Only 13 shopping days til bankruptcy

As of today, y’all have got just under two weeks worth of shopping days until Christmas.

For some of us, this season means fun with family and the excitement and anticipation of pretty packages under the tree.

For those of us not on 24-hour Thorazine drips, the holiday season means added pressure from loved ones with high expectations and low realities.

The idea of spending money we don’t have on items people may or may not want or need is bad enough but when you figure in trying to determine just how many in your circle you are required to buy for, come Christmas Eve you’re a holly-jolly train wreck.

What’s a yuletide nutcase to do?

Sure, you know you have to buy for the wife and kids.

But what about the in-laws and your parents?

You got mom that new book she wanted but what about dad? What do you get for a man with a giant parrot and a firearms fetish? Birdseed and bullets? Is a six-pack of Heineken too gauche?

And then there’s the brothers and sisters, and what about their kids?

The wife says most of my nephews are too young for paintball guns and fireworks but she said nothing of slingshots and chewing tobacco.

Hear that, boys?!

And then there are the nieces.

What in hell do you buy a 1-year-old girl?

She’s not strong enough to work a slingshot and she doesn’t have enough teeth to work a chaw.

Then there is the office Christmas party.

The limit says $10 but get your boss that set of dollar store bath oils at your own peril. Pretty soon you’ll be working third shift at a company that doesn’t even have a second shift.

I wonder if gift giving back in the olden days was this difficult. You just know Judas had to be a re-gifter.

“Hey, wait a minute, isn’t this the frankincense and myrrh I gave you for your birthday?”

And I don’t know about you, but I’ll just bet old JC was a bit of a practical joker.

“Wow, Jesus, how did you know I wanted an engraved circumcision dagger?”

You could always pull a George Costanza and just make up a charity and send people cards saying a donation has been made in their name.

The wife says I got teary-eyed the year she presented me with a card saying she donated to a local food pantry in my name.

I say she’s a damn liar.

But, it’s not the worst gift I’ve ever received. I’ve run the gamut from little green army men and ill-fitting boxer shorts to a carton of generic cigarettes (a banner year around our household) and a Tyco racetrack—which is still one of my favorite presents.

I could give everyone cash but once you start adding up all the friends, relatives, in-laws and outlaws, I don’t know if I could bring myself to part with such a pile of cabbage.

I mean, it’s not like they’re gonna know if I invent a charity, right? How many people are going to look into whether the Legless Square Dancers of America is real?

OK, that one’s a little far-fetched.

How about these:

• Jews For Jesus (may need to rethink this one)

• United Fat People College Fund – Because a pound is a terrible thing to lose

• Gentle Jihad – Waging non-violent holy war (They spread their message mostly by tickling non-believers and wearing them down with the phrase “But, dude, you just gotta convert.”)

• Flatulent Fellows and Friends of Flatulent Fellows (I don’t know, I think these might stink)

• Hats For Monkeys – Raises money to buy hats and put them on monkeys. (Hats probably won’t stay on very long)

• American Heartless Association – Provides pork rinds and cigars to middle-age men

• Pot For Toddlers – Popular among the ADD set

• SOLF – The Sassy Old Lady Fund – Keeping old ladies sassy for 79 years.

• The “It Hurts When I Do This” Foundation – Working to find a cure for whatever “that” is that hurts when you do “this.”

• Men of Below Average Tallness – If you’re not tall enough to feel like a real man but not short enough to collect a government check, this is your charity.

• Coffee & Cigarettes International – Somewhere, right now, someone is out of coffee and/or cigarettes. Won’t you give generously?

• Hypochondriacs Anonymous – Their slogan is “Feel this lump for me, will ya?”

• American Society of Litterbugs – Not a real popular charity

• The Society For the Prevention of Stubbed Toes – Each year like a billion people or something stub their toes … and it hurts real bad.

• Deer Camp Widows – Provides money for the slot machines and tickets to see Chippendales.

• Habitat For Inhumanity – Helps pay for housing for former Third World dictators, retired IRS employees, and telemarketers.

• William J. Le Petomane Memorial Gambling Casino For The Insane – Supposedly a giant step forward in treatment of the insane gambler. (Founded by Mel Brooks)

• Unplanned Parenthood – Provides Boone’s Farm wine and defective condoms to couples.

• Unwed Pregnant Weasels – Self-explanatory

• The Endangered Hipster Foundation – Helps pay for beard transplants, flannel shirts, thick black plastic-framed glasses and over-sized tobacco pipes. Operators are standing by.

• Therapeutic Hippos – For when service dogs just won’t do.

• Recovering Grammar Nazis – Helps grammatical nitpickers realize how annoying they truly are.

• Save The Whalers (Not a typo) – Gives money to Japanese whale hunters for new spears and whale calls. “Here whale, whale, whale, whale, whale!”

Whatever presents you buy this year, just remember what Jesus said: “Whatever you give to the least of these, be sure it is one-size-fits-all or at least something they can return for store credit.”

Pretty sure that came from the Sermon on the Food Court.