Are you just waking up from the chaos in your life to realize that CHRISTMAS IS COMING, THE GEESE ARE GETTING FAT? And that you haven't sent one card, present, tub of Omahas, or thin slice of US currency? Calm yourself. There's plenty of time....hey, the USPS is still on the job!
Here's Gran's 2008 suggestions for gifts, and this year, Gran is taking the economy into account. Nothing here over $25-$30 or so.
1) Can of tennis balls. So what if they don't play tennis? Do they have a dog? Do they need to strengthen their wrists? Do they like to bounce a ball while they wait for public transportation?
2) Obama apparel: t-shirt, hat, sweatshirt, muffler. The Inauguration is coming, and it's still in January. (Maybe Obama can do something about THAT, too.)
3) New USD$2 bill. Heeey....this has historical value in this momentous year of social and cultural change. [Grannies: do the math...if you have 7 grandkids like Xtreme English, the usual tab for those crisp bills for the little mutts' cards is $350. With the new USD$2 bill, it'd be $14!! tadatadatadabingbinglebing (sound of grandma doing a bit of tarantella on top of the kitchen table). One of the banks, which shall be nameless, has a post on "Top ten gifts for Christmas." In it, they seriously badmouth giving cash as thoughtless and disrespectful; they suggest giving a nice CD at 3%. Isn't that just like a bank? I think this one was founded by Scrooge and Marley, or is it Marley and Scrooge?
4) Disposable digital camera. They can take pictures this Christmas and send them to the relatives they didn't invite.
5) Whole Foods Gift Card. Forget the bulky Omaha Steaks. A Whole Foods Gift Card can be purchased online, shipped in an envelope, and redeemed at any WF store anywhere. Unlike steaks, they never go bad or expire. Maybe your giftees don't eat meat or cooked food....they will love you when they buy their cans of tuna or bags of raw organic carrots with their WF Gift Card. Maybe they'll even have enough left for a bottle of Mad Dog 50/50!!
6) Homemade cookies. Well, that's ambitious...maybe just cookies. A case of Oreos?? As they say in real estate parlance, it shows well. Looks nice all wrapped up.
7) A year's subscription to Street Sense, the best newspaper in DC--"Where the Washington Area's poor and homeless earn and give their two cents." An annual subscription is $40, which is above our limit, but you can buy a copy of Street Verses, a compilation of vendor writings and poetry for just $12.50 (including shipping).
8) A DVD of "Pauwel's Circus," a documentary that takes a look at a family of European clowns whose heritage in the circus world stretches back more than a century. This was a fabulous little film, although I do confess I snoozed on and off through all but the first and last five minutes. I'm still looking for the piece of paper the filmmaker herself gave me last Sunday. It has the address of the distributor in Belgium....More on this later.
9) Did I mention cards? A Christmas card is very popular this time of year. Xtreme English stopped sending them in bulk back about the time she quit ironing and making her bed, but people do love to get them, especially with a letter inside, which has the added value of being a nice surprise.
10) A Bhangra DVD or download. Bhangra is Punjabi folk music and dance that is taking the dance clubs by storm. This is happy music, peeps! Great for workouts...more fun than the tarantella. Here's a sample: