This year, on Christmas Eve-eve, I found myself with only one more present to buy: something for my mom. At the beginning of the holiday season, I had grandiose visions of buying her this pair of pricey mini-chandeliers she wants. Then I realized that would be expensive and, hey, I've got tons of kids to buy for. So I thought I'd just give her one chandelier. But then the month wore on, and I still hadn't bought it. Then I ended up missing a week of work due to being sick and, therefore, missing a week's paycheck. That left me kicking myself two days before Christmas, wishing I'd put a little more effort into it.
My brother Steve, who my sister swears is Mom's favorite, came up here to spend Christmas with us. And he brought her a Keurig - you know, one of those fancy-schmancy one-cup coffee makers? Yeah. I resigned myself to the fact that, financially, I wouldn't be able to top that ... and the award for the best gift would have to go to my brother this year.
So I thought that maybe since she had the Keurig now, I'd get her a special mug to drink her coffee out of. I had visions of finding her the perfect cup - maybe something in her favorite colors with a nice design. I pictured her smiling as she filled it with coffee from her Keurig, thinking fondly of her children every time she raised it to her lips.
But standing behind me in the aisle at Walmart, my brother popped that bubble. "A mug?" he scoffed loudly.
"What's wrong with a mug?"
I had asked for a simple answer, but ended up getting a tirade. "Seriously? A mug? Nobody wants a mug!" Steve railed, waving his hands. "I've gotten mugs as gifts before. They're so generic. Like ties. Trust me ... NOBODY wants a mug."
It was this surprisingly impassioned anti-mug rant that led me to buy something else for Mom's Christmas present. It is also the reason why, as soon as we got home, I let Steve open his Christmas present early.
"Oh my God ... it's a mug, isn't it?"
He asserted that since it was shaped like a toilet, it was okay.
... For a mug.