Hypothetically Speaking . . .

. . . . . . . . Because Humor Matters

Happy Holidays . . . Well, Sort Of

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Dec• 22•19

2019 Holiday Gifts

I mean, I’m not going to say I’m a gift wrapping pro, but these look good, even though it took me three days to do them.

Like most people, every holiday season I somehow find myself running up and down the aisles of various retail stores looking to buy a variety of gifts. Regardless of past experience, I consistently use bad judgment and sign up for whatever Secret Santa or White Elephant Gift Exchange that I stumble across.

Last year, because I’d somehow received a flyer, I participated in a company gift swap. Halfway through the function, they realized I didn’t work there, so I was escorted off the premises. Unfortunately, they kept the gift I’d bought AND the gift I’d received. I didn’t give up without a fight, though. You don’t just find a vanilla bean exfoliating body scrub every day. I was confused about whether to eat it or to bathe with it. Either way, it was absolutely worth the battle. I’m upset by how quickly they decided to use the taser, though.

While shopping for gifts, I sometimes get a little jealous because I’d rather be purchasing some of the items for myself. However, if I want to be considered a good person, I’m supposed to think of others instead. What would they want? Is there anything they need? Will a can of spray starch be considered offensive to someone who has chosen to embrace being wrinkly? Each decision is fraught with peril.

Fortunately, with a Secret Santa Gift Exchange, you’re able to drop off your present in secrecy. Last year, I had to employ spy-like maneuvers to perform the secret delivery. It was like an episode of Charlie’s Angels. I kept my ear to the ground and had scouts to alert me of the comings and goings of my target. Because I’m a professional, I was able to drop off the gift, do three backflips to get to the door, and then back out of the room slowly. Mission accomplished.

The White Elephant Gift Exchange, on the other hand, doesn’t exactly have the same level of anonymity. Although the person who opens the gift has no idea who purchased it, the person who bought it does. As you watch the recipient’s smile turn into a frown because they didn’t appreciate the mothballs and granola bars you so lovingly wrapped, it can be pretty horrifying. And, if the person happens to say, “I don’t want this,” or “What is this crap?” or “I know this didn’t cost $20,” it’s safe to say you failed as a gift buyer.

Back in 1872, before I’d gone to charm school to become the refined person you all know and love today, I received a Yankee Candle during a gift exchange. Immediately, I offended the person who bought it because I sat the candle aside to see what else was in the gift bag. Making matters worse, I turned the bag upside down and shook it ferociously a few times just to be sure the bag was empty. It was.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not the most cultured or refined person in the world. I wouldn’t know a cello or a harp from a bass drum at a symphony. At the time, the only candles I’d ever seen were the functional ones from the dollar store that my mom used whenever our electricity got cut off. And, of course, we used those candles to heat our grilled cheese sandwiches whenever the stove didn’t work. From my flawed perspective, there was no way the value of that scented candle was the equivalent of the portable cd player I’d purchased as a gift. It was probably inappropriate for me to have asked to see receipts.

Anyway, although I’m well into my elderly years, there is just something about the holiday season that makes me still feel like a child. Perhaps it’s because my family didn’t participate in any holidays when I was growing up. When I was born, my mom checked her budget and immediately looked for the first religion she could join that would allow her to not have to buy a birthday or Christmas gift for me ever. Honestly, I’m happy that she found one that worked for her because the alternative would have been for us to move to another country. Even though I’m super talented and amazing, I’m pretty sure the US is the only country that would actually allow me to live on its soil.

Because of my upbringing, I’d never learned to wrap a gift properly. I had no idea what a person was supposed to use as wrapping paper. Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way that no one wants a present wrapped in the obituary section of the newspaper. Also worthy of note, not many people appreciate a gift wrapped in a bedsheet—especially if you didn’t wash or Febreze it before using it.

White Elephant Gift Exchange Gifts

I don’t buy shabby gifts . . . at least I don’t think so!

Thanks to technology, I was able to enlist the help of YouTube videos to learn everything I needed to know. After 5 hours of watching gift wrapping tips from Martha Stewart, I was finally able to reasonably wrap a present. While I would never want to receive a gift from someone with my limited wrapping skills, who am I to deprive someone else of my technique? As a wise person once said, another person’s trash or badly wrapped gift is another person’s treasure.

This year, I wasn’t immune to the messaging behind all the gifts I’ve received so far. One person bought me a bottle of Skinny Girl wine. I immediately took it to the head even though I’m not skinny or a girl. The second gift I received was a yoga mat. Because I don’t practice yoga that often, I decided to use the mat as my living room rug. However, when the third gift I received was a one-year gym membership, I began to worry. Maybe someone was trying to tell me something. I had a sneaking suspicion that it was my mom.

On the other hand, I have appreciated every person who’s given me cash so far. Of course, whenever I’m presented with dollar bills, I immediately have flashbacks to my stripper days, so I begin to wind my hips regardless of whether the location is appropriate or not. My grandma turned beet red when I begin to take off my mittens and galoshes in the middle of a mall parking lot because she’d handed me a $5 bill. She got even more embarrassed when I begin to dance in the middle of a church. Apparently, the money she handed me was supposed to be passed down as a tithe, but I completely misread the situation. Please don’t judge me. Whenever money exchanges hands, I do what comes naturally because I’m a professional. It’s not my fault. I was born this way.

Michael Rochelle
Humor blog: www.humormike.com
Facebook: michael.rochelle1
Instagram: humor_mike_
Twitter: @mikeyllo

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