My 2011 Christmas haul

My wife is an incredibly creative and insightful gift giver. Last year’s Christmas gifts were outstanding.

The assortment of gifts from 2009, which included a signed first edition of Kurt Vonnegut’s MAN WITHOUT A COUNTRY, were even more impressive.

This year we agreed to forgo any real Christmas presents in favor of upgrading our entertainment system, but we were still allowed to purchase gifts for our stockings.

Here is what I found in my stocking on Christmas morning:

A game of Go Fish that uses images of famous novelists instead of regular playing cards.

A six-in-one utility key

A sheriff's badge that I will wear with pride in the classroom.

A Darth Vader LEGO pen.

A laser guide training tool designed to assist with putting.

And best of all, a Mr. T in your Pocket.  Press one of six buttons to get Mr. T to say things like “I pity the fool!” and “Quit your jibber-jabber!

Also perfect for the classroom and life in general.


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A remarkable collection of gifts.  I don’t know how she does it.

Sadly, I am not nearly as creative as my wife.

My original plan was to fill her stocking with kitchen gadgets, but after two circuits of Bed Bath and Beyond, my shopping cart was still empty. Standing near the front of the store, preparing for a third go-around, I said, “The hell with this. I’m just getting her an iPad.”

It violated the spirit of our Christmas agreement, but my wife is pregnant and will soon be spending untold number of hours sitting in a chair, breastfeeding a needy infant. I knew that an iPad could change this otherwise monotonous time in her life into something slightly more palatable, so I felt it reason enough to violate the agreement.

When she opened her gift and attempted to protest, I immediately pointed my Mr. T in your Pocket at her and pressed the top right button:

“Don’t gimme no backtalk, sucka!”

I pressed it a few more times until she ceased her protest.

See what I mean? How many gifts are so perfectly chosen that they can be used… no, needed….  about 30 seconds after opening?