A number of years ago, my cousin, Joanna, attended a gift exchange at work with a group of rather demented coworkers. As she examined a table full of gifts, she believed she was making a safe choice by selecting a gift that was shaped like a DVD. Upon opening said gift, she actually found herself the proud new owner of a pair of men’s extra large thong underwear. Not wanting to keep such a wonderful treasure all to herself, she and her brother chose a random bag at our family Christmas party (which by the way is usually 30-35 people) and secretly dropped it inside. Needless to say, my Aunt Terry was quite surprised to be the recipient of such a gift from her godson (my brother), Michael. The thong then found its way in February out to my cousin, Bob at Stanford in California for his birthday, and back to Delaware that summer when Bob gave my husband and I a lovely housewarming gift (he even put the package inside a larger box with rocks in the bottom to throw us off-which worked by the way).
I ran into a snag with the men’s extra large thong underwear once in my possession, however. No, not because my husband wanted to wear them, but because my dogs ate the box. We found ourselves with a loose pair of men’s extra large thong underwear, so I devised a plan to get them back to my cousin for her 30th birthday.
No great idea is without some sort of sacrifice. I went through some unimaginable visual horrors after Googling ” male blow up doll” to find a male doll that was not anatomically correct, and who would be the perfect model for the underwear.
But after some eye washing, hypnotherapy, and perseverance, I found the perfect doll. So in the middle of Joanna’s 30th birthday party, she opened a giant box with a blow up doll, named Ramon, sporting the underwear. Sadly, Ramon only survived a few years, but don’t be sorrowful, he lived a full life. Joanna made sure to capture many of their adventures on film, and here’s one of her Christmas cards (which are highly anticipated each year by the way):
Even sadder, the thong underwear have fallen into the hands of someone not willing to re-gift (long story), but our family has recently started another holiday tradition in which many people can enjoy thoughtful, unique gifts. For decades we used to all pick a name for a Secret Santa at Thanksgiving and then exchange gifts at Christmas. Although it was a long and wonderful tradition, we tried something new last year. Each family member is to bring a wrapped gift with no tag, and each family member picks a number. We then each select a gift in order based on the number drawn. The next person can choose to select an unwrapped gift or steal a gift from one of the previous opened ones (oh, and a gift can only be stolen 3 times- the third person is the final owner). The higher the number, the better off you are going to be. We’ve done this for two years on my Dad’s side, and once last year on my Mom’s side of the family. I can honestly say that by the end of the gift exchange my sides are usually hurting from laughter. There is typically a pretty even split between “good” gifts and funny (awful) gifts. Here are some of last year’s treasures:
So as the Holiday shopping swings into full gear this week, I know many of you will be in search of the “perfect’ gift …and so will I. Our definitions of perfect may just be a little different. My family, on both sides, really puts the “Funk” in dysfunctional if you know what I mean, so I’ve never stood much chance of being “normal.” Maybe you can all help me out though…I need some terrible gift ideas. What’s the worst holiday gift you’ve ever received? Or do you have any different traditions? Do share! I’m really looking forward to this year’s gift exchange and cannot wait to see the treasures given this Christmas!