xmas is really about rising from the dead, don't you know? or maybe it's not - fuck it.

Christmas morning! You know the scene: torn reams of shiny paper arranged in trash-nests around the unwrapped presents your loved and semi-loved ones have given to each other. Desires have been sated or ruthlessly denied. What’s next? Oh. Right. The stockings. 

Stocking stuffers have been relegated to the role of mere party favors in the whole savior’s birth / orgy-of-generosity scheme. Which is a shame. Used to be a time when no less than your entire moral character was up for judgment via the long-socks, and all you had to go on -- the only clue you had as to whether your eternal soul was either like: (1) a nice shiny penny or (2) more like one of those pennies that could have, by all appearances, fought valiantly in a war between old gum and green fungus -- was if you had presents in your stocking (good) or an obdurate lump of death-black coal instead (see, the coal symbolizes how easily you will burn in your damnation). Pretty heavy ethical work for an article of clothing, huh? 

Now you’re lucky if, for guys, you get a pair of gray boxer-briefs, or, for the ladies: lavender-flavored bath soap. What the hell does that mean? That your soul either needs to be restrained by ribbed cotton, or pampered by noisome petroleum byproducts, question mark!  It’s all pretty inscrutable, I’d say. So here’s a guide for how to not only let your family and friends know what you think of their metaphysical essences, but also how to turn those long, lumpy knit-socks of boredom into vestigial leg-warmers of frothing hot fun.

For Fathers

1. Nice: Buy sixteen bags of plain M&Ms. Melt ten of those bags (unopened) in a pressure cooker. Pour out the resulting mess onto an old window pane. While that foundation is still warm goop, use the other 2,000 M&Ms to construct a mosaic of your Pops’ favorite sports team in its finest moment. Chill for twelve days. Break into pieces and package as an edible puzzle. Insert into stocking.

2. Naughty: Two choices here: make your dad a fitted cap emblazoned with this slogan: “I go from Zero to Bitch in one syllable” -- sew the hat together so that it’s about a half size too small for his head. Soak the hat in water the night before, so that Papa will be able to cram it on his fat dome in the morning. Once he slaps that baby on, lure him under a pre-installed rack of heat-lamps. Sit back and watch the fun as the hat dries and constricts (science!). This will result either in facial paralysis or extreme hair loss. Other choice: a rusty foot-long novelty screwdriver that has been bent in half. 

For Mothers

3. Nice: Get some construction paper. Quickly write a children’s book that features at least one talking tire-jack and a sympathetic triple -- A map. The jack is trying to get back to the foundry from which it was poured. Don’t get too heavy on the symbolism here. Insert thinly veiled caricatures of people your mom irrationally hates: the mailman, that lady who waves all the time, Jerry Garcia, etc. Dedicate the book like so -- “To Mom, thanks for giving Dad a ‘test drive’!” and package it in a fake Godiva box. Bend it if it’s necessary to get it in the stocking. 

4. Naughty: Broker a deal with some underage smokers who like menthol cigarettes a whole lot. You’ll buy them as many cartons as they can stomach as long as you get to keep the butts when they’re done. Collect the butts to make a small and posable figurine of your mother. Apply old wood varnish to give this doll a nice brown exoskeleton. Make-up to taste. The smell alone should make Mom run to the nearest confessional, stat. 

For Siblings

5. Nice: Fill the entire stocking with those ‘coupons’ that say things like: “good for one free hour of me not being Mom and Dad’s favorite,” or “redeem for the contents of my breast pocket at any time.” Except, for even more fun, make the coupon valid starting at whatever your best guess is for the year of your death. Alternately, for your younger siblings, if you have any M&M batter left over from Good Dad’s stocking stuffer, flavor it liberally with confectioner’s sugar and cooking vanilla and let it set inside a length of PVC tubing. Decorate with icing-graffiti and insert into stockings. When they ask what it’s called, reply: “power cylinder.” 

6. Naughty: Make wallet-size copies of every family photo you have. Take a picture of a random (preferably hairy) guy and Photoshop that sucker in place of the targeted sibling. Magic-marker a caption on the bottom that says “wish I was you.” Place pictures in a cornflower blue pleather mini-album. Dip your hands in vaseline and carefully smear the entire thing. For emphasis, unlock the front door in the morning before anyone wakes up and track muddy footprints leading towards the stocking-laden mantle. ‘Find’ an empty can of Keystone Light out on the front stoop. When you are shown the pictures, say you recognize the guy from the local Home Depot. Doesn’t work there, just hangs out around front. This works even better with male siblings. 

For Grandparents/Guests/Pets

7. Nice: For Grandparents, a bottle of Sangria from a country that starts with the letter ‘L’. For Guests, a plastic container of pantyhose with a crack down the middle (for male or female guests, it doesn’t matter). For Pets, an air horn that can be comfortably fitted to the muzzle.

8. Naughty: For grandparents, guests, or pets: mayonnaise popsicles (substitution: really sharp-toothed staple-removers). 

[Forever after at http://eyeshot.net/hydexmas.html

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