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Sunday, December 11

Christmas Tips

Christmas can be excessive at our house, but I'm still not ready to follow the advice of those killjoys at Money magazine who advice us to "shop sensible" and "avoid debt." Whay don't they just "bite me."

Obviously these folks have never put off their kids' immuizations so they could use the money to buy more icicle lights at Wal-Mart.

Oh, calm down. When's the last time you actually knew someone with typhus? I thought so.

What makes them the experts? A few diplomas from some so-called Ivy League school, a high six-figure salary and a bony ol' trophy wife?

Gosh, I hope that doesn't sound bitter.

It's just that when it comes to Christmas, you're not supposed to be safe and sensible. If God had wanted us to be sensible, he wouldn't have invented a food dehydrator that can make one hundred pounds of beef jerky in minutes, the singing bird clock ("Honey! We're gonna be late; it's already half past the sparrow's ass!"), or Big mouth Billy Bass, the Singing Rubber Fish.

You can follow the magazine's holiday "tips" or use my real-world suggestions in parentheses. Don't thank me now.Thank me on December 25, preferably with a gaily wrapped gift that cost way more than it should and sent you spiraling into good old-fashioned proud-to-be-an-American 22.5 percent APR debt.

1. Make a list. Ask yourself if everyone tryly belongs on the list.
(Sure, I could cut out my high school friend that I haven't seen in two decades, but she's sweet as a Harry & David tangelo and she's the only person in North America who still thinks I weigh one hundred and five pounds.)

2. Set limits. As you're making your list, write down a maxiumum dollar limit and stick to it.
(Okay, I'm renewing my subscription to Money but I'm only paying you three bucks. How do you like it?)

3. Be realistic. Buy only gifts that you can afford to buy with cash.
(Fine by me. What will it be for you, Big Red or Juicy Fruit?)

4. Trim expenses by making some presents yourself.
(That's fine for those of you who have never had to tell a paramedic, "See, I borrowed my neighbor's glue gun......")

5. Buy in bulk: A case of wine, elegant candles or tins of homemade cookies also make great hostess gifts.
(You call this sensible? How bout' a twelve-pack, some Bic lighters, and some delicious homemade beef jerky? I've got plenty, you know.)

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