Holiday anecdote: this year, Santa brought me a rape whistle.
Background: my dad's side of the family — the large, Irish-Catholic side — traditionally celebrates on Christmas Eve. The highlight of the evening is when one of the older men in the family (before he passed, it was my grandpa; now it's an uncle) dresses up as Santa and yells at us about how crappy we are at singing Christmas carols, or, for the kids, how poorly behaved we were at Sunday school the previous week. Crabby Santa eventually tells each of the kids that they've been good enough to merit a Christmas gift (BUT BARELY) and then hands out gifts to all of the adults, often mispronouncing our names. Then Santa leaves. Then we all open our gifts.
The kids get "good" gifts. The adults get joke gifts. My joke gift this year was a bright orange EMERGENCY WHISTLE that advertises itself as capable of making a sound so loud that it can be heard under water.
On one hand: useful. On the other: pretty morbidly funny to imagine that Santa, a mythical figure who breaks into homes at night, is concerned about my avoidance of rape. My brother got me a shirt that says THREE E'S OF VICTORY: EXERCISE, EVASION, EXCUSES- STATE FUCKING CHAMPIONS" because of an inside joke (my dad does not like that inside joke). I got my brother the Colonel Sanders Christmas Album on LP even though he doesn't have a working record player. Weird and bad gifts, if properly deployed, can be the very best gifts.
Now it's your turn, readers. What's the weirdest, worst, or worst-best gift you got this year?
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