‘Tis the giving season — of thanks, and of PRESENTS! — and while it’s very satisfying to give someone a present they absolutely adore, it’s also damn fun to give them a present they will always remember. And sometimes, that meansĀ  massaging an in-joke, or even creating one. After all, those require a fair bit of thought, too. So I’m curious what silly or snarky presents you’ve deployed that make you especially proud of your cunning. I don’t think I’m especially good at it, though my dad was. My mom, too; one year she wrapped up some green velvet Doc Marten boots that I had repeatedly not brought back home from her house, and her side of the family at one point had a gold-plated shoehorn that went around to a different member every year for a while. I once gave Kevin one of those camera doorbells, and he never did anything with it, so I wrapped it up and gave it to him again the next year. (He knows I love putting those sticky-backed bows on my head and body while opening presents, so usually gives me one present with twelve of them on it.) (Yes, they’re the same ones; I round them up every year and put them with the tissue paper and the gift bags for re-use.)

The one Kevin liked best was the first year he was working in Canada. Something leaked all over the shelf in the fridge — the one on top of the produce drawers — during his first weekend back to visit, and he was very excited to be home and helpful, so he promptly took everything out and removed the shelf to wash it off… and it exploded in the sink. I do mean exploded. The entire thing shattered and shot tiny glass pieces everywhere, which we realized was because it was too quick a transition from very cold fridge to very warm water. (Had I been cleaning it, the pieces would’ve gotten in my eyes, but he is tall enough to avoid a hit. Small mercies.) Anyway, we had one large and one medium cutting board that were the right depth and together fit across the space with only a small overlap, so we got the fridge functional again and then promptly kept forgetting to figure out how to acquire the replacement part. I finally ordered it and wrapped it up and gave it to him for Christmas. It was HUGE. The boys were so bummed it wasn’t something exciting, but Kevin thought it was pretty funny, so I call it a win.

Your turn! Give us your gifting tales: your brainwaves, your inside jokes, even your hilarious ideas gone wrong.

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