My friend Judy is a genius.

She’s a retired attorney that does volunteer work for the ACLU. So…maybe not as much of a genius as I think. But…

She gave me a gift for Christmas. And, I had seen these President Obama magnets that have a variety of outfits and hairstyles. I gave her those (she volunteered during his campaign). I should’ve known she’d already have them on her kitchen fridge.

She told me this great story about going to LA to see a friend. She left a bunch of gifts and cards in her backseat, that weren’t for anyone specific. She said, “If they give me a gift, I can say ‘Oh. I left yours in my car’.” At which point she can retrieve one of the nicely wrapped candles or whatever.

I did that with a guy I play racquetball with 15 years ago. I would give him gifts and he always felt awkward about it. He’d tell me he ordered a gift but it hadn’t come in yet. Then, I’d either never get the gift or, he’d give me some generic basketball item that you really wouldn’t need to “order”.

I didn’t like the idea of feeling awkward giving him a present, which once culminated with us each giving the other the exact same gift (a book on movies).

I had filled out a few Christmas cards (I either buy funny ones, or something that says “happy holidays” so I’m not offended folks that don’t celebrate Christmas) for the women I see at the dog park. But it rained one day when I planned on going, and another day none of the regulars showed up.

And the last day before Christmas, I forget the cards. The worst thing was that a woman named Jan gave me this great gift bag, with treats for my dog (and Hershey Kisses for me).

I was running errands with a friend of mine a few days ago, and she had to drop something off at her bosses house. She was a bit bummed, saying “I really should get her a Christmas card.”

We stopped into a mall, and she bought a small gift as well. As she was writing a message on the car in the parking lot, she screamed. I asked what was wrong and she pointed to the cover of the card. Santa Claus was....African-American.

I wasn’t sure what was funnier. The drawing of Santa, or the weird, attempt at being hip, message that went with it. I asked why she picked out that card and she said “It was the only Christmas card left, other than the really religious ones. And my boss knows I’m not really religious so I just grabbed this.”

Maybe before next holiday season, I’ll tell my friends about Judy and her gift and cards hidden in the back seat. It saves last minute trips to a crowded mall. Or cards that you would’ve never picked out.


KarenBP Dec. 26, 2009 @ 5:37 p.m.

i love it, a schvartze Santa!! Love it.


PistolPete Dec. 26, 2009 @ 5:48 p.m.

My parents were a black guy when I was a child? O_o


rickeysays Dec. 26, 2009 @ 6:26 p.m.

Maybe Santa just went on vacation to the Bahamas before Christmas, and he still had a good tan.


jfkali Dec. 26, 2009 @ 7:19 p.m. are too sweet!! That is because You eat too much candy.


nan shartel Dec. 26, 2009 @ 9:43 p.m.

thank heavens for electronic...paper cards r so difficult to organise and send..and u can't regift paper


Ponzi Dec. 27, 2009 @ 6:18 a.m.

She said, “If they give me a gift, I can say ‘Oh. I left yours in my car’.”

Typical lawyer. Lies.


Josh Board Dec. 27, 2009 @ 8:58 a.m.

e-cards are the worst. i hate opening them, and usually don't now. and the person receiving them, probably feels like...I dunno. the same way my grandmother felt when you would call and say "thanks for the $5 in the birthday card" instead of handwriting a nice 'thank you' note.


nan shartel Dec. 27, 2009 @ 10:20 a.m.

not mine Josh...i found a mine with a little vendor in New Zealand..they r a little too nostalgic maybe but otherwise r a real treat

kids love them...and that allows u to send a card to a kid that u might otherwise not send one to

look at "my Christmas card to The Reader friends here"

and then let me know what u think...and don't be nice to the old lady if u don't want to...hahahahahahahahaha

i do have friends that don't open my electronic card...the scamps...they don't know what they missed...maybe lolol

and i wish this sentiment to u too homey!!


Josh Board Dec. 27, 2009 @ 1:41 p.m.

You see, nan. That's my point. I sometimes open them, and the link doesn't work. Other times I open them, and it takes forever. So, I waited 8 minutes to see a turkey dancing around, wishing me "Happy Thanksgiving".

Other times, I see things come up that say by opening the thing, the company has access to blah blah blah. And I don't want this company putting me on their lists, or having access to blah blah blah. So I just don't open them anymore.

Now, don't get me wrong. If someone wants to send me a nice email wishing me a Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza, or whatever holiday they celebrate, that's fine. I'll gladly read it, and respond in kind.

That reminds me of how funny it was when I first moved out on my own. For years I did the Christmas card thing. And I always found it amusing when a good friend, wouldn't send a card. Until it was obvious they received my card, and then thought....oh no, we better send him one! They didn't think that it would probably arrive on December 27th, since they were sending it so late.


nan shartel Dec. 27, 2009 @ 1:59 p.m.

i completely understand closest relatives r afraid of my cards...hahahahahahaha.....i wish i could put pictures up in these comments and then i could just wander around and put them worries homey and this blog of urs put u right on my search blogs and comment area here at The Reader

so next time i'll arrive cardless but ready to read and enjoy u in ur many and varied manifestations

and year i'll send u an e-mail of my nostalgic nonsense

I'm very saddened that my picture animations can't move in my blog anymore..tearful..if u have any pull with the powers that be will u try to put that on their "pictures in blogs" agenda for next year you could use that "moving pictures r worth a thousand words rationale"..hehehehe

thx homey...over and out


Josh Board Dec. 27, 2009 @ 2:20 p.m.

That's funny stuff, nan. I've read a few of your pieces and they are quite entertaining.

I've only asked the Reader website folks, if we could get email updates if someone has posted on our blogs. And the only reason I asked that is a few people have left voice mails for me, saying that they've commented on a blog of mine and they are done with it. A few weeks later they check, and see a few people have commented on their comment, and they had no way of knowing that. I guess other websites send an email notification if anyone else comments after you, and they'd like that convenience.


nan shartel Dec. 27, 2009 @ 2:42 p.m.

i just use the search my regular reads thingie on which u now appear

i don't go so far as to expect e-mails...after all this is a citywide publishing enterprise of things more important then various places to get plastic surgeries..hehehehehehe

i just like it when my pictures can still jump if they're coded for that...they could at they can't anymore


rickeysays Jan. 3, 2010 @ 1:46 a.m.

I prefer Festivus. I look forward to the "Airing of Grievances".


Josh Board Jan. 3, 2010 @ 2:25 p.m.

For me, the "airing of grievances" is something that should happen all year round. Why save it just for the holiday season?

On the subject of Kwanzaa, Saturday Night Live did a great bit. I forget who, Tracy Morgan or Chris Rock, were asking people in the office why they didn't get anything from them for Kwanza. So, the guys just started giving stuff off their desk -- staplers, paper shredders, and one guy that walked in just handed over his wallet. Adam Sandler immediately chimed in "That's from both of us!"

When everyone left, the two black guys high fived and said "It works ever year."


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