Gifts of Christmas Past

I don’t know about you but I’ve gotten some strange presents over the years. I once got a waterpik from a guy I was dating. Was it his way of telling me I had spinach between my teeth? And let’s not forget how romantic an appliance can be.

Another thoughtful fella gave me a 5 speed blender so I could make him smoothies in the morning. When we broke up I made a terrarium out of it and sent it to him UPS with a note that said, ‘you forgot something.’

My last lover liked to go nuts on Xmas. Don’t get me wrong, he was nuts all year round, the holidays just gave him more of an excuse. I like to think of him as Santa on the rocks.

He gave so many presents I’m still regifting 5 years later. They were nice things, believe me, I’m just not a crotchless pantie kinda gal. I gave them to my friend Camille who likes to take them out once in a while when she needs a good laugh. Have you ever seen a pair?

You can drive a Vespa though them.

If only I was little again and my mother was in charge of shopping. Of course I was 15 before realizing she wasn’t Santa. She even had a sack.

She certainly pulled out all the stops I’ll say that for her. I think she actually started shopping the day after Christmas stashing it all in the attic with a big sign in front of it that said, ‘I wouldn’t if I were you.’

My mother loved assembling gifts under the tree. It was as if she expected ‘House and Gardens’ to stop by any minute. No one could touch anything and the cat, once the tree was up, was banned from the living room. Fluffy, of course, didn’t know this so once in a while we’d find her sprawled over a package like a big furry bow.

“Fluffy, don’t you understand English? What did I tell you?”

“But Ma, she’s a cat.”

“That’s no excuse.”

One of my favorite presents was ‘The Barbie Dream House’ that was completely constructed out of heavy cardboard. I realize now poor Barbie would never have been eligible for home owner’s insurance since one reckless cigarette would have burnt her triplex to the ground. It was really a duplex but my dad, who was in charge of putting it together, changed its design by accident. He was so handy that it took him only 5 months to complete it. Like I said, Mom shopped early.

The staircase was never quite right as I remember. There was a big space so Barbie and Ken, yes they were living together, had to jump to get to their bedroom. I liked it that way since I could make him break his leg anytime I wanted.

Barbie wore the pants in the family and put up with very little nonsense. Sometimes I’d take Ken’s tennis racket and scuba gear and pretend Barbie threw them on the lawn. (my mother showed me how) He’d always be in his swimming trunks in the dead of winter buried in snow I made out of cotton balls.

My grandfather originally gave me Parmesan cheese to sprinkle but the smell bothered Fluffy who would suddenly throw up several hair balls too near Barbie’s patio that I would fill with chicken bones. That’s when I played ‘trailer-park Barbie.’

Another present I loved was my ‘Patty Play Pal Doll’ that was only about a foot shorter than I was. I made believe she was Theresa Errechetti, a girl I hated at school because she was so smart and never had to clap erasers or sit with gum on her nose. I’d smack that doll a lot and ask her geography questions that she never got right that inevitably would cause me to chew that wad of Dentyne, shove it on her nose and then not play with her for a month; it made those cavities worth it.

“Susannah, don’t you like your new doll?”

“I love her Mom, she’s just being punished.”

“Where’s her right leg?”

“In my sock drawer.”

“As long as you know where it is.”

I was such a happy kid, can’t you tell?

As I got older I preferred smaller presents like pens and pricey jewelry that I would sell the second the guy and I broke up. I would usually have to request something from Tiffany after realizing men were clueless gift wise; waterpiks, blenders, bottomless undies? I felt it was a smart move, like asking them for a last month’s rent.

Hey, when I’m done with a guy I’m done with his jewels, and I mean all of them.

Since I don’t have a significant other at the moment I won’t be getting anything too personal this Christmas. It’s a pity though since, now that I’m older, I can really appreciate a good appliance.

Oh well, there’s always next year.


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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2 Responses to Gifts of Christmas Past

  1. D. D. Syrdal says:

    Be careful what you wish for… 😉 I like the idea of using the doll as a surrogate for a real-life nemesis. This could have far-reaching therapeutic value!

    Merry Christmas 😀


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