Holiday Guide

Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum

Holiday Fun with Unitarians

Fight Gifts

Fake African Christmas

Flight Gifts

My Mean Mom

Whadda Ya Want?

Gratitude

Fuck Everything

No Gifts at Hanukkah

Christmas of Death

Grandma Bernice

Merry Christ-Ass!

Dog Bite

Christmas in Vegas

The Dark Ornament

Leaving Ohio

Good Ol' Uncle Merrill

Riding Santa's Sleigh

Ho Ho Hork!

No More Christmas

Obsession & Lights

Christmas in Israel

Higher Than Jesus

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Incredibly Useful and Puritanically Practical Gift Guide

The Gift Bitch

When I was eight, Dad bought me a craps table for Christmas.

All I really wanted for Christmas was the pink Barbie flushable toilet to add to my collection. I already had the motor home, the swimming pool, the purple Corvette, the fluffy white dog.... On Christmas Eve, I dressed up Marie Barbie (of Donnie and Marie fame; I lost Donnie a few years back in an "accident" when I left him sitting too long in the homemade "hot tub" on the stove). With Marie in her skin-tight magenta dress, I knew it was only a matter of time before I could roll up her skirt and sit her down on my new, perfect pink toilet. I would spend Christmas morning flushing away.

On Christmas morn, I ran into the family room and scanned the unwrapped presents (Santa never wrapped presents at my house). At the fireplace: new stuffed monkey in a jogging suit. Cool, cool. Underneath the tree: books, candy. Cool. At the TV: Intellivision. Cool, not Atari, but cool. And in the blinding center of the room: the craps table. Christ. The flushable toilet just wasn't there.

I ran to the bathroom and cried, watching my reflection in the gold leaf veined mirror as the tears stained my cheeks.

"I want the flushable toilet! I don't want a craps table!" I wailed, "Doesn't Santa know the odds are 20-1? 100-1 if you're playing numbers? Hell, you've got better odds playing slots."

I could hear Dad slump on the other side of the door. You always feel bad for a gambler. "Sweetheart, please come out. Santa went to a lot of trouble to bring you the craps table."

When I finally came out, he brushed the hair from my damp face and rocked me in my disappointment. With a Christmas voice he said, "Don't worry, I'll teach you how to play. You'll have skills, real skills. And if you hit, you'll win thousands. Thousands could buy you a million Barbies."

Dad's math just wasn't so good.