I've been away from the blog for a bit, gang, sorry. I'd tell you why, but it's a long explanation full of all those messy little personal details that are really only important to me. Suffice it to say, John Lennon put it best when he said "Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans." (I don't know if he said it first, but he set it to music, so I'll give it to him.)
I was able to keep up the Twitter updates for those of you who've been following me there. I hope you're enjoying it as much as I have been. 140 characters is a pretty darn good-sized box to put a thought into most times. Though I shall have to be careful not to again engage the Glenn Beck drones who scour the feeds looking for negative references to their misguided pedagogue and cannot decide amongst themselves on the proper spelling of "LaRouche." (Two hours of my life that I will never get back.)
Anyway, I have noticed (much to my chagrin) that the holiday shopping commercials have begun already. There was one the other night from ebay reminding consumers of the "evils" of handmade gifts. (I guess it really isn't the thought that counts. Oy.)
Now, I will forego my usual tirade about consumerism, the debasing of the holidays by merchants, and the idea that familial love can be measured by the size of one's MasterCard balance.
Instead I will respond to the first of the holiday jingles with the first of my blogs devoted to alternative holiday gifts.
Now, I'm not suggesting that (Frosty forbid) you should refrain from buying your little emos and emettes the newest version of Dance Dance Revolución. Rudolph's little red nose would surely be extinguished if every adolescent in America didn't have a wii stick in their hands by December 26th.
I am simply suggesting that you might still be able to appease the elf gods for those individuals on your list in the "hard-to-buy-for" category while incorporating a bit of altruism as well.
Did Cousin Josie show up to your Halloween party dressed as a blue-footed booby?
Well, she might appreciate it if you skipped the Glamour Shots gift card this year and instead paid a visit to the World Wildlife Fund's Gift Center. There you can buy all kinds of gifts that will support wildlife conservation and even adopt endangered fauna in her name. (Haven't you always wanted a wombat?)
You get to show your cousin that you understand what's close to her heart and maybe, just maybe, somewhere a reindeer gets to graze in peace without fear of a winking ex-governor in a low-flying plane.
And technically you're still buying a gift, so Santa (also known as the Egg Nog Czar) won't have to climb down your chimney and break your fingers. Oh what do you care, you've got great insurance, right?