Dreaming of a ‘tacky’ Christmas

Published 9:23 pm Monday, December 22, 2014

‘Tis the season for the annual trek to the mall (insert your favorite one here); beat the old lady driving the Caddy to the prime parking spot; and join the mob inside for a last-minute quest to nab that special gift for a friend or loved one.

Christmas is the time of exchanging gifts….a tradition as old as the birth of Jesus when the three Wise Men made their way to the manger and presented the tiny baby with frankincense, gold and myrrh.

I’ve always wondered what myrrh was, so I looked it up on in that special place (the Internet) invented by Al Gore. It’s described as a perfume used at that time to place on dead bodies to make them smell nice. As a gift it showed that Jesus would suffer and die, a legacy we all know occurred.

I do not consider myself as a Christmas present shopper. I’m more of a buyer….meaning I have some sort of clue of what I’m looking for and I purchase it without checking to see if there’s a better deal or a better type of product.

This year was a bit different as I did “shop” for just the right gifts (yep, it was more than one) for my 13-month-old grandson, Brody Ray Harrell. I will not reveal what I purchased as Brody is getting way too smart and he may be reading this column.

But for every “good” gift we purchase, wrap and hand out at Christmas time, there are those gifts we’d much rather avoid all together (giving or receiving). As a man, I can’t tell you the number of ugly neckties I’ve received over the years. They match nothing in my closet. I guess I could invest in an ugly suit to match the tie.

Or what about fruit cakes? I heard recently they have a shelf life of 20 years. What the heck are in those things?

So, for those last-minute shoppers out there (like me) attempting to find something worthy to give (with store shelves almost barren), here are some suggestions:

Candy Cane Infuser ($12.95) – You simply open the Cane and put in any flavor of tea you need, or place in the hot water and enjoy the best tea of your life! The Cane is washable and very easy to reuse time and time again; try doing that with a real Candy Cane.

Pop Art Toaster ($43.95) – This product takes a common piece of white bread and turns it into a crunchy work of art. The toaster comes with six templates, allowing you to create different works of toast art – Santa Face, Santa Hat, Snowman, Merry X-Mas, Christmas Tree and Christmas Stocking. And the great thing is, it can still be used as a plain, old toaster…because that’s all it really is!

The Ultimate Ugly Sweater: Granny Got Run Over by a Reindeer – What better way to express love to a senior member of the family by giving this 100 percent cotton knit sweater, with artwork on the front featuring Grandma in her hair rollers and walker being tossed aside by some oblivious to his surroundings reindeer carrying a whole lot of cargo into the Christmas night. What was Granny even doing in the path of these reindeer? Why would she be on the roof or the road? Did these reindeer intentionally seek her? Will she press charges?

And, finally, for that hard-to-buy-for person on your list (that would include everyone on my list, except for Brody), how ‘bout a Bacon Scarf. Yep, this 53-inch long acrylic knit scarf is not only practical during these cold months of winter, but it has the unmistakable essence of bacon. Will the person destined to receive this special gift (straight from your heart) wear it; hang it up to cure; or fry it up?

I hope you use these suggestions to help you find that special last-minute gift.

Until next time….Merry Christmas!

Cal Bryant is Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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