Be The Boy Holidays 2008 – You’d Better Eat All Your Gifts

For today’s holiday story let’s talk about presents.  This story first appeared on the old Be the Boy site last year.

In case you ever find yourself spending the holidays with my family you better be ready to make a list. It was made very clear years ago that we’d get what we wanted but nobody was going to read our minds. Those who don’t make it clear what they want do so at their own risk because as a family we have little concept of what constitutes an acceptable gift. In my family it has always been perfectly acceptable to give food as gifts. When I say food I don’t mean gift baskets like Hickory Farms products, I’m talking about things like a can of olives, spaghetti, some pepperoni, and maybe gum.

Now you might think that groceries make an awful gift but if you do, you’re missing out. The food giving tradition has been going on for decades but in recent years my father has turned it into something of a holiday art form. You see, as my brother, sister and I got older we asked for fewer things; one year, after wrapping up all of the gifts dad felt it just didn’t look like enough, and so he improvised, by calling upon a family tradition. That Christmas morning we found what looked to be a Christmas miracle, we had only asked for a few things but there were stacks upon stacks of presents waiting for us.

Despite being at or close to adulthood we all pounced on the piles like little kids, shaking the packages and wondering what could be inside. I went first, opening that first one slowly and great with anticipation, much to my father’s amusement. I’m pretty sure it was a box of Jell-o mix inside of a bigger box, and everyone laughed until the started unwrapping cans of vegetables and boxes of crackers. Eventually we got to the real presents but we we’re still laughing over the fake ones. Over the years the fake gift has become my father’s holiday tradition and each year he works new items into the mix…and every year we laugh about it like it’s the first time.

So, each year since I’ve moved away, when I’m asked if there’s something I want I don’t ask for a thing. This means I’m likely to be sitting by the Christmas tree with the a jar of peanut butter and some canned peaches, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Note: After this was posted last year my father made sure to send me canned peaches and peanut butter.



Filed under Be The Boy Holidays, Be The Boy Holidays 08

8 responses to “Be The Boy Holidays 2008 – You’d Better Eat All Your Gifts

  1. I wouldn’t mind me a little Yuletide pepperoni.

    Merry Fuckpants Christmas!

  2. vintagecaveman

    I could go for some pepperoni, too.

  3. god i hope my mom and stepdad never see this, they’ll start wrapping up pepperoni trying to get me to eat meat again. failboat.

  4. p.s. Will, I immediately hit myself in the face with the hello kitty icebucket i keep on my desk for typing “failboat” in your comments. please forgive me!!

  5. We buy food as presents every year, but it’s for our dogs. Not sure that’s the same.

    Now I have ideas for those fringe relatives, though.

  6. I love holiday food gifts…from Godiva!

  7. kim

    Your dad rocks! Mine cut the Christmas tree in half so he could nail it to the wall therefore “taking up less space”

  8. Since my birthday’s on Christmas Eve, does that mean I can get TWO cans of cream corn? OhBOY!

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