Let the gift wars begin


Well, as usual, Mr. Wonderful has just gone ahead and absolutely ruined my life. He does that. It’s his thing.

How, you ask? How does this saint of general all around nice-guyness, awesome neck rubs and the ability to just forget all about the time I backed into a wall manage to ruin my life? Oh, it’s easy. He buys better presents than I do.


Everyone knows females are supposed to be the awesome gift buyers and males are supposed to be, well, clueless. As a writer forever on the prowl for column fodder, this topic is as good as gold come deadline time.

Wives across America are yucking it up among friends about the dorky gifts they got for Christmas.

Men of the world, you know I love you, I do, but dang you all buy some bad gifts. Shop vacs? Meat thermometers? The pop-up hot dog cooker?

These gifts are tailor-made to wow their wives friends with cries of “what was he thinking?” long past the actual moment of dumbfounded glory upon their opening.

These truly are the gifts that keep on giving — as in giving her a reason to roll her eyes and feel genetically superior for her gifting finesse.


I made it easy for Mr. Wonderful to follow that path. I really did. Years ago I trained my then-boyfriend that flowers were a waste of money and the only “good” jewelry I needed was my wedding ring.

Moreover, I am always vocally annoyed at commercials where the man of the house flings open the door to surprise his wife with a brand new car wrapped up with a big red bow.

I am here to tell you if any Christmas gift of mine came with a payment book or a big hit to our savings account, I’d be strangling somebody with that bow.


More importantly, this Christmas Mr. Wonderful had a ready-made excuse to bring home a truly dismal gift and make the envy of all the other “top this!” talk among the gals.

My vacuum cleaner died Dec. 23, one hour before Mr. Wonderful and the children headed out to shop for me. How’s that for putting a dud of a gift idea right into a man’s lap?

Seriously, I’m so easy to buy for it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to present me with a brand new vacuum cleaner.

I’ve expressed an interest in such things before. I am prone to making grand statements about how I would really, really like a new toaster for Christmas and wouldn’t Mommy look nice with a new saucepan in her hand come Dec. 25, too?

You know where this is going, right ladies? I was already writing the “I cannot believe he got me a vacuum cleaner for Christmas!” column in my head.

Flat-screen television

And then he went off the rails and bought a new flat-screen television for the kitchen I had apparently not-so-secretly been lusting for.

Our house, you see, is an old house and isn’t really set up for the kind of entertaining much talked about in magazines and on home decorating programs. We don’t have that “cooking and conversation” flow you hear so much about.

No, we have more the random party noises from the nether reaches of the house and once in a blue moon someone gets lost on the way to the bathroom and wanders into the kitchen and says “Oh hey there, I had no idea you were in here!”

Thus, the need for the television to keep me entertained. I think he’s also secretly hoping something I see on Food Network might rub off.


Now I, being of sound mind and body, thought we had an agreement, Mr. Wonderful and I. We traditionally blow our entire Christmas Club on the children and leave the practical — token — gifting for ourselves.

So imagine my surprise when Mr. Wonderful unwrapped a water bottle (for soccer!), new socks, a car care kit (tire cleaner even!) and a home stereo so cheap all the “stainless steel” components are plastic as gifts from the children and me, while I unwrapped the aforementioned television.

He also added a solid promise on his part to not only run cable but also essentially renovate the kitchen to make the television fit nicely to please me.

Seriously? What is a wife supposed to do with this?

I can tell you one thing, he won’t one up me like this again any time soon, the little sneak! Next year I’m totally going to spring for new underwear to put with his socks and water bottle.

I might even go for a bow


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Kymberly Foster Seabolt lives in rural Appalachia with the always popular Mr. Wonderful, two small dogs, one large cat, two wandering goats, and a growing extended family.



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