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Dave Barry's Holiday Gift Guide and Year In Review
Once again, Dave Barry will grace us with his annual dose of humor by writing his 2012 Holiday Gift Guide and Year In Review. Long and short versions are available. The Gift Guide moves with photos and the Year in Review moves with art.
Holiday Gift Guide:
– Text and photos post Nov. 14, 2012
– Embargoed for release Nov. 25, 2012
Year in Review:
– Text and illustrations post Dec. 19, 2012
– Embargoed for release Dec. 30, 2012
Dave Barry's Holiday Gift Guide and Year In Review Samples
The holiday season is here: It’s time to do your gift shopping!
This is assuming, of course, that you live in 1985. If you live in the current year (2012), you’re too late. You were supposed to do your holiday gift shopping on Thanksgiving.
In the old days, Thanksgiving was not a shopping day. It was a day when we expressed gratitude for our many God-given blessings in the same way our Pilgrim forefathers did: by eating a 27,000-calorie meal, then spending the rest of the day lying motionless watching televised football while burping out gravy fumes.
The holiday season is a time of traditions. Here in America, the most popular holiday tradition, observed by millions, is to celebrate the birth of Jesus by going to a Walmart at 4 a.m. on the day after Thanksgiving and getting into fistfights over steeply discounted TV sets.
But many other nations around the world have equally colorful holiday traditions of their own. For example:
It was the kind of year that made a person look back fondly on the Gulf oil spill.
Granted, the oil spill was bad. But it did not result in a high-decibel, weeks-long national conversation about a bulge in a congressman's underpants. Which is exactly what we had in the Festival of Sleaze that was 2011. Remember? There were days when you could not escape The Bulge. At dinnertime, parents of young children had to be constantly ready to hurl themselves in front of their TV screens, for fear that it would suddenly appear on the news in high definition. For a brief (Har!) period, The Bulge was more famous than Justin Bieber.
The holiday season is a good time to ponder the lesson of "A Christmas Carol," the heartwarming classic story by the beloved dead English writer Charles Dickens. The story begins on Christmas Eve with mean old miser Ebenezer Scrooge being mean to his lowly clerk, Bob Cratchit, who is a good and humble man despite having a last name that sounds like an intestinal mishap, as in "The dog made cratchit on the rug."
Scrooge then goes home, and during the night he is visited by a series of ghosts, including the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Stranded in a Motel 6 in Albany, N.Y. Horrified, Scrooge rushes to the Cratchit home the next morning to atone for his meanness by giving the Cratchits a turkey, and everybody rejoices except Tiny Tim, who was hoping for an Xbox 360, so his Christmas is ruined.
Let's put things into perspective: 2010 was not the worst year ever. There have been MUCH worse years. For example, toward the end of the Cretaceous Period, the Earth was struck by an asteroid that wiped out 75 percent of all the species on the planet. Can we honestly say that we had a worse year than those species did? Yes we can, because they were not exposed to "Jersey Shore."
The lesson we learn from this timeless story is that it's important to get the right gift. All too often we give people gifts that they don't want, or can't use.
In these troubled economic times, when money is scarce for many people, it's important that we remind ourselves, and our loved ones, that the holiday season is not about buying things.
Then we and our loved ones can enjoy a hearty laugh, because, of COURSE the holiday season is about buying things. Now more than ever, the U.S. retail economy depends on consumers spending money they don't actually have on gifts that nobody actually needs.
It was a year of Hope _ at first in the sense of, "I feel hopeful!" and later in the sense of "I hope this year ends soon!"
It was also a year of Change, especially in Washington, where the tired old hacks of yesteryear finally yielded the reins of power to a group of fresh, young, idealistic, new-idea outsiders such as Nancy Pelosi. As a result Washington, rejecting "business as usual," finally stopped trying to solve every problem by throwing billions of taxpayer dollars at it and instead started trying to solve every problem by throwing "trillions" of taxpayer dollars at it.
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