Christmas projection: Some thoughts about the perfect gift

Spoiler Alert!
Doug: This blog will reveal what our mom is getting you for Christmas.

It’s almost Christmas Day. It’s tomorrow, just in case you really haven’t been paying attention or you just woke up from a coma. And in that case, you should stop reading this blog and read the New York Times to find out what is going on and to see a full-page, animated ad for the movie Les Miserables. But I digress.

The gifts are wrapped (almost). Most of the cookies have been eaten. (Please send more.) And I will probably get sucked in to making tamales today, even though I swore earlier that I would not.

Christmas, at least in America, is a time of great cheer and shootings. But most importantly, it’s a time to buy lots of stuff. If you do not buy lots of presents and give them to lots of people, then you are less of a person. Less of an American. I try to live up to this very high standard by doing lots of shopping and TONS of contemplating about what the right gift might be. This year, I started thinking about and shopping for Christmas gifts in March. I’m not kidding. Because this year, quite a few people are getting the best and the worst kind of gift from me: A homemade one.

Now, I know what you’re thinking! Thank god, I’m not actually friends with this woman so I don’t have to pretend like I really love the stupid thing that she spent hours making for me. But let’s get on with it. A number of my friends and my super awesome spouse are getting Christmas ornaments made of felt. I know. This gift idea is SO obvious. Here is an example:

southparkornamentsThese are the kids from South Park, just to reinforce the point that most good art is informed by something that is already beautiful and to try not to get sued. It took me most of a weekend to make these. And yes, I cut out all the little shapes that make up the 3-inch figures and sewed them onto the green back by hand. They are also stuffed with just a tiny bit of cotton batting – the kind that you put into quilts, when you make those. Everyone makes their own bedding, don’t they?

So these are already on our tree. And there are others that are carefully wrapped in tissue and placed in a box or a bag ready to jump out and surprise the next lucky friend! Some ornaments are singles, and some are collections. There is “breakfast” – already delivered – comprised of bacon (of course!), eggs, toast and a cup of coffee all lovingly made from felt. “Sports balls” and “superheroes” are wrapped and under the tree. There is a high-heeled shoe and a football logo and probably some other stuff that I’ve forgotten about.

Whatever the thing is – sports, superheroes, food – it’s supposed to be fun and remind me of you. I also really appreciate sarcasm, as I’m sure you already know. Our Christmas tree is mostly filled with ornaments that we find funny. And we have nicknamed a lot of them. Like “the grudge” – a little figurine that supposed to look like an elf (I think) but looks more likely that extremely creepy spirit from the movie.

But, now it’s time to get serious for a second. Every gift we give is a projection – we can’t help it. (Remember we talked about this earlier this month.) So, ask for what you want if you haven’t already, otherwise you will get what someone wants you to have! Seriously, I can’t read your mind and neither can your husband, your wife or your BFF no matter how long you have been together. Don’t let them project on you. Or if they do, take it as a hint, and divorce them or speak up.

So, my gift is what I think about you. Or at least what I think you would like. Unless you’re my mother, and then your gift is a convenience. She is giving my brother a copy of Barbara Kingsolver’s new book after she reads it on the plane on the way to Germany. She is going to try not to wrinkle the pages or drop it in the toilet, like she did with one book that she gave me one year.

So have a great Christmas whether you’re projecting on someone or being projected on. And I’ll see you on Boxing Day.

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