When it comes to gift selection, keep things age-appropriate. No matter how much you spend on the coolest and neatest toys, a small toddler will find the box much more entertaining than the actual toy. So, have Christmas on the 26th. Remember, the kid can look right at the blinking on the microwave and still not know what time it is, so how is she going to know that Christmas is a day late? So go over to your neighbor's house in the middle of the night and steal the brightly colored box from their kid's Tickle Me Elmo Flying Trapeze with Extra Sharp Edges out of the recycle bin and let your grandbaby play with that. The kid will appreciate it more than the toy, and the hippies will thank you for re-purposing the box.
Once a kid grows up enough to walk and know a few words, he becomes a real hazard. Especially if Santa gives him a toy guitar which can be used to whack his younger cousin. So ask him what Santa gives to bad kids. If he replies "coal" it is time to go off. It works best if you can get a good rant voice going, like Mel Gibson after a fifth of Southern Comfort. "NO! Coal emits CO2 which melts the ice at the North Pole where Santa lives. Do you think he wants his house melted!? When Santa's heartburn is acting up in the middle of the night and he goes to the bathroom for some Tums, do you think he wants to paddle there in a canoe? He does NOT GIVE OUT COAL. He comes down the chimney and stabs bad kids in the eye with his Magic Icicle! So quit hitting your cousin!!"
If you're lucky like me, there's a 6 year old boy who isn't really your grandkid, but still refers to you as grandpa. When that boy comes over and opens his present and gets all indignant to his mom like "Is that all? I told you we should have gone to the other grandpa's house first!" then I don't have any good advice for you. In Islamic countries where a strict form of Sharia Law is observed, the child would be beaten with an ax handle. But that is illegal here. This is the only example of Sharia being superior to our Constitutional system. Of course, only use the handle, not the ax head. Because that would be haraam. Or maybe it would be cause for celebration. I can't remember. The angry moon god is kinda fickle that way.
When one of the grandkids comes running up with that cutesy-putesy "Grandpa! Grandpa! It's Jeebus' Birfday!" do not allow this heresy to stand. Grab the kid by the scruff of the neck and haul him out to the cheesy plastic nativity scene erected in the front yard. Again, get your rant voice going, like Alec Baldwin leaving his daughter a voicemail: "Listen! See the little lambs? They're born in the springtime. By December they'd be all grown up." When he gives you that confused head tilt look, plunk him down in front of this (highly recommended, seriously) video. Unless he is a child science prodigy with understanding of retrograde motion and refraction of light, most of it will go over his head. But that's not the point. The point is that you'll have 63 minutes of him quietly watching a video instead of 63 minutes of him trying to mummify the cat in giftwrap paper.
|As a gift to grandpa, this is inappropriate on many levels.|
Fartless Chili? If your new daughter-in-law gives you this, expect a bumpy ride for the rest of the holidays. For one, it kind of implies some things about the recipient. It wasn't me. It was the dog. Really. Chance the 110lb canine poot machine makes the vinyl floor in the kitchen curl with some of the ones he rips. He lets one go and the kitchen floor suddenly looks like a giant faux-ceramic fruit roll-up. But then again, is fartless chili even chili? It's like cookies without milk. Sonny without Cher. Democrats without budget deficits. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Do not accept such ill-mannered gifts from anyone.
Just follow these easy steps, and enjoy a much more rewarding holiday season!!