Monday, November 15, 2010

Entry 109: Christmas Shopping In Anal-Town

This is one of my favorite stories, and since it's just about that time for everyone to go Christmas-crazy I thought this an appropriate time to share.

I have an uncle.  He's handy and hard-working, but not exactly what you'd call a charmer.  He doesn't have a lot of what you might call "people skills."  He works hard all day, everyday, no sick leave, no vacation, and feels that everyone ought to do the same.  I can't imagine him hugging.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I don't think in all the years I've been alive that I've seen him wear anything but his slightly grease-stained jean shirt and jeans.  He has a low, grumbling voice and a long ponytail.

A couple of years ago he asked my mom to take over his Christmas shopping, which he claimed was so stressful that he couldn't handle it.  My mom agreed and he gave her money and a list.

Now let me clarify what I mean by "list."  He gave my mom an excel spreadsheet that had dozens of names of people that he gave gifts.  And, he had recorded every single thing he had ever bought going all the way back to the 80's!

What did I get in Christmas of '92?  A He-man action figure.  '96? $15 Blockbuster gift card.  Crazy.  Who keeps a list like that?  Plus, he bought for people who would stretch anyone's definition of "extended family."

People are strange and I love their little quirks.  I love the surprises people give you when you get a glimpse into their lives.  Forgo 'normal' people, my friends, and surround yourself with the interesting and bizarre.  You'll be much happier when you do!

Good luck shopping.

Caleb "I only shop for kids" Shreves


  1. That's awesome! Sometimes people really do surprise you, don't they? Sounds like he actually got you some cool gifts too! I used to watch He-man on Saturday morning cartoons. So much more fun than the my little pony fairy crap.

  2. Awesome. My extended family never get me anything personalized. Last year, they said they "didn't know" I was coming (I hadn't been able to make it the previous 2 years but we told them weeks earlier that I would be there) & all I got was a beanie, Reese's Pieces, & gum.

  3. Let me just say, I LOVE the title of this post!

    An excel spreadsheet, huh? Maybe I should try that. I can barely keep track of my car keys let alone what I bought my cousin's kid 10 years ago.

  4. Wow. That is some freaky kind of organisation. I don't even know what I got people last year or plan to get them this year for that matter of fact. And I thought I was organised...clearly I was massively wrong.

    Brought my little sisters birthday present today. She will be 6 and now has a version of an outfit I own. She cried when i dyed my hair read because she said it meant I didn't want to look like her any more so I think this will go down well. Would it be too weird if I wore my version on her birthday so she was like my mini me? Well...a blonde mini me?

  5. I love this story.
    Sometimes people completely surprise you.

  6. Thanks!

    Yeah, people will surely surprise you. Also, he doesn't appear to have a cutoff date for when he stops giving gifts. If you made it in under the kid-clause, you're grandfathered in forever!

    For instance, I'm 27 and he still gets me a gift certificate every year. I think the oldest person who still gets gifts is in their forties.

    I'm thinking about buying him a new blue denim workshirt one year, but I just don't know if he'd wear it...

    Seems pretty attached to the old one!