I'm headed to Singapore in a few hours, so this will probably be my last post for a couple of days. Seeing that the Christmas presents that I receive each year always make for a wonderful, wild and woolly assortment, I feel compelled to describe the madness that was waiting under the tree earlier this evening.
I'll ignore the usual stuff this year; every year there's usually somebody who gives me a shirt of some sort, and maybe a Parker ballpen (the last resort of the uncreative). This year, however, I got off easy — while I did get the expected shirt, it was of a color and design that was entirely wearable. Apart from that, there was a Scrabble dice game waiting for me, a pair of pajamas, some soap, a supply of chili-flavored sardines, and a belt with a copper crocodile etched on the buckle.
Those, in case you were wondering, were the mundane gifts. I've saved the most remarkable ones for your reading pleasure:
The Good: One of my best friends decided to give me a chess set. That alone should have been cause for celebration... but on top of that, it's a chess set made of hand-carved glass. With individually-stored pieces. In its own styrofoam packaging.
I'm extremely giddy about the possibility of displaying it on a coffee table somewhere, and actually playing a few games. I do have a couple of other chess sets around the house, but this is the first time I've owned something that implies a certain level of classiness and luxury with regards to my gaming hobbies. Do I need any other excuse to feel happy about owning one?
The Bad: I received a nice little office set from an acquaintance, which includes a little pencil holder, a handy refillable sheet of post-it notes, and a storage bin for paper clips. It also comes with a printed calendar, which would have been nice if it weren't for the fact that the dates are completely wrong. Yes, I do appreciate the gift — but it is kind of a downer that somebody would design a calendar that doesn't work.
The Weird: My siblings game me a cow. Unfortunately, no, it's not a stuffed toy... rather, it's a plastic cow bank where I can store my loose change.
Did I mention that it's about two feet wide, one foot square, and scares the living daylights out of my beanbag pikachu? I hate to imagine how I'm supposed to cart it around once it's full.
Oh, and did I mention that it moos whenever I put a coin into the slot?
Yes, that's right — it moos whenever I put a coin into the slot. We tried it out mere minutes after I opened the box. My sister took pictures. I will post them once I get my grubby little hands on her camera.
An hour after we finished opening our presents, I brought mine upstairs and started emptying my container of coins into the massive bovine. And for one moment just before midnight, the hills came alive with the sound of moosic.
I like the gift, mind you... it caters perfectly to my sense of humor, and I can show it around to people just so that they can get a good laugh. But for goodness' sakes, where am I supposed to put it? How many coins am I likely to feed it before I get completely sick of its audio mechanism? And how long will it be before the neighbors become quite unsettled with the incessant cow sounds?
Ah, well. It's Christmas anyway; they can afford to be generous.