January 3, 2009

Christmas Present

The children's church service was a success. After I finished putting away all the Christmas costumes for another year, I had some quiet time and then headed home to wrap presents. We spent Christmas morning at home, where Abe received this lovely gift from Sheba. He has a love/hate relationship with it, so of course it is prominently featured in the main bathroom.

We left at noon for St. Louis and my brother's family of five kids, plus my sister and my parents. It was chaos, but everyone took turns with the little ones. We looked for free entertainment and found it at the Anheuser-Busch brewery tour, where they had this dog-and-pony show in the stable.

On the way home my brother had to show us a house that apparently wants to outdo the one in "Christmas Vacation." This is Teddy Bear Christmas Land, complete with animatronics in a small enclosure and each house window. I wonder what the neighbors think of this indulgence. 

This is my mystery gift to my brother, just because. It is an Annoy-a-tron 2.0, an amazing toy the size of a business card. Its function is to drive people crazy with any of six sounds (your choice!) emitted at random intervals at an adjustable volume. It comes equipped with two powerful magnets so you can hide it in places like file cabinets, refrigerators, ductwork, and trashcans. (Ben has one too, and he has used every one of those places so far.) The sounds include a beep, doorbell, cricket, and a tone only audible to teens and apparently painfully so. I love this thing. You can get one of your own at ThinkGeek.com. Be sure to check out the customer testimonial and action photos.

This is my sister's mystery gift to me. It took me seventeen guesses to figure out this miserable thing. (My sister-in-law saw it earlier and got it in one guess.) Do you know what it is?

Oh, yeah. My gift to her? It's collagen casing, found in the hunting section of an outdoorsman's store, alongside everything you need to field-dress your quarry. Yum.

Update: I took my mystery gift to work today. My colleague guessed it in one guess. Yeah, I'm an idiot. Hint: it's really stretchy.

Update II: Okay, the big reveal. The mystery gift above is a trash-basket gasket for holding a liner bag in place. The triangles provide grip without rolling. Now I'm on the lookout for next year's gift.


the hobbit said...

Happy New Year, honey! Love the house, love the presents. Love you.

Thanks for being around.

Roxrocks said...

I love, Love, LOVE the Christmas Story leg light nightlight! I must have one!

THIS IS ME....ONLINE said...

I could have so much fun with that Annoy-A-Tron. Great idea! Love the nightlight, too. But the other two gifts....they leave me speechless. Because I don't understand what they are. Glad I got gifts cards from our siblings. :)

Bear Me Out said...

You have got SUCH a creative family. An "Annoy-a-Tron?"

I go to church with some of those . . . .


Ur-spo said...

It is a rosary for simple folks.

Patrick said...

If it makes you feel any better, I haven't a CLUE what your gift from your sister is. Would being able to touch it clarify things? Or just seeing it in three dimensions? There appears to be a computer chip involved.

I'm glad you had such a delightful holiday, performance, gag gifts, family, chocolate at all. Happy New Year, my Dear.

Patrick said...

Oop, I was looking at the annoy-a-tron, but I still don't know what your gift is.

Java said...

WHAT IS IT??? I don't know, but now I'm itchin' to find out.

Love the annoy-a-tron! Well, I love it for anyone else. If one of my kids had it, I wouldn't like it so much.

Greg said...

Well, the Annoy-A-Tron sounds aptly named...but fun in my own hands, which seems the general consensus.

There aren't enough beads for the mystery gift to be a bathtub rosary (although it looks like its plastic or rubber or something...)

The nightlight's great: Fra-gee-lay. Must be Italian.

Greg said...

Oh, Ur-Spo, I swear, I hadn't noticed your rosary comment 'til now. Are the "beads" triangular?

Bill said...

I was given that exact leg lamp nightlight last year for Christmas. I use it to add a glow to a dim corner on the kitchen countertop.
The odd thing is that the bulb burned out today, and I see it on your blog tonight.
(cue Twilight Zone intro music)