The gift of giving can be free
Today’s fortune cookie reads:
“Don’t worry about money.
The best things in life are free.”
Negative powers, activate!
Alas, this one is far too easy. What’s the universe trying to tell me? Obviously that I’m never going to have money so I need to avoid the Christmas rush and start preparing for it now. The last line is merely a lame attempt to make me feel better about the whole thing.
Thanks for rubbing it in, universe.
Ever see the sort of person who steps outside and breathes deeply and says, “At least I have fresh air in my lungs! And the feel of the warmth of the sun on my face!”
I’d rather have the damn money, thank you very much.
The universe obviously feels differently and thus shoved that fortune in my face. So, in the spirit of that message, I’ve been thinking about Christmas gifts that don’t cost a penny.
A lot of people like to say, “Make your own gifts.” Screw that. All you end up with is a piece of crap that no one wants. “Look! Here’s an Eiffel Tower I made for you out of paper clips.” I think a better idea is to give the gift of service. And that’s something you can always do even if you are a tightwad (like most people I know) or just plain broke as hell (like me).
Before Christmas I had given my wife two service gift ideas. One was finding my leather gloves that have been missing since last winter. (I can’t stand the feeling of a cold steering wheel on my dainty little fingers. The heater in my car is broken.) The other idea was to find my missing Smothers Brothers CD because I want to upload a song to YouTube and share it with y’all.
Well, she didn’t do either. Instead she bought me gifts that I really enjoyed like a remote control helicopter. (It’s nice to have at least one practical gift each Christmas.) She also gave me a flashlight after I stormed around the house many, many times during the last few months bitching, “I can’t believe I live in a house without at least one goddamn flashlight!” I love that thing and it even fits in my coat pocket, right next to my skinning knife, so I can take it everywhere I go.
Yesterday I was bitching and moaning about the lack of effort on her part to come through on either of my “service gift” ideas. Suddenly she was determined. She went out to my car convinced she’d find the missing gloves there, but I had already looked there, too. I was convinced they were gone, and I was right.
Finally she gave up on the quest and came to my office to report the bad news. As she was standing there, she happened to glance at my bookcase. There, on one of the lower shelves, she spotted the gloves, laying out in the open plain as day. Oh yeah, that’s where they went! I’m still smarting from how hard she punched me after that one.
The Smothers Brothers CD is still MIA.
For our son, the gerbil, I had two other service gift ideas. Since he’s so poor (not counting his food stamps) and still without a job of any kind I figured he’d really appreciate a way to give his mom some inexpensive gifts. But he found solution completely on his own, though, also known as “absolutely nothing.” A clever and audacious move.
I have to give him credit. On Christmas Eve while opening his gifts he lamely tried to have a guilty look on his face. You still got a long way to go, son.
My ideas for him were simple. One was to arrange a pickup truck, provide the manual labor, and unload our storage unit stuff into our garage. Since that damn thing costs us $50 a month that would be a yearly gift of $600 of savings, and that’s pretty good! The other idea was he could fix her walk-in closet and hang up all her clothes. (Yeah, I ain’t got a round to it yet.)
Time will tell if he’ll come through on either idea, but I won’t hold my breath…