Humor Selections for Dec 19th, 2007

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Gift Wrapping Tips for Men

This is the time of year when we think back to the very first Christmas, when the Three Wise Men -- Gaspar, Balthazar, & Herb -- went to see the baby Jesus &, according to the Book of Matthew, "presented unto Him gifts; gold, frankincense, & myrrh."

These are simple words, but if we analyze them carefully, we discover an important, yet often overlooked, theological fact: there is no mention of wrapping paper.

If there had been wrapping paper, Matthew would have said so: "And lo, the gifts were inside 600 square cubits of paper. And the paper was festooned with pictures of Frosty the Snowman. And Joseph was going to throweth it away, but Mary saideth unto him, she saideth, 'Holdeth it! That is nice paper! Saveth it for next year!' And Joseph did rolleth his eyeballs. And the baby Jesus was more interested in the paper than the frankincense."

But these words do not appear in the Bible, which means that the very first Christmas gifts were NOT wrapped. This is because the people giving those gifts had two important characteristics:

  • They were wise.
  • They were men.

Men are not big gift wrappers. Men do not understand the point of putting paper on a gift just so somebody else can tear it off. This is not just my opinion, this is a scientific fact based on a statistical survey of two guys I know. One is Rob, who said the only time he ever wraps a gift is "if it's such a poor gift that I don't want to be there when the person opens it." The other is Gene, who told me he does wrap gifts, but as a matter of principle never takes more than 15 seconds per gift. "No one ever had to wonder which presents daddy wrapped at Christmas," Gene said. "They were the ones that looked like enormous spitballs."

I also wrap gifts, but because of some defect in my motor skills, I can never completely wrap them. I can take a gift the size of a deck of cards & put it the exact center of a piece of wrapping paper the size of a regulation volleyball court, but when I am done folding & taping, you can still see a sector of the gift peeking out. (Sometimes I camouflage this sector with a marking pen.) If I had been an ancient Egyptian in the field of mummies, the lower half of the Pharaoh's body would be covered only by Scotch tape.

On the other hand, if you give my wife a 12-inch square of wrapping paper, she can wrap a C-130 cargo plane. My wife, like many women, actually likes wrapping things. If she gives you a gift that requires batteries, she wraps the batteries separately, which to me is very close to being a symptom of mental illness. If it were possible, my wife would wrap each individual volt.

My point is that gift-wrapping is one of those skills like having babies that come more naturally to women than to men. That is why today I am presenting:

Gift Wrapping Tips for Men:

  • Whenever possible, buy gifts that are already wrapped. If, when the recipient opens the gift, neither one of you recognizes it, you can claim that it's myrrh.
  • The editors of Woman's Day magazine recently ran an item on how to make your own wrapping paper by printing a design on it with an apple sliced in half horizontally & dipped in a mixture of food coloring & liquid starch. They must be smoking crack. If you're giving a hard-to-wrap gift, skip the wrapping paper! Just put it inside a bag & stick one of those little adhesive bows on it. This creates a festive visual effect that is sure to delight the lucky recipient on Christmas morning:

YOUR WIFE: Why is there a Hefty trash bag under the tree?
YOU: It's a gift! See? It has a bow!
YOUR WIFE (peering into the trash bag): It's a leaf blower.
YOU: Gas-powered! Five horsepower!
YOUR WIFE: I want a divorce.
YOU: I also got you some myrrh.

In conclusion, remember that the important thing is not what you give, or how you wrap it. The important thing, during this very special time of year, is that you save the receipt.

Submitted by Patty, Ringos, NJ.

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Christmas Tree Trivia
  • Christmas trees have been sold commercially in the United States since about 1850.
  • In 1979, the National Christmas Tree was not lighted except for the top ornament. This was done in honor of the American hostages in Iran.
  • Between 1887-1933 a fishing schooner called the Christmas Ship would tie up at the Clark Street bridge and sell spruce trees from Michigan to Chicagoans.
  • The tallest living Christmas tree is believed to be the 122-foot, 91-year-old Douglas fir in the town of Woodinville, Washington.
  • The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree tradition began in 1933. Franklin Pierce, the 14th president, brought the Christmas tree tradition to the White House.
  • In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge started the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony now held every year on the White House lawn.
  • Since 1966, the National Christmas Tree Association has given a Christmas tree to the President and first family.
  • Most Christmas trees are cut weeks before they get to a retail outlet.
  • In 1912, the first community Christmas tree in the United States was erected in New York City.
  • Christmas trees generally take 6-8 years to mature.
  • Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states including Hawaii and Alaska.
  • 100,000 people are employed in the Christmas tree industry.
  • 98 percent of all Christmas trees are grown on farms.
  • More than 1,000,000 acres of land have been planted with Christmas trees.
  • 77 million Christmas trees are planted each year.
  • On average, over 2,000 Christmas trees are planted per acre.
  • You should never burn your Christmas tree in the fireplace. It can contribute to creosote buildup.
  • Other types of trees such as cherry and hawthorns were used as Christmas trees in the past.
  • Thomas Edison's assistants came up with the idea of electric lights for Christmas trees.
  • In 1963, the National Christmas Tree was not lit until December 22nd because of a national 30-day period of mourning following the assassination of President Kennedy.
  • Teddy Roosevelt banned the Christmas tree from the White House for environmental reasons.
  • In the first week, a tree in your home will consume as much as a quart of water per day. Trees Archive Photos
  • Tinsel was once banned by the government. Tinsel contained lead at one time, now it's made of plastic.
  • In 1984, the National Christmas Tree was lit on December 13th with temperatures in the 70s, making it one of the warmest tree lightings in history.
  • 34 to 36 million Christmas trees are produced each year and 95 percent are shipped or sold directly from Christmas tree farms.
  • California, Oregon, Michigan, Washington, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina are the top Christmas tree producing states.
  • The best selling trees are Scotch Pine, Douglas Fir, Fraser Fir, Balsam Fir, and White Pine.

Submitted by Dory, Pittsburgh, Pa.

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Rules of Etiquette When the Power is Out Due to an Ice Storm
  • All clothing rules such as matching and ironing are null and void during a power outage and it is extremely rude to point out that navy blue pants, black shoes and a dark gray t-shirt don't really go together. Everything matches when it's pitch black in side your closet and nothing looks wrinkled in the dark.
  • If you are fortunate enough to have power, you should not fix your hair until all of your co-workers also have power. Nothing is more irritating to those of us with flat, straight hair than to sit next to Miss Bouncy Hair who had the advantage of a working hair dryer, curling iron, and hot rollers in a heated bathroom.
  • If your power comes back on but your neighbor’s has not, it is in very poor taste to turn on all 100,000 of your outdoor Christmas lights. Give it a rest. We are sitting in the dark burning our last remaining candle and the glow of your Christmas lights across the street is not giving us a warm, fuzzy feeling.
  • If you have power, don't ask the have-nots "Did you see the news last night?" or "Did you watch Law and Order? It was the best show ever."
  • Don't call in to work to say you're running a few minutes late because the homemade cookies in your oven are not quite done. And don't come to work without at least 2 dozen of them.
  • You power (P) people stop telling us non-power (NP) people to stay warm. What don't you understand about "WE DON'T HAVE POWER". There is no way to stay warm!
  • Don't be asking "What's that smell" when you are sitting next to a non-power person. Showers are a luxury that the NP's do not have unless one of you P's wants to give us access to yours.

Submitted by Paul, in icebound, Oklahoma City, OK

Mike's note:  Having just spent three days without power, I've a few other items to add:

If you have the foresight to have a portable generator and live in the county ...

  • Don't tell your wife you're truing it off at 11 pm to 'give it a rest' ... tell her the manufacture requires it to be shutdown for 6 hours every 18 hours.
  • Have a video of Green Acres in standby ... give it to your wife when she asks why she can't run the dryer, dishwasher and TV at the same time.  Don't try to do it yourself.
  • Don't ask your wife not to take a Cinderella shower to prevent unnecessary cycling of the water pump.  Instead use the opportunity while she's in the shower to turn everything off she turned on while you were out resetting the generators' breaker.

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More Ways to Confuse Santa Claus
  • Leave a plate filled with cookies and a glass of milk out, with a note that says, "For The Tooth Fairy." Leave another plate out with half a stale cookie and a few drops of skim milk in a dirty glass with a note that says, "For Santa"
  • Take everything out of your house as if it's just been robbed. When Santa arrives, show up dressed like a policeman and say, "Well, well. They always return to the scene of the crime."
  • Leave out a copy of your Christmas list with last-minute changes and corrections.
  • While he's in the house, cover the top of the chimney with barbed wire.
  • Leave lots of hunting trophies and guns out where Santa's sure to see them. Go outside, yell, "Ooh! Look! A deer! And he's got a red nose!" and fire a gun.
  • Leave Santa a note, explaining that you've moved. Include a map with unclear and hard-to-read directions to your new house.
  • Leave out a Santa suit, with a dry-cleaning bill.
  • Paint "hoof-prints" all over your face and clothes. While he's in the house, go out on the roof. When he comes back up, act like you've been "trampled." Threaten to sue.
  • Instead of ornaments, decorate your tree with Easter eggs. Dress up like the Easter Bunny. Wait for Santa to come and then say, "This neighborhood ain't big enough for the both of us."

Submitted by Kenneth, Shropshire, England

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Merry Christmas - Download Video

Submitted by former Mayor

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Submitted by Lindsay, Melbourne, Australia.

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Dec 17th Humor Page