You know you’re getting old when the holidays exhaust you before they even get here. I think it is mostly the stress of getting everybody shopped for, packages wrapped and planning that fantastic meal that all the family so looks forward to. 

Except in my case — with me being allergic to the stove and all.

When I start out shopping, I always end up getting everybody the same type of gift. This year it was clothes. Clothes for everybody. I’ll just put the receipt in with the gift. Let them take it back if they don’t like it. I’ll plead youth deficiency and get out of traipsing in that murderous after-Christmas crowd that is exchanging and returning and fussin’ and fightin.’

I try to always give an appropriate gift that the giftee will like and use. There are some sorry tales out there about giving inappropriate gifts. 

Here’s Dale’s list of dos and you might better nots:

To the husbands: Do not, I repeat, do not give your wife a pocket taser stun gun for Christmas. Things like that have a way of backfiring with a sizable kick when her hormones are spiking.

Don’t give her a subscription to Hustler magazine. She won’t appreciate it. She might even set it on fire and throw it in the doghouse after you.

Do not give her an orange polyester pantsuit. This doesn’t need an explanation; just don’t do it.

Unless you really want a divorce, don’t give her $50 worth of pennies. Cash gifts usually mean you didn’t have time to shop — which translates to her as — you’re insensitive and don’t care enough. What that means to you is a not-so-fun New Year’s Eve.

When in doubt — diamonds are always in style and the perfect gift - the bigger, the better. (Ladies, you can thank me later).

To the wives: Do not give him a tired old tie. It’s been done to death. 

Don’t give him a musical jewelry box with a dancing ballerina on top. Chances are, he’s not of the right persuasion to appreciate it.

Don’t give him a half pack of tube socks. He’s going to know you’ve got somebody on the side.

Do not give him a full set of the complete works of Sigmund Freud unless he takes appointments and has a couch in his office.

Do not re-wrap that statue of Elvis with the clock in the tummy (the one that Aunt Jane gave you on your birthday) and give it to him. After all, you have to like him a little bit, you married him.

When in doubt — try a Heritage Softtail Classic Harley Davidson motorcycle. They start at $17,000 and are guaranteed to cure his mid-life crisis and keep him out of your hair for many, many months — maybe even years. Look on it as an investment. It’ll do you as much good as a facelift.

My Christmas wish for you: Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas. May everything you give; be it goodwill, love and/or material possessions, be returned to you tenfold.

The Supreme Court ruled that there cannot be a Nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This isn’t for any religious or constitutional reason, they simply have not been able to find three wise men and a virgin in the nation’s capital. There was no problem, however, finding enough asses to fill the stable.

Jay Leno

DALE LILLY  is Lifestyles Editor and can be contacted at Lifestyles@desototimes.com.

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