Yesterday I attended a volunteer Christmas party for volunteers at a nursing home. The invite said that we should bring a gag gift. I found this cheap looking toy Santa that pops up when you pushed a button at the side and says, “Have you been good?” and “Have a Merry Christmas.” I thought that it would make the perfect gag gift. Why shouldn’t it?
When it was time for the gifts to be selected, I went first and got an ungag-like clock. Right away I felt pangs of shame coursing through me. Oh oh, someone’s going to get my cheap ass gift while I take home this bad boy. As the sleigh made its way around the room, the gifts were unwrapped and they were all respectable items. Nothing fancy or expensive but better than the piece of crap I brought to the party. In fact, none were gaggy.
After the presents were all unwrapped, everyone was oohing and ahhing over what they picked, some were looking jealously at my clock too, I furtively glanced around the room in search of the unlucky victim of my adherence to rules. Didn’t these people know what a gag gift was?
Just a table away, an elderly woman was holding my gag gift with a look of scorn on her face. Ok, well maybe not exactly scorn but dislike. And maybe disbelief that someone, me, had the audacity and the nerve and the indecency to wrap something like this and bring as a gift. She looked as though she had just found a piece of coal in her stocking. Her husband, being the nice guy he was, switched his wind-up flashlight for her gag gift. She seemed happier winding up a flashlight than pressing a button to make Santa go, “Have you been good?”
Throughout the evening, I stole glances their way to see how they were making out with their date with Santa. They sure spent a lot of time discussing the gift. I saw them turning it around and checking out the used look. “Who is the cheapskate that bought this crap?” I could hear them clearly. “I am sorry, really sorry, that cheapskate is me!” I screamed back at them, but in my mind. “I didn’t know, the email said to bring a gag gift and I thought we would have fun with this but apparently you guys are not having fun watching me walk away with your lovely clock. Oh wait, is it your clock?”
I did think of admitting to them that I was indeed the scrooge and maybe offer them my loot as a peace offering but I decided to just leave it. Maybe I could make up for it next year. I will make sure to BUY a gift. Something around $10. Oh and if they think I’m a cheapskate, they are fuddy duddies!