A Keith Christmas

This is without a doubt my favorite time of the year.  A season for family, friends, and good tidings to everyone except people who talk on their bluetooths in the mall.  We get it . . . It's small, it's blue, you're important.  The least these people can do for us is wear a T-shirt that says, "No, I am not talking to you."  That would save me so much time. 

Negative thoughts like that shouldn't get us down, though.  It's a time for giving thanks, after all.  Speaking of which, for the first time ever, I attended the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.  In order to get a good place along Broadway, I had to get up at 5:00 AM, putting my mind in the same foggy state that some pilgrim was in when he thought the buckle hat was a good idea. 

I'm glad I went though. It was a great time. The balloons were gigantic, and the floats featured various celebrities…Hannah Montana, Hootie and the Blowfish, and the Jonas Brothers, to name a few.  The Jonas Brothers, I learned, are a popular teeny-bop band who gained notoriety by wearing chastity bracelets.  That's something I can relate to, only there are two big differences:  1.  Theirs is a voluntary choice and  2. My "bracelet" is a Saturn station wagon.  

My nieces are big Hannah Montana fans, but I refuse to get them any gifts that have anything to do with her, because I'll just embarrass myself in the process.  Just a few years ago I bought my niece a Hillary Duff CD at Target.  When the checkout girl looked at me weird, I overcompensated for my apparent lack of manliness by randomly shouting, "I love duck hunting!"  It only made things more awkward, especially since I didn't exactly look the part of "burly hunter" when I asked for some Purell hand sanitizer to rid my hands of shopping cart germs.  

With that being said, I would like to prepare all of you with a list of the worst and best gifts to give this holiday season.  I hope it will be helpful. 

The Worst Gifts to Give This Season:

1.  GM stock

It's pretty bad.  Last week, I saw a share of GM stock inside a coupon book for Krystal Chili Cheese Pups.  Makes sense, I guess, since both could make you nauseous. 

2.  Frankincense

Or myrrh for that matter.  I'm not really sure what either of those are.  But those gifts were given to Jesus, and if stores sold them, the ACLU would have to take themselves off of valedictorian speech and Pledge of Allegiance patrol in order to police the malls.  And making them work that hard is just inconsiderate. 

3.  Xylophone Hero

Maybe a good gift for people who like Guitar Hero but hate all the screaming, horny girls on the screen.  But for everyone else, you could get the same effect and save money if you just bought a DVD of a Jonas Brothers concert. 

4.  Naming a Star after someone

Why not just tell a loved one, "Hey, instead of getting you those golf clubs you wanted, I took that money and flushed it down the crapper."?   

Here's the Christmas morning discussion as I imagine it:

"I hope you like your new iPhone."

"I do!  Thanks!!  And for you…I got something really special."

"I can't wait.  Can I open it now?"

"Not really.  I named a star after you."

"Oh, well…um…that's nice.  Where is this star?"

"Southern Hemisphere."

"So I can't see it?"

"No.  But rest assured….when aborigines in the outback look above Australia, they're not just seeing the Southern Cross. They're seeing the Southern Cross and it's new neighboring star "Patricia Edmunds"."  


"But only if it's a clear night and they go to an observatory with a high-powered telescope.  Merry Christmas, sweetheart!  Where are you going? Honey?  Hello?"

If this conversation somehow applies to you, have fun kissing your hand at midnight on New Year's Eve.  

Getting the right gift isn't easy, I admit.  I don't have all the answers, but to help you a little along the way, I've put together a few items you should consider:

1.  Keith Alberstadt's "One Night Stand" CD

What a great idea!  And it's available by clicking on "Buy My Stuff" on this website. Plus…it's buy one, get one free if you order by December 24. The perfect gift for anyone who loves to laugh out loud but feels guilty doing it at their kid's Christmas pageant. 

2.  The Amy Winehouse GPS unit

When you wake up and have no idea where you are, this baby will get you home.  And all without the burden of bothering anyone. Sweet, sweet technology. 

3.  Anger Management Classes

You'll thank me for this suggestion after somebody gives you GM stock.

4.  Facebook/Twitter/Flickr/myspace/photobucket/Friendster lessons from anyone younger than 21.

You may think you know what you're doing on these websites, but the generation behind us is on a totally different level.  It's like thinking you're as knowledgeable at medicine as a surgeon because you played Operation a few times. There's no comparison, believe me.  And if you're the kind of person who sends facebook superpoke hugs every ten seconds, you're a prime candidate to receive this gift. 

So there you go…I hope that helps a little and you all have a terrific Christmas season!  

This may not be necessary, but I'm going to write it anyway…It's becoming customary these days to say "holiday season" instead of "Christmas" out of concern that some people may get offended.  I personally think that when we were taught to love our neighbors, it served as a pretty good guideline for people of every faith.  It's easy to think that Jesus would add exceptions to this rule….especially if He ever went to a movie theatre full of a hundred nimrods who can't grasp the concept of turning their cell phones off.  But overall, love is the whole point of the season, even when Sprint doesn't exempt Christmas Day from daytime minute charges.  Saying "Merry Christmas" simply puts into words the very kindness that we should show others by including the name of the man who led by example.  It's not meant to be offensive, and taking it as such could be offensive to the person trying to spread well wishes, and who has time for all those offended feelings?  Rather than giving in to the popular trend of being easily offended, why not everyone relax and simply enjoy the very best time of the year.  Be thankful for your blessings, especially the people in your lives.  If you're serving our country overseas, or if you have a loved one doing that very thing, please know that everyone here appreciates the sacrifice and you're in our thoughts.  I hope the hectic bustle of the Season doesn't distract us too much that we forget why we're so free in the greatest country in the world…even if it's a country that can't see the new star "Patricia Edmunds".

Have a very merry Christmas season, everyone.  All the very best to you and yours!!

Categories: Columns