The Worst Present

I have a cold this Christmas Eve, but I went out today anyway, to brave The Stores.  If I didn’t, CHRISTMAS WOULD NOT COME.

So I ended up driving all around the town, in the most idiotic fashion possible, and went to at least 30% more Stores than was necessary because I kept forgetting things at one Store and having to stop by another Store to make up for it.

When I got home, I flopped into bed and breathed with my mouth open, listening to Odessa and Bryan talking in the living room.

They were talking about the White Elephant gift exchange my dad’s  side of the family always does for Christmas.  It’s notoriously crappy;  everybody usually regifts the worst present they received during year, or else just looks around their house, finds something they hate, sticks it in a used holiday bag with some crumpled tissue paper, slips it under Gigi’s tree when they arrive, and  completely disassociates themselves from that item for the rest of the evening.  Example: this morning when I went over to Gigi’s to set the table for tomorrow’s dinner, she said, “You know what I think I’ll do for the White Elephant? I think I’ll just let somebody have one of my pillows. Cushions are something everyone likes to get for Christmas.”  I gazed around the room, taking a survey of her couch cushions, nodded in agreement, and kept counting dinner forks.

So, as I was napping, Bryan and Odessa talked about what to bring to the Shields Family White Elephant.

Bryan: I think I might bring a basket full of the yuckiest smelling body spray and bath salts.

Odessa: I will bring two dancers–a man and a lady–who pee when they dance.

B: I think I’ll bring a set of tapes that teach you how to speak French.

O: I WILL, I will, I will…bring a bunch of boring tools.  LIKE A HAMMER WITH EXTRA HAM!

That kid–she’s really getting the hang of things. Basically everything.


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