More Christmas Advice

Dear Austin’s Acre:

I noticed in your last article that you are now offering free advice. Thank goodness! This Christmas has been a real problem and I need help. I have looked to many different sources but can’t afford any good advice. Yours will have to do.

There are only a few days remaining until Christmas and I have not started my shopping. I still need a nice gift for my dad, a good gift for my mom, and a great gift for my wife. Thankfully, we don’t have any kids or I’d really be worried. Any ideas?

Sign me,

The Christmas Lights Are On But There Isn’t Any Tree

Dear “The Christmas Lights Are On But There Isn’t Any Tree”:

I have two concerns with your request. The first is that you would seek my advice. The phrase, “You Get What You Pay For” comes to mind. Apparently, you are miss-informed. My advice is not free and will in fact, cost you dearly, at least if you choose to follow my wisdom.

My second concern is for your timing. By my calendar, you are less than 48 hours from the big day. You may have passed the point of no return; meaning the only items left in the stores are not even worth returning. I speak from some experience. Two words: Ice Scraper.

That’s right. I actually bought my wife an Ice Scraper for Christmas. This was in a time before remote starters and seat warmers. I thought I was valiant. I thought I was gallant. My wife thought I was a cheap jerk. A rose by any other name….

Your letter clearly reveals two fatal character flaws: You are a Procrastinator and a Cheapskate. These two qualities will make your quest for the perfect Christmas present rather difficult, if not impossible.

I suggest you consider the following:

Stop looking for a perfect gift. That ship has sailed. At this point in the season, you will have to settle for a mediocre gift.

Stop going to Village Pantry. They do not even stock a mediocre gift. (Read: Ice Scraper)

Think creatively. One year I bought my wife an opal ring ($45). The ring came in a very small box. I surrounded this with a slightly larger box. I wrapped this box in a slightly larger box and so on, and so on, and so on. When my wife finished with the 16 boxes, she was in tears. By thinking creatively, I was able to turn a mediocre gift into Christmas Magic.

Make A Will. Show those you care about the most that this season is only a passing moment. We must prepare for the future. The gift of a will shows that you are willing to look past all the Christmas Hype. I prepares them for the day when you will not be there to provide those special Christmas presents (read multi-boxed ring).

Buy them Calendars. Today’s calendar market provides an individual calendar experience for every person on your shopping list. Dad likes cars. Mom likes poodles. You wife…you wife…What does your wife like? Oh well, I’m sure there is a calendar for her, too. And the styles are so varied. One person can have a wall calendar. Another can have a desk or notebook. Another can have a page-a-day. The possibilities are endless.

Again, the bottom line is that you are on your own. As you can guess, I would love any of the above presents, especially if you include me in your will.

Merry Christmas and Good Luck.

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