My Favorite Christmas Gift

As we continue the Section 108 12 Days of Xmas, I thought I would take some time out to talk about my favorite gift.  There were plenty of disappointments along the way, including the one time I asked for a guitar but got a hunter green winter coat! That was a fun one.  I mean, a goddamn green coat?  Best part yet was that I never wore it in college cause it was TOO DAMN WARM.  Years later when I visited from out west during Christmas I wore the shit outta that coat.  Still was a pretty lame gift.

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Not me.

I also remember waking up with Castle Greyskull and Snake Mountain.  Side note- I wish I had kept the boxes, which I am pretty sure we did for awhile, but at some point they got tossed.  All of my dad’s old magazines (Esquire, SI, and Playboy) seemed to make the cut, but a box that would double the value of both of those playsets, ah fuck it, toss it. Funny thing is, I never remember asking for any He Man stuff, just showed up from what I remember.  But maybe I was a crazy person asking for it all the time, who knows! I have selective memory.  Side note – One summer at camp, I got a piece of Bubble Yum from a counselor and I was a winner of the Master Of The Universe Contest!  Here is the commercial. Kids on the bus went nuts and I guarded that wrapper with my life.  I thought I was gonna win all this stuff, but what I was sent was 1 figure, Sy-Klone and a letter.  It was pretty lame.  I was bummed, but it was still cool as fuck to win it. 

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Is that Ricky Schroder?

I was really into G.I. Joe.  I never got any sweet vehicles or anything that I can remember though.  My buddy John Bowman did though.  The mofo had the GODDAMN AIRCRAFT CARRIER! The rub was though, “It was too big to play with”.  DA FAQ? ASSHOLE.  Nah, John was cool as fuck, had all the new shit when it came out.  Remember Laser Tag?  He had it. M.A.S.K.?  He had it, EVERY FUCKING CAR INCLUDING BOULDER HILL.  Even had the boxes. There is hardly a day that goes by that I don’t wonder the fate of those (and other childhood friends toy collections) toys. A buddy that lived by John had 2 older brothers that also collected G.I. Joe so they had a bunch of stuff.  No aircraft carrier though.

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Before you are all “Man, MSS thinks about toys from his childhood alot, what a weirdo” let me tell you a secret.  As a stay at home dad that works freelance for himself, I sell the shit outta classic toys.  Yes, you can pay for an entire season of White Sox games and beer drinking by selling old shit that most people think is garbage. I recently sold the CD long boxes of a bunch of 90’s bands.  Remember those boxes?  Why did I save them?  No clue, but they sold fast.

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So, you are asking yourself, “MSS what was your favorite gift?”.  Well, let me tell you a story.  STORY TIME!

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Back in my junior or senior year in high school, Urban Outfitters had just opened, which was just like a big thrift store with insane prices.  I was a big grunge guy, much skinnier than I am now, but same taste in music.  So my uniform was a lot of band shirts, flannel, Guess? jeans and awesome work shirts.  My folks used to come into the city right before Christmas and buy presents that me and my sister wanted.  These were usually primo gifts.  Remember when turtlenecks under sweatshirts were cool?  Well, one year I got this sweet Jordan caricature sweatshirt, wore it out a lot.  It was a sweet gift that I still remember to this day.  They always came home with the good stuff.

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My dad is a blue collar guy who couldn’t bring himself to spend $50 on a Sunoco work shirt with a “Fred” name tag.  I remember him being floored seeing the prices of these items and my desire to own them.  Which was shocking cause he knew I was stealing all his good flannel cause it was nice and worn in.  And this is how the best gift I ever got come into play.

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My dad knew lots of business owners as a guy who also ran his own business and years in Rotary Club. He was talking to a local gas station owner and asked him if he had any old work shirts or hats that he could take off his hands.  Well, it just so happened he did and he gave him a sweet hat.  So on Christmas day, I opened an employee hat from Shell that had been wrapped by my father.  I was fucking floored.  It was sweet, New Era fitted cap, just said Shell on the front and had the local union on the back.  Sadly my father had no idea of the sizing so he ended up with a 7 3/4 hat when I wore a 7 3/8.  But the thought was all that mattered.

Easily the best gift that I was ever given that I couldn’t wear, never used, and was free to the giver.  Isn’t that what Cmas is all about?  I think so.  So thanks Dad, I forgive you for the blue hard plastic Nash skateboard you bought me years previous.  Side Note – I gave away that hat to the Goodwill in 2010.  Funny thing is, I now wear a 7 3/4 with all my hair.  I could have rocked that shit, but I got rid of it too soon.  I think anyways, I am gonna tear apart the basement for it next Monday!

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This was NOT a skateboard.

Happy Holidays! Merry New Year!  

-MSS

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