Some people look forward to Christmas all year. They start designing their Holiday cards before the dye on their Easter eggs has even dried. Thanksgiving isn't treated so much as a reflective day spent with friends and family, but rather as an appropriate time to start dragging out the Holiday decorations.
I know people like this, but I am not one of them.
My favorite December day happens to be today, known in the Commonwealth countries as Boxing Day or, more religiously, as the Feast of St. Stephen.
In brief, Boxing Day custom dictates that those of the privileged classes give something back to the little people-- those folks who spend the year cleaning their toilets, corraling their children, and fetching them lattes. Little tokens of thanks are offered, like thoughtful long distance phone cards, cash, and things generally gone unused and unwanted by the rich. A dear little tradition, if you ask me.
Upon first hearing about the holiday without actually knowing anything about it, I thought the name implied the much-looked-forward-to boxing up and putting away of Christmas decorations. Upon deeper reflection, I decided it was a day spent putting unwanted Christmas gifts back in their packaging to be returned at the soonest possible opportunity.
In a way, I suppose it is such a day, only it is easier if you simply re-gift such items and hand them over to people who have nothing and, therefore, will be grateful for the sudden windfall of, say, a toaster that burns the words "I love you" into their bread. They will think you really care. In fact, they will be reminded of it daily.
In light of today's theme, I have come across several re-giftable food-related items, a few of which I thought I'd share. If you have received anything particularly horrible this season, I would very much love it if you would share it, if not with your cleaning woman, intern, or CPA, then with me.
The Darth Vader toaster is a tough one. There is a certain geek chic to it I find (mildly) appealing, but the fact the the photo displays a piece of bread that, apart from the area charred by the dark side, looks stale and untouched. I would be inclined to re-gift this to my sister, whose Jedi name is Loreen Shadowchaser and has a sideline business of creating startlingly accurate reproductions of light sabers which are highly regarded in certain circles. The toaster is available at shop.starwars.com for a mere $54.99.
The Brownie Edge Pan sounds like a delightful gift for brownie lovers, but the uncut logs of brownie look more like uncut logs of brownie after having been digested. I can't think of anyone upon whom I'd wish to foist this item, which is available at Get Organized for $19.80 (reduced from $19.98).
If one really wants to pamper one's banana, the Banana Bunker is just the ticket at only $4.95 (or, if you want to shield and coddle a whole bunch, $19.95 for five). Available in fashion colors, your friends and co-workers will point out the obvious, condom-like qualities of this gadget which you will never live down. Ever. Even if you get a new job and move to another city.
The Automatic Martini Shaker can be found at Get Organized for $49.98. Get Organized, if you didn't know, seems to be an unending font of gadgetry, spewing forth page upon page of unbelievable crap, as well as truly useful items. The Automatic Martini Shaker strikes me as a totally useless gift, of course, but especially for the wealthy, who have other people make their martini's for them anyway. Perhaps one might give this to one's favorite bartender with the thought of preventing the inevitable repetitive stress injury that will befall him or her a few years down the road. A thoughtful re-gift if there ever was one.
This last present, I think I would keep-- it's just too clever not to. Who doesn't need a useful, not-so-subtle memento mori around the kitchen, especially if one is, say, carrying a boiling kettle of oil from stove to the countertop? Sadly, these Sylvia Plath oven mitts (once available at etsy.com for $28.00) have been sold out for weeks. The popularity of this item gives me hope, namely the hope that there are others out there just like me-- people depressed enough by all the Holiday Cheer Pressure that piles upon us every year. Maybe, like me, they just want some quilted, poetic in-joke to cushion their heads as they lay them on the still- warm oven door, after the last gingerbread man has been baked, inhaling the sweet smell of another Christmas completed.