People always start these things by saying 'Now that I'm older...'
Of course you're older. You're either older, or you're dead. Period.
Well, I am older. And I have come to realize that there's really no such thing as a 'bad' Christmas, birthday, or other-occasion gift. Any gift is something somebody wanted you to have. If it was a that bad a mismatch, get to know that person better, for later on. Work on that stuff.
Having said that, there are times when things just go horribly wrong.
Example 1: I was about 11, and my Dad decided to give my brother and I a thing called a 'Hermit Crab Lab' for Christmas. Basically, it's the same thing you see in every mall these days: Plastic tank with a vented top, some sand in the bottom, extra shells for the crabs to move in and out of, as is their nature.
We will never know why; maybe it was a little too much Absolut Christmas cheer, but, Dad and his girlfriend (at the time) made the decision to leave the Crab Lab in the trunk of the car overnight, on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, the Crab Lab came with two actual live crabs, neither of whom were prepared or knowledgeaible enough to survive a New England winter evening in the trunk of a car.
So, Christmas morning, it's time to open presents, and, well, I should point out here that we have an older sister too. who wasn't included in the Crab Lab experience. Perhaps giving your teenage daughter crabs on Christmas morning is considered 'bad form', in some places?? I mean, this IS New Hampshire, but, come on, right??
Anyway, we're opening stuff, mostly AC/DC and Kiss cassette tapes and maybe some socks, and then it's time to open the Crab Lab. Long story short, the crabs simply didn't make it. We opened a box of cold hard reality, that morning, and never forgot it. Eventually a trip to the pet store got us some new recruits for the Lab, who lived for about 6 weeks. Basically, hermit crabs are giant bugs that live in a shell, and they're just not that interesting. I'd rather have a lava lamp, to be quite honest.
Example 2: My Mom, to the very last Christmas we still had her, always made sure we had a full stocking on Christmas morning. The strange thing was, as she got older, she seemed to get more and more of her stocking stuffers at CVS; We'd all get up bright and early on Christmas morning, and basically dump out a pile of lotion, shaving cream, deoderent, shampoo, and after shave, with a pouch of chocolate coins. We still can't figure out, to this day, what she was trying to tell us.
There was one year, though, that she really outdid herself, and decided it would be useful for us all to have our own thermometers. The only problem was, she grabbed them off the shelf, not realizing they were actually infant rectal thermometers. And on Christmas morning, as we all basically laughed our asses off, Mom collected these thermometers, and told us that this was the end of the subject. She didn't want to hear another word. Ever.
My stepfather, John, pointed out that it was already too late: This incident would be thrust into the 'annals' of our family Christmas history.
And so, as we all get older, try and remember that Christmas isn't about what you want, but what other people thought you should have. And be thankful nobody ever gave you a dead crab or a butt thermometer.
Merry Christmas and take care. I love you all, from the bottom of my pond!
Where are you?
Kid Frank knows what's up