Monday, December 18, 2006


Nobody ever takes me seriously when I say this but here goes: the very best adult Christmas presents are....fuzzy slippers and cheap perfume for a woman and a wallet or a tie for a man, even if he has no money and never wears anything but tee-shirts. I'm not kidding, these really are good presents! Presents are meant to be symbolic. If you stress out over finding just the right present for every friend and family member you'll never enjoy the holiday.

If you're like most people and you think what I wrote above is crazy or irrelevant then here's my fall-back suggestion: give the person something completely unrelated to what they're interested in. It has to be something good mind you, something that's the best in it's field, but something the person has never even thought about. I don't smoke and I'm not really interested in cigars but I have to admit that I'd be curious to smoke what people in the know consider the best cigar. Maybe smoking isn't really a filthy habit at all if you smoke the right stuff.

On another subject, Chrismas shopping is sooooo stressful. I still don't know what to get my wife! Every year she always says, "I don't see why you're having so much trouble getting me a present! There's only two things I don't want: don't get me anything useful like an appliance because everybody benefits from that and it's not personnal. And don't get me something that's not useful because the house is filled with stuff like that already. Absolutely anything else would be fine!" And every year I always answer with gritted teeth, "What are you talking about!!!???! Every single thing in the universe is either useful or not useful! There IS nothing else!" This is an irreconcilable conflict.


3awashi thani said...

get her a teddy bear, they're not useful but women think they are. and yet very few people in the house can beinfit from them
i hate teddy bears but i love them when people give to me i think it's w/uman nature

Anonymous said...

"If you stress out over finding just the right present for every friend and family member you'll never enjoy the holiday."


Oh, Uncle Eddie! I would have thought that a shameless romantic like you wouldn't have any trouble getting your wife something she'd love! What about a wonderful dinner out at a fancy restaurant? Tickets to the theatre? Magazine subscriptions? Spa gift certificate? A big soft cozy bath robe? Some new 2B pencils and shading markers ...

... oh wait. Sorry. That's my list. ;)

Jennifer said...

Poor Uncle Eddie - "Don't get me something useful...don't get me something that's not useful". That would confuse anyone.

Everyone has given some really good ideas so far.

Here's a gift idea - fine jewelry. It doesn't have to be really expensive, but it has to be fine (gold or platinum, stones must be genuine). Nearly all women love fine jewelry.

To make it really romantic, get a stuffed animal (like a teddy bear) or a beautiful porcelain box and put the piece on the stuffed animal or in the box.

Anonymous said...

If you need help, Little Eddie.
I'll be glad to help. Gift giving is my specialty.


Merry Christmas, Theory Corner!

Kali Fontecchio said...

A Goose! Like in the old Christmas movies- every English wife and child got excited over a goose! Oh wait that's useful......a stuffed goose you can hang on the wall! Can't beat that.

Anonymous said...

I know what U.E would want for Xmas...a gazillion-buck gift cert. for Vromans. : )

As for the female half--"cheap" perfume? You mean like Avon or a Britney Spears Savon brand? No! Never! Shame!

The fact is, really really expensive perfume is always worth the investment--it's in fact one of the few luxury items that actually does give value for money. The trouble is that scent is so personal(what smells divine on one person can easily smell like sauerkraut on another due to individual chemistry). Still, there are staples...perhas you should hie yourself to Nordstrom's and get what drives you wild, be it a vanilla, woodsy or other sort of scent?

Me, I wish they still made "par-fume" with names like Come Hither or My Shame or whatever those sultry things were called.

Anonymous said...

two words: robot vacuum cleaner.

or spa treatment. whatever.

Anonymous said...

It seems like your wife wants to keep you thinking and force you to be creative.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Everybody: My wife is terrific, I wish you could meet her, but she's the hardest person in the world to buy things for. I'm afraid I can't use most of the suggestions but I do appreciate them just the same.

katzenjammer studios said...

i'm thinking about giving up, and buying everyone gifts with the purpose of demeaning them. i'm buying my roommates garbage bags because they're FILTHY. my mom gets those yellow rubber gloves and some dishwashing soap. my brother is getting a bunch of job applications to the worst jobs imaginable (fast food chains, etc.).

would anybody laugh at this, or would everyone just be offended?

Anonymous said...


People would probably be offended, even if they never told you. Humans are funny that way.

Anonymous said...

Just because it's almost Christmas, and you did ask:My Xmas tree.
There are others from last Xmas there...I do love this season!

As for your femme, Eddie: how's about making a wee scrapbook to amuse her? I realize this sounds lame on the face of it but god knows you could work wonders with the format...write her a tiny book, illustrated(I mean, 16-24 pp, nothing so epic as to be impossible by Xmas). A poem, a la Dovetonsils? Hey!--an acronym poem like the ones Carroll did for Alice: '"M" is for the million things...' etc.etc.?

Well, as I say, it's all in the execution.

I do know what you're up against. My mother used to drive us kids nuts--in particular me--because when I'd ask, "What do you want for Xmas, mom?" She'd answer "Peace and quiet". Come on! And she obviously really meant it, too. Infuriating answer for a kid eager to get something cool for mom, don't you know...the ultimate generational irony is that now that I'm grown up (and in fact her age then) I completely understand what she means and am tempted to say it myself when prompted by nearest & dearest! Oh, well...

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Beautifully written as always. A scrapbook? Aaaargh! I have so much to do before Christmas...I don't think there's time to do aomething that elaborate.

I probably shouldn't admit this but I bought her what I considered a really good present and had to bring it back after my kid said she'd hate it. It was a life-size, realistic, snareling lion head replica. Even I know that girls don't always like this sort of thing but this was different, a true work of art. Anyway, it's back at the store, possibly fated to grace the wall of some other lucky woman

Anonymous said...

What about a "coupon" book of things for your wife to enjoy all year? "Dinner at nice restaurant," "Uncle Eddie cooks dinner," "Uncle Eddie and Kid leave house for 3 hours to give peace and quiet," "Kid does laundry" ... that kind of thing? And of course, illustrated by you and the Kid, that would be cool.

Anonymous said...

Gee....I think the lion head sounds kind of fantastic.
But she'll love whatever it is anyway. : )

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

jenny: I forgot to comment on what you said about good quality perfume being a tremendous bargain. That's a fascinating thought! let me mull that over a bit!

Jenny Lerew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenny Lerew said...

Jorge: to answer your question: No. You'd think it works this way, but it just doesn't. Perfume vs, cologne really is a "you get what you pay for" deal. Cologne can smell lovely, yes, but it never lasts very long on a person like perfume can using only a dab behind the knees. ; )

Eddie--yes, it's really true! The irony of my making the observation is that although I know from experience that it's true, I just can't bear to shell out 95 bucks for the "eau de parfum" of a scent that costs a mere 55 bucks as a cologne...which is penny wise, pound foolish all the way, but that's the inasnity of human nature, I guess.

The true quality perfumes I have had were each & every one gifts...that's why perfume is such a good and useful gift from a man to a woman; most girls can't bear to buy it for themselves, though they love it.

There is one other thing about perfumes, though: they must be used sparingly, but they must be used--they actually do lose their true character after some months or a year, if I remember correctly, and should be tossed.

Another swell and expensive gift, by the way, is a great champagne(also in the category of "Oh gosh! I just can't bring myself to buy this bottle for myself!"); say, Cristal or Dom. Even usual teetotalers will imbibe a sip of top-notch bubbly.
: )

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Jenny: I had no idea. You should toss a good perfume after only a year!? Fascinating! Maybe that's why it comes in such small bottles; you want to use it all before it looses its impact.

Unknown said...

You're right!
Socks and Jocks is all I want. Oh and Hankies. -Nice Handherchiefs, and nice cotton socks, preferably with loony toons caracters on them.


Anonymous said...

The history of perfume oils dates back to ancient Egypt when these fine scented oils were presented to royalty as gifts. In modern times, however, when the word "perfume" is said, most people think of department store fragrances, which consist mainly of the concentrated oil and alcohol solution. Nevertheless, as more and more people are finding out about them, perfume oils are experiencing great popularity. Here are some interesting facts about perfume oils:

Anonymous said...

Ah….the sweet, smell of perfume! Today's market is flooded with hundreds and hundreds of different fragrances ranging

from floral to woodsy. Most women love the smell of perfume, wearing it even when going to the grocery store. The problem

is that perfume allergy for some women, is anything but nice.