Like many people, I have a small collection of mugs and picture frames from Christmas parties where the rule for kris kringle is “unisex.” I know that it’s the thought that counts when it comes to giving gifts: it’s hard enough to think of a good gift to give to some name you picked off the hat a week in advance. But when you do the bunutan right then-and-there during the Christmas party… it’s a whole different story.
I suppose that I have every right to be a Grinch or Scrooge: it’s not like the mugs were made in amateur Pottery class. Or that the picture frames were made out of used popsicle sticks from pinipig icedrop. My small collection of “unisex” photo albums weren’t even made from paiper-mâché.
Disguising said gift in a smart-looking gift bag doesn’t help, either. Even adding candies or chocolate bars inside the mug only adds to the thoughtlessness of things.
Look at it this way: Santa Claus gives a lot of thought to “naughty or nice,” and takes a full year to have his elves mine coal somewhere for brats. Santa Claus doesn’t harness his reindeer and fly to chimneys all over the world to put mugs on Christmas stockings. It’s not like I’m a 22-year-old man who still believes in Santa Claus, but you get the picture.
But it’s not like I’m a very thoughtful gift-giver myself: because I always seem to pick girls’ names from the kris kringle hat, I head off to the mall to look for stuffed toys. The reason being is that they’re so easy to buy: what girl doesn’t like teddy bears that come inside cans, or teddy bears that come with perfume? They go ga-ga over the seemingly cute bear and how much thought I apparently put in it. Maybe a couple of hundred bucks, and the humiliation of being at Blue Magic for fifteen minutes.