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My Christmas Usual Suspects

I have a few thoughts I obsess over the day after Thanksgiving:

  1. I can’t believe I ate that much food in a 24 hour period. I really need to start eating better. Don’t eat pumpkin pie at 1am...I may have a problem.

  2. I really need to drink less. It is not ok that I consumed that many bottles of wine in a 24 hour period...I may have a problem.

  3. Screw it, I am going to get my shit together next year, it's the holidays!

  4. I have no clue what I am going to buy my “Usual Suspects” for Christmas...I definitely have a problem!

Black Friday is a grim reminder of what I have ahead of me in the next month, gifting decisions. I am obviously in a list making mood so I will discuss and define what I refer to as my Christmas Usual Suspects. This group of friends and family, who we all love on a day-to-day personal level, become a very large pain in our ass during the holiday season. If you are like me you want to buy the perfect gift that fits a person’s character. The Usual Suspects don’t understand what havoc they wreak on your life in December. The Suspects are not business clients or casual friends. The Suspects are close to you; spouses, parents, siblings, best friends. I see this blog entry as a public service announcement, or one of those checklists to see if you are depressed. If you fit any of these descriptions, for the love of all that is holy, change your ways! The crime they are all suspected of is conspiracy to drive me crazy!

  1. The Unattainable: This person wants something that you cannot physically attain without breaking laws or your bank account. This Suspect is asked every year what they want for Christmas, and every year they respond with a barrage of bat shit crazy items. Bengal tiger, gold coins from the bottom of Pacific Ocean, Bentley Flying Spur, or the survival knife that Sylvester Stallone used in Rambo 2...not the original! I adore that their goals are high, but now I feel like the pair of boots I bought them are going to be a complete letdown!

  2. The Generic: I understand that people like what they like, but Christmas isn’t about filling your grocery list. This Suspect hands you a list of the crap they were going to pick up at the dollar store an hour prior. I'd rather not gift wrap deodorant and a jar of dry roasted peanuts. I enjoy buying practical gifts, but tin foil isn’t an item that should ever don a bow!

  3. The Exchanger: Oh you know who you are! Someone goes out of their way to give you a gift and the day after Christmas you are blatantly running to the Returns/Exchanges line. Sensitivity is not this Suspect’s strong suite. Grandma bought you that plaid glitter sweater and even though it is heinous and scares household pets you need to embrace the gift! I guarantee that ugly sweater will mean more to you someday than some trendy garment that will be out of style next year.

  4. The Clueless: Seriously you can’t think of one thing you want? This Suspect bogles my mind. I understand being content with your life...or I understand the concept, but they cannot come up with one thing that they would enjoy over the holiday season. I can think of ten things as I type that would make me happy, and they are not items that need to be smuggled in from another country (I am looking at you Unattainable). Come on Clueless, think of one thing you love and give your weary gifter a hint.

  5. The Predictable: I can name you their list because it has never changed. This Suspect is a close relative to The Generic. The Predictable is obviously the easiest to please of The Suspects, but you see their dark side when you don’t follow their map. I once decided to buy something different for The Predictable and it ended in an angry glance over their glass of egg nog. Creativity isn’t a trait The Predictable embraces.

  6. The Fibber: I would call this Suspect a liar, but liar is such a harsh word. This Suspect will tell you what they hope to see under the tree Christmas morning. You are overjoyed when you buy the gift they asked for, and cannot wait to see their eyes light up when they open said gift. The Fibber is so happy and grateful, but after they place the gift down they will never use it, wear it, eat it, play with it... Why did I stand in line for seven hours at a big box retailer, acquire a skin rash and a nervous tick in my left eye to buy this piece of shit electronic? The Fibber never really wanted that “thing” in the first place. I understand that children are Fibber’s by nature; they see an ad on TV and want that new hot toy, plus they have the attention spans of drunken cats. If you throw out in conversation more than once that you would love a GPS for your car, don’t be shocked if you receive a Garmin! Fibber, even if you didn’t want the GPS, stick it on your dashboard anyway!

Please remember I love all of my Suspects dearly, and that is why I feel such angst and anxiety this time of year. I have found gift cards and certificates are a sure fire gift win for any of the Suspects. I know that seems like a cop-out, but you can get their gift cards from unexpected places. Look around at your local businesses and think about where the Suspect shops.

*An iTunes Card or Movie Money would be perfect for The Unattainable. This way they can read, listen to a podcast, or watch a documentary about all the goofy shit you can’t afford to buy them.

*The Generic would love a gift certificate for an oil change, car wash tokens, or hire a service that they need (housekeeper, lawn service, snow removal, power washing). This is practical and serves as a productive thoughtful gift!

*The Exchanger would be well suited with a gift card from any store that has a lenient return policy...I think Nordstrom's and Wal-Mart take damn near anything back!

*Wherever The Clueless patronizes is where you can surprise them with a gift certificate. Starbucks, their gym, or their hair stylist are places that are second nature to them. Stay away from department store cards for The Clueless, way too many choices.

*Buy what The Predictable wants. I promise it is not worth that shameful stare down! If you do get risky with The Predictable, buy them some dance lessons, a weekend cooking class, or a membership to a museum. Getting The Predictable out of their comfort zone and having them try something new could be the best gift they ever receive!

*The Fibber may need a few prepaid sessions with a good therapist, but that is inappropriate (I would like to say I am completely ok with any of my loved ones paying on my therapy balance and would not find it offensive). Don’t listen to what The Fibber says, watch what the Fibber does. If the Fibber golfs, buy them a round at local course they have never played. If the Fibber is a pet parent, hit up a groomer for Spa Day for their furry mate! If the Fibber is a parent of small children, offer to babysit their kids and book them a massage.

Along with these super duper ideas may I add that RollnUp Smoke Shop & Liquor now has a gift card! The coolest place in town to get beer, wine, and smokes now has a handy dandy gift card! They are the best stocking stuffers ever! Nothing says “I love you and I am not gonna screw up and pick out the wrong IPA, here is a tool that will let you determine what you want from the coldest beer-cave in town” like a RollnUp gift card! My shameless plug is only necessary because our gift cards are awesome!

Merry Christmas and Cheers to 2014!

Speaking of 2014, stop buy any of our 10 convenient locations for your New Years Eve Party Supplies...Andre Champagne 750 ml is only $3.99. You know you're only going to drink one glass and then say, “This stuff gives me a headache, where is my beer?” so save your money and shop with us because we don’t carry the expensive fancy pants champagne that you feel oddly pressured to buy one night out of the year!

I hope this helps with your Suspect’s gift list...or maybe I just pulled a Kayser Soże and dropped hints on what I want for Christmas.