Ben Davis

I got a silver Barbie charm bracelet that my mom immediately took away and put in the safe deposit box so I wouldn't lose it. And then re-gave it to me when I turned 18.

Jam With Seeds

My mother would get those fancy, limited edition Barbie dolls for me when I was a kid and then tell me I wasn't allowed to play with them because they were collectibles. They'd just sit on top of my dresser, sparkling and unreachable.

On reflection, I think she was fucking with me.


My great-aunt is going slightly senile in her old age, and her son has learning difficulties. Between the two of them, they're convinced that I'm about eight years old. For the last few years, my Christmas present from them has been Bratz dolls, Barbie dolls, or teddybears. I'm 24.

My mother makes me take them out of the boxes and display them on my shelves.


I got a knock-off Barbie doll last year from a distant aunt. I'm 28.


The worst I've gotten was an Elmo shirt and this horrid orange scarf when I was 22. Yeah, a Sesame Street shirt when I was 22.

The only plausible explanation I can come up with is my aunt saw me watching Sesame Street with my little cousin who was 4. I asked who her favorite character was, she said Elmo. I responded that he was my favorite too. Apparently, said exchange was taken as a legitimate fondness.


My parents gave me a bag that they said was all my presents. Halfway through opening them, my mother realized she had mislabeled all of the presents, and that 4 out of the 5 presents in the bag weren't for me.

The present that was mine? A small ornament. Yeah. I opened a bunch of awesome gifts, but had to give them back.

Then I did the gift exchange thing with one of my closest friends. I gave her several carefully chosen gifts that she cooed over. She gave me a Tom Clancy novel.

I am a voracious reader, but I have never in my life been known to be a fan of the Clancy school of thrillers/mysteries. My reading runs towards Pratchett and Christoper Moore, not Clancy and his ilk. To top it all off, the book looks used.

This brings my Christmas haul to one ornament, a $5 bottle of wine, and a slightly used Tom Clancy novel.

Wood Thrush

Just got home from Christmas "dinner" with my extended family. I use scare quotes because I hardly call having to move in a tight circle around a table piling amateur casserole onto a paper plate a fun culinary delight. Certainly if one believed in Jesus/God (as my idiotic family does), one would realize this kind of chaotic buffet does NOT glorify the designer of a beautiful, mathematically intricate universe. Not that Aunt Uneducated would know anything about modern physics. Or Newtonian physics, for that matter. Which is why there's never anything to talk about. Sorry, alcoholic uncle, but no i didn't catch the weather report today, so I didn't hear about the snow coming, so this conversation is over. Let me eat my three slices of overbaked lemon poppy seed pound cake in peace. This is why I detest holidays.

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