Written : 01/04/04

Itís that time of year again, Christmas time. Or more accurately, it was that time of year again. The event itself is long done, but the season still lingers and wonít be gone until sometime around the time when school starts again. Our happy little holiday has come and gone, but like every year before, it has left its mark on pretty much everyone. As much as I hate to admit it, Christmas is celebrated by pretty much everyone and anyone, except the Jews. And Iím pretty sure they get a little of the spirit anyway, what with it being everywhere. Christmas is no longer a special holiday for us good little Christians, but an event for everyone. While thatís probably for the best, it seems a little unfair. But Iím not writing an essay on the commercialization of Christmas, so Iíll shut up about that before I really offend anyone.

Cartoon characters argue about it all the time, and Iím not exactly sure of it, but I think Christmas is about giving, getting, love, the birth of Christ, and delicious baked goods all at the same time. I mean why not get a little bit of all the good stuff? Why settle for one meaning when you can have 5? It just makes sense. Today Iím gonna be focusing more on the giving side. In the wrong context, that sounds kinda dirty. As I did for Easter and my birthday, Iím going to be doing a rundown of every gift and treat that I got this Christmas. Unlike the former two, this one is gonna be divided into 2 pages. Why? Because I can.

The first page (this one, for those of you who are a little slower) will show off the stocking stuffers and all the gifts that I got from people that donít live in my house. After all that is through, youíll find a link taking you to page 2. There, you can see all the stuff I got from my parents, my brothers, and the legendary Santa Claus (minus the stocking crap). Also, Iíll show a couple things that were addressed to the family rather than exclusively to myself. Then itíll be done and Iíll provide a link to the Articles board in my message boards where you can discuss all sorts of crazy crap. Then comes my sig and e-mail address and then youíll have to find something else to read. So letís get started already!

Actually, on one last note, the pics are a little bit lower quality than usual because my webcam software doesn't get along with Windows 2000, so just bear with it for now until I find a proper substitute.

As I stated in that long and unnecessary intro, weíll start with the stocking stuffinís and then move on to gifts from grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. One little note before I start, not everything got immortalized in a picture, some stuff (mostly money) couldnít be present at the time so I had to do without. Of course, Iíll make mention of the gift and who it came from, just for the sake of completeness. So, hereís my stocking:

As you can see (if you look close enough), it has been stuffed to the point where itís become misshapen and somewhat pointy. I myself hadnít really rooted through it before I took the pics, I was waiting to get a picture of it before I was tempted to eat the delectable goodies that were sure to lurk inside. And lurk they certainly did. Letís dump it out and see whatís inside.

Ah, quite the pile of mess Iíve made. Thatís the second thing Iíve typed that sounds really wrong without the proper context. While we can clearly make out a few things in the pile, I feel some strange need to arrange it neatly and take another picture so that you can tell what everything is without a detailed description. At this point I can see that itís not quite as full of exciting stuff like it has been in past years, but the candy haul looks decent, so Iím happy.

Ok, time for a list. In this bag we have:

  • A stuffed novelty Dallas Cowboys football. My dad was jealous until he got his.
  • A chocolate Santa on a stick. Clearly came from the same mold as the chocolate Easter Bunny on a stick.
  • Circular Candy Cane. So many Cís, none of them worth it. O_o
  • A gift certificate for some book store. I was far too disinterested to know which one or how much itís worth.
  • Box of 5 CD-Rs. I guess half a box is better than none. Though I still have 13 left over from the birthday.
  • Net full of chocolate Santas. Also mysteriously shaped like the Easter Bunny chocolates.
  • Gift card for Blockbuster. This could be useful when I need to rent video games, unlock my door or pretend I have an important person keycard.
  • A stick of deodorant. Not my preferred brand, but itíll do.
  • 5-pak of Tic-Tacs. That rhymed. Sweet.
  • Many, many Life Savers. All in a small, festive, book-like box
  • Mini-milk carton with the Cat in the Hat on it. I hate that cat. Apparently, the carton is filled with Whoppers. Anybody want some Whoppers?
  • Finally, a box of Hot Tamales. The cream of the crop? Yes.

I usually donít do lists, especially unordered lists, but itís a special occasion. I think that in the end I made out pretty good on the candy front. I ended up with a box or Hot Tamales and a ton of Tic-Tacs. Those could have been the only things in the stocking and Iíd have been fine. The Candy Cane thing is a good entry, but I frown upon the Whoppers. CD-Rís are nice to have, but Iíve got a ton already. And the money substitutes will no doubt come in handy sooner or later. I donít buy books until I have a gift certificate, so itís time for me to do some reading! So now that thatís covered, Iíll move on to the presents. Mmmm presents.

Wouldnít you know it, I just got out of a veritable grab bag and stumbled into a second. My grandparents always send a bag of useful-type stuff, littered with other less-useful fun things. This one came with deodorant (more Mitchum? Dammit! I told everyone I like Brut!), plenty of hair gel (it just hit me now that the blue bottle came in the stockingÖ), dental floss, gum, free golf, movie money, a scarf (which hadnít left my neck until I took the pics), and some mittens. There was also a pair of boxers and some socks, but they were in the washing machine while I was taking the pics. I also got a new hockey stick, which is sadly enough in the same state as my old one; brand new. Not the absolute greatest stuff, but damned if I wonít appreciate getting it all.

One of my uncles gave me fifty bucks. It came in a nice card which is now sitting on one of the many tables in my living room. My aunt and uncle who live way in Ontario sent a card with another forty dollars enclosed. It has also found a home somewhere in the living room among all the other cards. The money wasnít able to show up because I didnít feel like finding my wallet. It always gets lost in my room. Perhaps I should look for it? Nah. When I need it, itíll find me. Thatís what wallets do.

Next up is the stuff from my other set of grandparents. The dark mass on the left is a new pair of jeans. They fit suspiciously well for new jeans. The only other jeans that have fit so well are jeans that have been worn in, but these had the tags and everything, so they certainly arenít second-hand. Up on top is Big Shiny Tunes 8. Iíve been complaining that ever since 5, theyíve just been getting crappier each year, but I canít complain with this one. Itís not too bad for a bunch of bands I never heard of. I still donít like Linkin Park or Simple Plan, but ďGet LooseĒ by The Salads makes it all worth it. If you havenít heard the song, go listen to it now. Absolute best song from a band named after food ever. EVER.

And if you canít make out the title, the big block on the right is a Shmuzzle Puzzle. Never heard of Ďem? Well nor had I until I saw it on TV, and then I knew I had to have it. Itís only 160-some pieces, but theyíre all the exact same! And they fit together in like a billion ways, so I assume that itís gonna be quite the challenge to get this bad boy done. The box even says itís a twin threat to my sanity. But I love puzzles and threats to my sanity, so I know Iíll enjoy doing it.

From another of my aunt and uncles, I got this little treasure; Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga. If you liked Super Mario RPG, youíll more than likely enjoy this one. If you liked Paper Mario too, youíll definitely love this. Itís the perfect cross between the two, and I absolutely love it. There isnít a single thing I canít say a good thing about in this game. The story is great, the dialogue is hilarious, the graphics and sound are spot-on, and itís about 20 hours for an expert (good time for a GameBoy RPG). Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, itís fun too. The battle system is very interactive and you canít really take your eyes off the action like in most RPGs. I love it. Plus, itís got the Mario Bros. game I get hooked on so easily and finally an unofficial two-player option for those with a GameCube and a GameBoy Player.

From my cousin, another Big Shiny CD. Big Shiny 90ís this time. Mucho better than the other one, because itís got music thatís closer to my preferred music era. Not only that, but itís 2 CDs! Talk about your sweet deals. The not sweet deal is that itís Volume 2, and I donít have any volume 1 to speak of so I guess Iíll have to go searching for that now. Itís still a great compilation and I highly recommend it. From the fragments of commercial I can pick out of my memory I think the first one was better, but as it stands, I like this one just fine.

Iím not quite at 2000 words yet, but itís time for me to make the move into the next page, which will be a bot longer. OopsÖ Iíll leave it to your imagination whether that was supposed to be ďbitĒ or ďlotĒ. Maybe I really did want to spell ďbotĒ. Maybe I should quit trying to squeeze in a bunch of extra words to make the unspoken quota. Then again, most of the tags are counting as words so itís a little inaccurate. But that donít matter, weíll just say I ended this page with a healthy 1900 words. Be sure to click on the link below to find out what the rest of my gifts were. If you donít, Iíll know. And then Iíll get you for it.

Click here to see part 2!!

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