Thursday, December 24, 2009

What I Don't Wish To See In My Stocking

Tomorrow is Christmas day!

To some people, Christmas and Santa Claus are almost synonymous. This naturally leads to Santa and all his geeks - from his fleet of reindeer, his sleigh, his 'ho ho ho' to his sackful of presents.

I will not insist that you believe in Santa. However, I am quite sure that you would love to receive a present or two on this special day.

It is the Christmas tradition to hang up an empty stocking on the Christmas eve. Little children in many parts of the world were brought up to believe that on Christmas Day, they will wake up to find presents that Santa has dropped in the stocking the night before. Many soon realized that it was their parents who quietly dropped the stocking stuffers while they were asleep. (Aww, it must have been hard to find out the truth.)

We love to receive presents (for any occasions) because we love pleasant surprises. Unfortunately, not all presents would surprise us in a pleasant way.

I once received a set of CDs from a visiting guest. It was a lovely gesture on his part but there was just a little snag: I do not appreciate Chinese Opera that much... err, or should I say, not at all?

Some gifts are totally not thoughtful. Imagine giving a hairdryer to someone who is bald, wine to someone who is allergic to alcohol or a book on "Cooking for Dummies" to a restaurant chef.

While it is nice to receive presents from loved ones and friends, there are just certain things which I do not wish to receive. Here are 10 examples and I shall explain why.

1. A Framed Picture of the Giver

This is what I have to say to him/her.

"Hi! Thanks for the thought but firstly, I may not know you that well and it would be odd to place your photo on my TV console. Secondly, I am running out of space to display recent pictures of my family and thirdly, even if I wish to have a picture of you, I would rather have it in soft copy. Let's go green."

Tip : Narcissism and Christmas gift do not mix.

2. Knitted Sweater

This gift is likely to come from someone who has just picked up the hobby. Feeling extremely high and enthusiastic about her new found love, she cannot wait to see her creation being hung on everybody.

Look, I live in the tropics and a woolen sweater is the last thing I need. Besides, that sweater design may make me look like a walking Italian flag and that is, if I can squeeze into that thing in the first place.

Tip : If you really have to give, do some homework on measurement and taste first.

3. Undergarments

Hey! You leave these things to me, OK?

Tip : Don't get too personal in your choice of casual gifts.

4. Latest Wii Games

Sigh! I do not even have a Wii video game console. What am I suppose to do with this "New Super Mario Bros Wii"?

Tip : Everyone loves gadgets but not everyone loves the SAME gadgets.

5. Shopping Vouchers

Nice thoughts, buddy! If this gets any better, it would have been cash! The thing is, these vouchers may be expiring even before I can finish saying "Merry Christmas". Some of them also come with a list of fine-prints which render them almost 'useless'.

In any case, I find it difficult to associate shopping vouchers with Christmas gifts.

Tip : If you really must give shopping vouchers, check the expiry date and the terms and conditions of use.

6. A book on "How to raise smart children"

What? Are you trying to say that my children are not smart?

Tip : Avoid a gift item which may send an inappropriate message.

7. Golf Balls

Many people love this game but I am not one of them. I do play sports but the giver should at least find out what I am into first.

I guess I can pass these balls to our cats as toys.

Tip : Specialized sports equipment is better left to the sports player himself.

8. OSIM Blood Pressure Monitor

My blood pressure might just shoot up after seeing this present. Why don't you just give me a pacemaker instead? (I think my heart has just missed a beat)

Tip : Do not buy medical equipment as Christmas gifts. Period.

9. Hello Kitty Accessories

"Cute!" So you say.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. May I add on by saying "so is cuteness"!

Tip : What appears to be 'cute' to you may be 'ugly' or 'childish' to others.

10. Toilet Brush

OK, you meant it as a joke, right?

Humor in gifts is acceptable provided you are dead sure that the receiver share the same sense of humor as you. I mean, in this case, you would not wish to risk having your head dunked into a toilet bowl, would you?

Tip : If you intend to crack a joke, make sure that it is indeed funny to the receiver.

It may be too late for most of you as your gifts would have made their way to your receivers by now. Well, there is always the next Christmas. Keep these tips in mind.

Merry Christmas!

“The greatest gift you can give another
is the purity of your attention.”
~Richard Moss~

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