Christmas. The most exciting and anticipated holiday of the year. A time when visions of sugar plums--or stereos, new cars, the latest computer, and various other desirable and expensive gifts--dance through our heads. Unfortunately the reality of Christmas gift-giving is often a far cry from our visions.
When we're children, it seems as the holidays approach that anything is possible. But as we mature and gain experience with this annual observance it eventually begins to dawn on us that it might not always be all it's cracked up to be. By the time we've reached our late teens--when, coincidentally, the potential for receiving truly outstanding gifts is optimized--we realize that Christmas gifts are seldom what we hope for. In fact, from year to year it becomes possible to actually predict the kinds of gifts you'll unwrap on Christmas morning. Let's look at a few examples.
The Necessity Gift
The necessity gift is one that always seems like a really great idea to your mother or grandmother, but which is invariably a big yawn to unwrap. Let's be realistic, how excited is anybody likely to get over a dozen pairs of matching socks, a hairbrush, winter gloves or underwear? Slipper Sox, new sheet sets and toothbrushes also qualify. After unwrapping such a gift, a person is likely to exclaim: "Gosh, you shouldn't have!" And mean it.
The Token Gift
The Token Gift might be received from almost anyone. Though it seems like an intimate friend or close relative wouldn't stoop so low, experience proves that token gifts take up where imagination and/or money leaves off. So it's possible to receive these kinds of gifts from the most unexpected sources. One present in this category is the ever popular "soap-on-a-rope." I've never seen these marketed in June. But come early November the soap factories undoubtedly pay double-double overtime to their workers in order to meet the vast holiday...