That is, most of us don’t.
As the years have progressed and the truth of ‘it’s the thought that counts’ finally penetrates the hardest of heads, gifts become more meaningful. They now show if the giver hasn’t got a clue or is incredibly insightful.
This year I got lucky, (in a tangible, gift-wise sense), with my Birthday and Xmas gifts. I don't remember greeting any of them with ‘What the fuck is this?’
(As an aside, I lump these two, significant occasions together, having been cursed with a birth date at the beginning of January. I’ve suffered from ‘combined present syndrome’ all my life. Anyone with a December/January birthday knows what I’m talking about.)
Alcohol flowed freely from all who know me well. (My new mate, Bob the Brit, sent a bottle of Gueuze Giradin 1882, black label beer from England at enormous cost.)
Spirits and beer are always well received. You should make a note of that. Now, please.
I received clear beer glasses after whinging to a friend about not having anything suitable for my beer reviews, and they were wrapped in a very nice Chevy T shirt. (That shirt may soon become a collector’s item if they go into receivership like they keep threatening.) Best of all not one paisley-patterned, puce coloured skivvy was received. (And a quick reminder to everyone not to send knick-knacks. Our next move is imminent and your cooperation is mandatory. With the exception of books, which I am still addicted to.)
My In-Laws stand out as the type who remember your likes and dislikes, and ensure a gift has meaning. For some reason they ignore the cost of postage and have forgotten the ease of lottery tickets and gift vouchers. They like to surprise people with actual items and I got some real clangers.
One of them was a 'Sexy Lady Car Air Freshener'. The obscene kind that will get you punched in the face by a feminist. Now, I look for inappropriate stuff like that, but you never see it in Supercheap or Autobarn. By the way, the Monaro is supposed to smell like fuel and oil but I’ll dangle her from my mirror until a female cop pulls me over and tears it off.
I mean the deodoriser.
Talking of cops, I got a speeding ticket. And I also got a shirt from the In-Laws. Huh? The two incidences meet up when I dragged my feet down to the station to absolve my sin whilst wearing the aforementioned shirt. I’m in total ignorance of the error about to be made. You see, the shirt reads ‘I am the Stig’. (The In-Laws must have remembered the race-car driver from the Top Gear show I like.) Anyway, I approach the glass door, checking out my well-muscled reflection, and only then do I see what I am wearing. In a cop’s eyes that particular combination of words changes to ‘I’m a dickhead, please punch me in the face’.
Thankfully it was lunch time. The lazy bastards actually lock themselves away from scumbags like me for a couple of hours.
I scarpered, and that shirt is now designated ‘wear at home only’.