Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Truly Useful Christmas Gifts for this Parent

christmas gifts presents

Truly Useful Christmas Gifts for this Parent

Dear Santa,
Kris K., my man! How long’s it been? A year? 
Sorry not to be in touch sooner, but you have to take some of the blame. It’s not like you don’t where to find me, Mr. Sees You When You’re Sleeping. Make it easy on me in 2017, and finally get a Snapchat account.
I know it’s always tough coming up with gift ideas for people like me (middle-aged trophy husbands with teenagers and a floundering writing career) so I thought I’d give you some boldface hints. In fact, some of the items on my list will surely benefit many others around the world. Here you go:
A self-loading dishwasher. This miracle cleaning machine will magically transfer the mess of glasses, plates and utensils my children pile up on the counter, usually mere inches from our current and boring old Whirlpool, onto its racks in the most perfect order — that’s back-to-front, kids — for maximum scrubbing and sanitizing efficiency. But that’s just if you gift me the basic model. The upgraded version would also take care of the pots and pans my wife leaves to soak overnight (for me to do in the morning, of course) when it was her turn to do the cleaning.
A soundproof retirement home for Disney stars after they reach age 17. We all endured enough of Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas and Selena Gomez when, as children, they sang cute and catchy Top 40 hits. I can’t be the only adult creeped out by hearing them sing about discovering their bodies, desires and — in the case of Cyrus — freakier sides as adults.
A “Star Wars” safe place. For both people who don’t want to hear spoilers for the new flick, and the rest of the population tired of being bombarded by trailers, merchandise tie-ins and general mania for a franchise that hasn’t produced an above-average film in 32 years.
A faster metabolism. With all the eggnog, peppermint bark and gingerbread cookies that must be enjoyed this holiday season, this would sure be more helpful and healthy than last year’s gift of extensions for the elastic in my sweatpants.
Less trivial outrage in the media — social and otherwise. Plain red holiday coffee cups at Starbucks ticking off Christians. Friends upset with other friends because they did or didn’t put a French flag overlay on their Facebook photos. The world has many problems, and these and the color of dress (which was gold and white, right?) shouldn’t be among the ones that have our mouths foaming like an overpriced cappuccino.
Mostly holiday-song-free Novembers in the future. Forget the imaginary War on Christmas; let’s have a Beat Down on Christmas Songs Played Before the First Thanksgiving Day NFL Kickoff. For example, my daughter discovered our satellite radio added the “Holly” channel on Nov. 2. That has meant my ears being bombarded for all the weeks since by commercial-free rockin’ around the uprooted pagan bush and tunes about you necking with people’s mommas. (Even you get tired of that last one, right? I know Mrs. Claus does.) This ban would also include still out-of-season seasonal tunes like “Winter Wonderland,” “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” and “Margaritaville.”
A good movie role for Johnny Depp. If all a guy once revered as among the greatest actors of his generation can get these days are “Mortdecai” and retreads of pirate Jack Sparrow, The Mad Hatter and Hunter S. Thompson, it’s no wonder he sacrificed all his artistic principles to cash in with that bizarre perfume ad.
A salad spinner. I need one. Seriously. Unless you can instead invent slime-resistant lettuce.
That’s it, my jolly old friend. Merry Christmas to you and the wife and, since I know you run a diverse work place, Happiest of Holidays to all your elves around the world. And don’t forget to pick up after Blitzen this time.
-- A version of this was first ignored by the readers of The Stamford Advocate. Photo:

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