Notes from the Battlefield

More Christmas with Samantha BrownI made out like a bandit this Christmas — even now, the sheriff is standing next to his overturned patrol car at the county line, shaking his fist at me and slapping his good-natured but incompetent deputy over the head with his hat while calling him a “melon-farmer.” (I celebrated Christmas on TBS).

Everyone else, though, got screwed. It was as if I were waging a war on Christmas on a scale that would terrify even Bill O’Reilly. I had the best intentions, sure, but somehow it all fell apart. Everything was the wrong size, wrong format, a duplicate, or just plain not enough. I remember wandering through stores, looking for exactly the perfect gift, and even thinking I had found a couple. But apparently something happened by the time we got to the unwrapping phase.

My brother’s got this weird magic gift-giving gene, though. Where I would plunk down a chunk of cash on something and wrap it, he goes for the bundle, accessories, and an accompanying magazine to commemorate the gift. And where I would give up and just buy a gift card in a panic, he puts the gift card in a box within a box with a specially-printed label and wraps the whole thing up. Not to mention — he got me a Wii, which he had to get up early and stand in line for.

And then he kept doing the Steve Jobs “one more thing” bit, pulling gifts and books and gift cards and animatronic chimpanzees out of nowhere because apparently exactly what I wanted wasn’t enough. I was just embarrassed at the excess of stuff coming my way. But pleasantly embarrassed, which is what I’m used to.