The Ultimate Christmas Stocking!

The Advent Calendar has been updated through today. It’s beginning to lose its mind. Also, for those unaware, I’ve been detailing the LEGO Advent Calendar gifts on X-E’s Facebook page, day-by-day.

If you’re wondering why I put that there and not here: I have strange and counterproductive ideas on what should live on X-E, and daily updates with single paragraphs about LEGO toys do not match. Plus, if I can get some new eyes on X-E through the FB page, great. If you go there, click “like” a lot. I’ll pay you nothing.

It’s finally gotten “December cold.” Cold enough for me to wear a hat, even though I hate hats and have openly lambasted their very invention.

It’s cold enough for gloves, too. I don’t hate gloves, but whenever it’s time to wear them, I’m reminded that I’m not of this world and must constantly work at capacity to keep even half of a toe within normal society.

You see, I can’t put my pinky fingers inside the pinky slots of gloves. It makes me feel vulnerable and uneasy, and gives my whole body that nails-on-a-chalkboard sensation. Instead, I put my pinky and ring fingers into the ring finger slot, and let the pinky slot flap around as if I only have four fingers on each hand. Marry me?

Whenever I put my pinkies where they’re supposed to go, I feel like they’re doomed to break off. It isn’t a fleeting, easy-to-ignore notion, either. In the rare cases when I wear gloves that are too snug to do my double-finger trick, I start seeing spots.

It’s why I prefer those big, puffy snow gloves. Every finger except your thumb, all in one protective pouch. Heaven.

I’d feel better about this affliction if I knew that I wasn’t alone. If anyone else is petrified of putting their pinky in a glove’s pinky slot, please, speak up. I need camaraderie. I need. Specially made gloves.

There are a lot of kids in my family, so I have to buy a lot of Christmas presents. It’s become the norm for all of the kids to build their own Amazon wishlists and have us order stuff from them, but I’m just not digging that this year.

It’s too easy. It’s boring. I feel like I’m just fulfilling orders. It’s gotten to the point where any “surprises” are frowned upon. I understand that these lists make things easier for everyone involved, but Christmas is a giver’s holiday, too. I get nothing out of this. Besides, most of the kids are clever enough to switch their wishlist views to “purchased” to see what they’re getting, weeks before the big day. No thrills involved, for them or for me.

Some of them have more than a hundred items on there. How are you supposed to know what they really want? I know Amazon has a ranking system for wishlist items, but only three people in the entire world have ever used it, and all of them are dead. Your only guaranteed method of success is by choosing something wildly expensive, and that sucks more than a “free goldfish” sign painted by a liar.

Aiming for the pricey crap isn’t an option for me. I decided on a strict $25 limit for each kid. There are just too many of them. I don’t want to enter 2011 in the red just because everyone likes $60 video games.

Luckily, some of the kids aren’t computer savvy enough to build Amazon wishlists. I enjoy buying gifts for them. They’ll probably hate what I give them, but at least I had some fun. If I’m going to set fire to money, this is what counts.

With one of the boys who had no wishlist, I smelled an opportunity. Think cinnamon. I’ve been dancing around the subject for years, and now, it’s time. Instead of buying this kid one big random thing, I got him lots of little random things. Then I put them all in a fuzzy sock.

It’s finally time. Time to unveil the perfect Christmas stocking!

(click the picture to make it HUGE)

I don’t know how he’ll react to this. It’s far from a traditional present, and I’ll be giving it to him on Christmas Eve. It’s not like the stocking will ever be seen hanging by a fireplace on Christmas morning. Still, I stand by my belief that, in time, he will come to regard this as his favorite gift of the 2010 season.

To start, I found the perfect stocking. Far from small, but not so ridiculously huge that I’d have never been able to fill it. The only bad stocking stuffer is air. And this stocking is BLUE! I prefer the “classic” look when it comes to Christmas, but there’s no denying that a small boy would be happier with a sleek BLUE stocking than a “boring” red one.

The inside is filled with everything. My goal was to hit all of the different “branches” of kiddy stuff, from toys to candy and beyond. There’s no single item that will riotously impress him, but the sum is worth so much more than its parts.

Reviewing the contents, there seems to be five distinct categories of goodies: Toys, Movies, Christmas Stuff, Candy, and Stocking Classics. I haven’t named these categories very well. On purpose.

TOYS: A Star Wars figure, a Transformers figure, a Hot Wheels car, and two incredible Batman guys that come in neat little stocking-themed packages. I prayed that I wouldn’t be able fit everything into the stocking, because I wanted to keep Mr. Freeze for myself. Mr. Freeze’s gun is taller than he is, and I’ve long been a proponent of comically oversized weapons.

MOVIES: With my $25 limit (excluding the cost of the stocking, which I’m ignoring), there just wasn’t enough leftover for a DVD. Fortunately, I have plenty of them, and thanks to those random duplicates that weasel their way into our lives, some of them are still sealed. I wanted something with a holiday theme, and went with The He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special. I’m well aware that this kid has no idea who He-Man is. I don’t care. The goal is to make him say, “WOW, all this, and a DVD too!” If he doesn’t say it on his own, I will force him.

CHRISTMAS STUFF: I thought it was important to include a few things that screamed CHRISTMAS, so I did. Most of them fall under the “candy” category, and thus, I don’t have much to write about in this space. Nothing except that glittery, oversized superball with the tiny snowman trapped inside. It bounces high. I am positive that he will lose it by December 26th.

CANDY: I’m finally seeing the point of putting candy in stockings: It’s cheap. It fills up those empty spaces without breaking the bank. My assortment includes a bunch of holiday-themed edibles, from chocolate eggs to two types of gum. There’s also a bag of ridiculously small Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, because you’d have to be allergic to more than half of its ingredients to not fall in love at first sight.

STOCKING CLASSICS: Here’s where I’m stretching things. A box of crayons, a toothbrush, and a weird contraption that lets you make soda geysers with a pack of Mentos. I don’t know how that last one qualifies as a “stocking classic,” but I didn’t want to add a sixth category just for soda geysers. As for the crayons and toothbrushes…they were just too synonymous with Christmas stocking innards for me to skip. Yeah, I know that the toothbrush is pushing it. In my defense, it lights up and has a little Spider-Man figurine on top.

I know what you’re thinking: All of the above had to cost more than 25 dollars. Okay, I cheated. I already had some of this stuff laying around the apartment. Since it was still sealed, why not? I’ve owned enough four-inch Sandtroopers for one lifetime.

I won’t make a big production out of giving this to him. I know that the stocking is a tough sell. It could take years for the kid to realize how awesome it is. I’ve readied myself for his quizzical and disgusted glances, and I’m preparing a cheat sheet with answers to the many questions that could be asked.

“Why did you give me a toothbrush?”
“I already have crayons?”
“Isn’t She-Ra for girls?”
“No really, why a toothbrush?”

No matter how I answer him, I’ll be lying. He wouldn’t understand the truth. It’s hard to sell a kid on the idea that he will better appreciate what he gets in 2010 with 2020’s retrospect. I can barely explain that now, so imagine me trying to do it on Christmas Eve. I’ll be plowed. Full of crab parts.

God, how cool? Mystery-flavored Hot Wheels cars. I want a hundred of them for Christmas. A hundred Mystery Hot Wheels, and one of those grow-your-own-frog kits. I will find a way to stunt them at the tadpole stage. No Water Stones for those Poliwags. Mele Kalikimaka.

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100 Responses to The Ultimate Christmas Stocking!

  1. Alex says:

    Matt, you need those four-fingered gloves that furries and amusement park characters need to wear to match their animated facsimile. Surely this is a large market, and you can easily get in on the action.

    Love the stocking. If he doesn’t like it, take it back; he doesn’t deserve it.

  2. Special K says:

    Matt: I keep meaning to ask, is that horse poop on the floor of the stall? I mean, it makes sense, but the fact that Playmobil would illustrate horse poop is hilarious to me. Of course, they’ve done stranger things, I suppose.

  3. Black Zarak says:

    Man, I’ve been looking for Insecticon everywhere! That kid better appreciate him!

  4. StuntDouble says:

    That stocking is full of all kinds of awesome. Hell, if I were to get that this year, I’d probably giggle like a 5 year old.

    If I could get around the whole bad breath and cancer thing, I would gladly rock a pipe.

  5. Matt says:

    Special K: Ooh, you know, you’re absolutely right. There IS horse shit built into the stable’s floor design. A big pile of it. Wow. Christ.

    Black Zarak: Is Insecticon rare? Spotting him was what really gave me the idea to do this stocking thing. Nobody asks for action figures anymore, because hey, they’re cheap and not very exciting compared to giant toys and movies and video games. But what kid’s Christmas is complete without some regular, standard figures?

  6. Spot says:

    I can’t say that have the same problem with gloves that you do, but I will say that I know how you feel. I have a problem with sharp corners and my eyes…. yeah, I know what you’re thinking, but I’m not joking around. Anytime there is an exposed sharp corner at eye-level, the closest eye to it starts to water. It’s as if it seems to be predicting it’s own downfall by it’s stupid-meat body blindly walking into said corner. It’s gotten so bad on occasion that I’ve had to replace some of my furniture to make sure I wouldn’t randomly burst into tears while watching tv in front of my friends.
    Heaven forbid I go over to a friend’s house and they have a tall armoire in their living room.

  7. Special K says:

    Matt: It’s funny to me that you’ve been photographing it this whole time and never noticed it before. hehe It’s in nearly every picture where you can see the floor. Mista Snowman should start mucking the place out — no wonder Horsey is misbehaving!

  8. Michael says:

    So sad that he wont be able to appreciate the awesomeness of this stocking now. Makes you want to beat sense into the kid, in a loving way, but you know it’s useless because kids dont listen.

    I just had my 35th B-Day yesterday and I would KILL to wake up to this on Xmas morning!

  9. Annette says:

    Wow, Mista Snowman is really hamming it up. hurrrrrr

    Also holy crap I finally got a copy of Ouendan 2 (think Elite Beat Agents only 100% more awesome and 100% more Japanese). All video games should be this much fun.

  10. ULTRAMAN says:

    Spot I have the same eye problem. I don’t know what it is, but for some reason, when I get near sharp corners, my eyes just start feeaking out. Big time. I have no idea why either. Unless I walk right into em, I have nothing to fear. Just the sight of sharp corners makes me think of my eyes being poked out. I have to cover them, and get away from the sharp point/s immediately. Man, I’m weird. lol

  11. jerryhorror says:

    Matt, where is your wish list? I’m curious. All the other Ghoulies on here as well, share your wish lists!

  12. Faith says:

    Wow, the glove story, I don’t think I’ve laughed more while reading this entertainment of x’s. I think you should tie a balloon to the pinky finger so it won’t look so conspicuous.

  13. Rev. Back It On Up 13 says:

    Yes. Balloons tied to things make them LESS conspicuous, despite what you’d think. Totally. Trust us.

    Or you could invert that part of the glove. Or tie it in a knot. It should be easy to snip the seams between the last two fingers of a glove, and sew it back together as one pouch.

    OR, you could stuff that extra finger with a Snickers bar. Then it won’t flap around all flaccid and sad looking, and if you get hungry, you can eat your spare finger.

    I have so many ideas for how to handle a missing finger!

  14. Annette says:

    Speaking of gloves, is there a practical application for fingerless gloves or are they created solely for looks? I personally don’t see how they’re warm at all, which I thought was the whole point of gloves in the first place.

  15. Cameron T. says:

    Practical Application: Playing Piccolo. All the flute/Piccolo players I knew in band cut the tips off their gloves, because you can’t kit the keys accurately with gloves on.

    Or anything that requires careful dexterity with the end of the fingers.

  16. Church says:

    I would think fingerless gloves are great if you want to keep your palms warm and chew your nails. That right there…that’s innovation friends.

  17. Bluejay says:

    Frankly I don’t see what you’re worried about. I can’t figure out how anyone could *not* love a stocking full of multiple gifts and candy. One year when I was in college, my sister told me she was worried I wouldn’t like my gift because it was more “useful” than “fun.” It was a box full of snacks and bottled drinks for my dorm. One of my favorite Christmas presents!

  18. Graen says:

    Matt, I would recommend looking for some trigger/chainsaw mitts. They are sort of a glove/mitt hybrid where just the index finger is separate (for ease of pulling a trigger), keeping the other three fingers together.
    They might be hard to find though as I doubt any regular manufacturers make them. I mostly see them made by the older knitters around my area.

  19. cb says:

    This is a tremendous gift!!!!!! As a kid I would have loved a stocking full of so many things- okay I would love it as a 29 year old too.

  20. rlw says:

    Long-time viewer, first-time poster. The stuffed stocking was, and still is, one of my favorite Christmas traditions. My money’s on this lucky little guy playing with the tiny Insecticon more than most of the high-dollar items he may get. Good call.

  21. Black Zarak says:

    Matt, to answer your question from a thousand comments ago that someone probably already answered; Insecticon’s not really rare, he’s just part of a wave of Scouts I haven’t seen around here until just this week (nabbed him myself finally yesterday!) whereas the rest of the country seems to have gotten the wave months ago. But distribution seems to really suck around here (NH)…

  22. Brent says:

    Cool idea. One of the main reasons stockings are so fun is because most of the stuff you’d never even think of wanting let alone asking for or even knowing they exist.

    Whenever I see those mystery hot wheels some douchebag has torn them open to see what’s inside. Oh, by the way there’s no such thing as too many stormtrooper guys. Click on my name for an example of multi-trooper hi jinx.

  23. Talia says:

    What you need are some medieval three-fingered gloves, Matt.

  24. Corrin says:

    SO, did the kid like the stocking?

  25. Corrin says:

    I think the contents were awesome, wish someone would give me the She ra DVD

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