Children dream of hooves trotting lightly across the roof and Grandmas search for the largest turkey out there to cook for the family. While days on the advent calendar are missing cheap chocolate, we aren’t really sure what’s going on in the minds of our men. Really, amongst the Christmas cheer, a teensy bit of fear creeps into women’s hearts — we aren’t too sure what to expect under that garnished fir.
The first Christmas I spent with my husband, I regarded the gift that seemingly showed up under the tree at the last moment, wondering what could be under there. I soon realized my thoughts of sparkling jewels or some other elaborate luxury were just newlywed delusions.
Christmas morning arrived in all its glory and with the taste of black coffee on my tongue I roared with laughter and thought the man was ingenious! “Way to go! Good idea to pack the gift in a Mark’s Work Warehouse box — great trick!”
Carefully peeling back the paper I realized this was foreshadowing what sort of Christmases to be prepared for in years to come —the gift really was from Mark’s Work Warehouse.
After being married for several years and racking up quite an extensive collection of items from places such as UFA and Peavey Mart, I know to be wary when there is some oddly-shaped package beneath the greenery. Because of a shiny new aluminum shovel and a logical set of booster cables for the truck, I wasn’t really surprised when I unwrapped a strange little saw. When he saw the puzzled expression on my face, holding that tiny saw in my hands, he calmly stated, “Well, I just couldn’t seem to find anything that suited you in Home Depot.” This is where The Rules begin. Rule number one: get out of Home Depot.
While joking with friends about the practical gifts that seem to get shoved under the tree I realized my sorrow seems to be shared — across the board really. Hearing about grain bins, guns, and various tools, my gifted long red underwear (for working outside in) seemed to be in good company. My girlfriend’s husband won the trophy in some kind of mythical terrible gift-giving contest and made a set of rules that were formerly something only chatted about, into some sort of reality. This tall boy rancher from out east thought it might be some kind of good idea to buy his very pregnant wife a pair of fencing pliers and a pitchfork — this way she wouldn't be using (imply losing) his. I know every woman reading this is shaking her head right now and feeling a bit of pain for this dear lady, and feeling a bit of pain for the husband too, knowing which direction that pitchfork would have been turned.
So, our dear men of Alberta, The Rules will be passed along to you, partly for your safety, partly for your ease, and mainly for all the women out there.
The Rules: Gift Giving Guidelines
• Always consult guide before buying a gift;
• Never disregard any rules in guide;
• post somewhere you will never lose or forget about it.
A) If you can write it off, do not even consider this an option.
B) Do not look in stores such as Canadian Tire, Princess Auto, UFA, Peavy Mart, or Mark’s Work Warehouse. If a store sells similar stuff as the above listed stores walk — no —run away! If you are picking up parts or tools for yourself, this is not the type of shop to continue shopping for the woman in your life.
C) Consult with your mom, sisters, or another knowledgeable female until you have the hang of gift giving. This may require a few decades. If they say it’s terrible, here’s a hint: it’s terrible, don’t go ahead with the plan!
D) Listen for hints and clues. Some hints might not be intentional or direct at all, like a phrase, “hey, I might buy that rusty little star in January when it’s on sale!” Who are we kidding though —most hints are beyond intentional. Please don’t buy me tools, but get me a new book, means exactly that. Take heed!
E) Forget the plastic bag that came from the store and actually pull said gift out and wrap with care (or get your sister, child, random stranger to). Putting time and thought into wrapping and lo and behold those things called cards makes it more personal. The illusion that more thought was placed into it, rather than just picking something up at Cactus Corner while you fueled up.
F) If the gift cleans up the yard, house, vehicle —helps a person cook/do laundry, etc. ... shall we be blunt? This is a stupid idea. No matter what, a gift should not involve any work or be any kind of household appliance. Gifts should be some kind joy and luxury, not work. This is a key rule —tears or anger may result if ignored.
G) Gifts should be bought at shops that make you uncomfortable and could possibly make you keep your hands to yourself, so you don’t break anything!