Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Shopping: The Final Week

How to Assemble Inexpensive, Last-Minute Holiday Gifts with Materials that Readily Can Be Found in Your Cubicle, Carefully Removed from Your Coworker’s Office or Simply Stolen Outright from the Company Supply Closet

Non-Electric Lite Brite
Requires: Several hundred colorful pushpins and caulkboard
Instructions: Spend most of Christmas Day convincing child that art doesn’t have to glow to be fun.

Toy Light Saber
Requires: Chutzpah
Instructions: Wait until office closes for night. Stand on chair of coworker furthest from your cubicle. Wrap fist carefully in towel. Punch through overhead light fixture. Remove halogen bulb.

Old Fashioned Go Kart
Requires: Duct tape, bubble wrap, coworker standing in front of own computer for good part of next year
Instructions: Take coworker’s wheeled chair. Secure lucky gift recipient safely in chair with generous application of duct tape. Fashion helmet with bubble wrap and additional duct tape. Gently push from top of hilly street. Pray for minimal traffic and no sharp turns.

Concentration Card Game
Requires: Two of every business card you received over past year
Instructions: Mumble apology when child unwraps present.

Retroactive Year-Long Subscription to Your Company’s Publication
Requires: Access to magazine archives
Instructions: Acquire all 6, 12 or 52 issues from past year. Works best with timeless publications covering home repair, cooking or fiction. Will have less success with titles that contain the words “latest investment tips,” “cutting-edge technology” or “your official Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip guide”

My Very First Coffee Shop
Requires: Cleaning out contents of pantry, absconding with coffee machine
Instructions: Present child with everything they need to play “Starbucks,” including industrial-size coffee maker, paper cups (one marked “Tips”), sugar and Equal packets, stirrers, napkins and--for those kids under ten--decaffeinated coffee.

Child-Safe Alphabet Blocks
Requires: 26 soft pink erasers, bag from Subway lunch or other take-out meal, fast-dry felt tip pen
Instructions: Write letters and numbers on all sides of erasers. Place set in lunch bag for attractive carrying case. Resist temptation to use alphabet block to correct wrong answer on Sunday crossword puzzle.

Magic Doorknob Game
Requires: Very gullible--perhaps feeble-minded--child
Instructions: Unscrew knob from executive’s office door. Give knob to child. Tell child that it is a “magic doorknob” that will permit him access to anyplace he wishes to enter. Watch as child wanders around house holding doorknob out, believing it to allow him access to such enchanting environments as the open-space living room or hallway. Prevent child from playing game in front of guests or relatives.

Gift Wastebasket (Contents Already Included)
Requires: Looking under your desk
Instructions: Wrap wastebasket in brilliant red or green cellophane paper. Tie with attractive raffia bow. Deliver immediately before food spoils.

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