Every year at Christmas time my mother asks the family the same question. "What is your most memorable Christmas gift?" My father recalls a bicycle that he received when he was in his pre-teen years. He was somewhat displeased at the time, since this present was his sole Christmas gift and his other siblings seemed to receive many more. Quite certain that he had been gypped, Dad spent the better part of Christmas morning pouting about the room, instead of relishing his new bike. His actions caught the attention of his father (my grandfather, of course), who instructed him to go for a spin on his new gift. This all took place in Indiana, and I don't know if you've ever been there in the grips of winter, but you've probably heard stories and read news reports. With sleet and snow pouring down, my father tested his new wheels and learned a lesson at the same time.
My brother and I have our favorite gift nailed down. We can't tell you the name of it, much less explain what it was in great detail, since we were less than 10-years-old when we received it, but it was the best darn gift you could ever hope to get. The best gift that anyone could hope to get, for crying out loud! It was some sort of racetrack thing with motorized cars or something. I don't really know, but I do remember that we played with that thing until it broke, which was early in February of the next year if I remember correctly. In our family photo albums there are grainy, yellowish photos of Curt and me sitting next to said amazing gift with expressions of wonderment on our faces aimed at Dad, who is patiently trying to build the damned racetrack so his boys can take in the true greatness of it all.
With that in mind, I have a couple gift ideas for you and your loved ones, regardless of your religion or heritage, this is supposed to be a time for giving, so feel free to take from my ideas here so you can build a memorable holiday experience.
Race Track Game. I don't care what it is or what it's called or what it means, racetrack games kick butt. Any TYCO product will do just fine (most of which never work, but are nevertheless cool because of the potential they hold, and by the way I'm almost certain that TYCO translates to "does not work - but you silly Americans think it will"). All a guy has to do to fall in love with one of these things is make a little racecar go so fast it flies off the track and smacks into the living room wall. After that, it's a matter of how fast is too fast? A question which can never be answered, of course, and a quest that is never ending. Race track game = YES.
Bubble Bath and other Beauty Products. Like most men, I don't know the first thing about women, but I've consulted all of my sources and they (all men) say that women want stuff from places like "Bath & Body Works" and "Victoria's Secret." Never mind the fact that she has 200 gallons of accumulated bubble bath and an entire linen closet full of scented, soapy stuff that she'll never use - you're merely saving her a trip to the store for the fragrant works. Stuff that smells pretty reminds men of women, so we end up getting suckered into those gift baskets that include "bath beads" and other nonsense that no one will ever use. Women usually smell nice no matter what, but that doesn't mean they can't use 5000 "Pearls of Paradise." Bath stuff = YES.
Happy holidays. I hope I helped out. If you get a racetrack for Christmas, give me a shout. If you get a bike for Christmas, be grateful. Be extremely grateful.