Workshop. This was set up so that students could find something inexpensive to purchase for their parents. Remember this place? You could find neat refrigerator magnets that were shaped like clams and had those "rolling" eyes - I think those were 50 cents (Davers bought this for his mom one Christmas), or the screwdriver set in which all of the screwdrivers were the same except the handles were different colors (I thought that was the best gift my dad could possibly get....I was 8 at the time). There were other "special" gifts there too, but I can't remember them at the moment.
Don't you wish this was (a) still acceptable, and (b) still available to us? I wish I could take an hour off of work and go to the Santa's Workshop downstairs in the lobby in order to purchase cheap presents that my parents thought were adorable. It may have helped me back in the day when I made the blunder of buying my mom a wok for Christmas. This was the first Christmas that she took me aside and told me how crappy of a gift it was (come to think of it, it was a crappy gift. Why would my mom, an old-school German cook, want a wok?). I don't think it was as bad as the salad shooter my dad got her one year. Anyway, I ended up taking this gift to college a few years later, unopened (at least she didn't throw it away).
Buying for my parents is so tough now. They have everything they want, and they don't want anything they don't have. I've bought my mom clothes that she gives to Goodwill still in the package. My dad's leather jacket has seen about as much light the last few years as the Afghani prisoner's at Abu Grab. Plus, they get pissed at me when I get them gift certificates at a place like Sears, because I didn't put enough thought into what to get them. And, when I ask them what they want, I get answers like "an iron," or "a hammer." These are the things I should've put more thought into?
This year, I have it easy, though, because I am getting some wedding pictures duplicated (and blown up) for mom and dad, AND I got them a gift certificate at Ludwig's - a fine German restaurant/bar in Center City Philadelphia. My guess is they won't use that unless Sue and I go with them.....and then, they'll still end up paying money on that, because they still won't allow me to pay at a restaurant. Happy Holidays!
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