Every Christmas, I take inventory of the holiday gifts that my wife, Elysha, gives me.
Some people wish for cashmere sweaters, the latest gadget, stylish watches, and jewelry. My hope is often for the least pretentious, most unexpected, most nostalgic, quirkiest little gift possible, and Elysha never fails to deliver.
When it comes to gift giving, Elysha is brilliant. More than the gifts themselves, her choices tell me that she knows me.
She sees me more clearly than any other person in my life.
For the past 12 years, I’ve been documenting that inventory of gifts that she has given me on Christmas because they are so damn good. Every year has been just as good as the last, if not better.
- The 2009 Christmas haul included a signed edition of a Kurt Vonnegut novel.
- The 2010 Christmas haul included a key that I still use today.
- The 2011 Christmas haul included my often-used Mr. T in a Pocket.
- The 2012 Christmas haul included my fabulous No button.
- The 2013 Christmas haul included a remote controlled helicopter.
- The 2014 Christmas haul included an “I Told You So” pad.
- The 2015 Christmas haul included schadenfreude mints: “As delicious as other people’s misery.”
- The 2016 haul featured a commissioned painting of the map of my childhood Boy Scout camp.
- The 2017 haul featured a commissioned painting of my grandparent’s farmhouse.
- The 2018 haul featured a Viewmaster Viewer with photos of the family.
- My 2019 haul featured a fantastic cord organizer (it says a lot about me that I loved it so much)
- My 2020 haul featured An artist’s rendering of all seven of my books, plus the books from which we derived our children’s names, the first gift Elysha ever gave me (a book), and a couple of my favorite books of all time.
This year was pretty fantastic.
- A portable 30 second Dance Party button, complete with German emcee
- Three desktop games: tetherball, scoop & catch, and boxing
- Golf balls (a new, upstart brand), tees, and a ball retriever
- Chattering teeth
- Slaughter House-Five, the graphic novel
- Interesting Stories for Curious People
- A box of Jesus-themed bandages
- A Far Side calendar
- Fart whistle
- A new brand of shaving cream
- A 5 in 1 keychain and a telescopic keychain
- A paddle board, convertible to a kayak, complete with waterproof, bluetooth speaker and waterproof iPhone case
The paddle board and speaker will likely become my favorite gift once summer arrives,. but for now, the 30 second Dance Party is top of the list.
I hope you received gifts just as brilliant as these this holiday season.