It Was Like Christmas in December!

Clockwise from upper left: Celebrating the dumpster fire that was 2016; the Bass Oreno; and the Christmas Taco

If you have a spouse/significant other/main squeeze did you buy each other Christmas presents this year?

My wife and I have been married for 20 years – we celebrated our 20th anniversary back in October with a frozen pizza extravaganza – and have long since relieved one another of the obligation to buy and exchange gifts at Christmas.

It is such a relief to know that our relationship isn’t going to crumble if we don’t exchange gifts. I truly feel for people in relationships who don’t enjoy this luxury. I was in one myself a long, long time ago and I know the pressure of trying to express your feelings by making just the right purchase.

It sucks.

I can remember being at a mall 30 years ago and starting into a nervous sweat (in December!) over whether or not this or that item was going to fit the bill. Yuck.

Breaking the Rules

Having no obligation to exchange Christmas presents doesn’t mean we never get each other anything, we sometimes break the rules, but when we do buy or make one another something for Christmas it’s because we want to, not because we feel we must.

And that brings us to this past Christmas, and .  .  .

The Real Reason for this Post

This post is mainly just an excuse for me to show off the totally sweet pajama pants my wife made me. Observe:

Are those awesome or what?

I realize that this photo is slightly out of focus, but that is intentional because these PJs have hypnotic powers. If the photo were any crisper all 6 readers of this blog would be unintentionally hypnotized by the dazzling pajamas thereby releasing the readers’ upper management potential all over the place.

The only investment required to produce these pajamas was my wife’s time. The fabric was all freeby stuff that a friend of her’s had left over.

I know, hard to believe that there was any of this fabric remaining in the known universe what with its magic powers and all.

And That’s Not All

As if hand-made hypnotic pajamas (think I just stumbled on a band name there) weren’t enough she also got me an awesome Simms fleece. If you’re not familiar with Simms they make premium fly fishing gear and apparel and are based in Bozeman, Montana.

(Why yes, I did just learn how to create circular images in photoshop.)


What would you guess a new fleece pullover from Simms would cost you? If you said about $100 you’d be about right.

I know what you’re thinking:

Gray, isn’t $100 a bit much to spend on an article of clothing for one who claims to be a disciple of frugality?

And I know what I’m thinking:

Yes, $100 is way too much to spend on an article of clothing. But fear not my 6 readers, for my wife found this item in practically new condition at a local thrift store where she paid the very frugal sum of $7. If my math is correct, I believe that’s about 93% off the original price.

So for a grand total of seven American dollars my wife gifted me like it was Christmas in December.

Anything Else You’d Like to Declare?

Well, as a matter of fact there is.

I didn’t ask for anything for Christmas, didn’t make a list or anything like that. Seems crazy to me that full-grown adults make lists of things they want other people to buy for them.

Nonetheless, my mom can’t help but get her first born a present or two on Christmas. I’ve tried to dissuade her from this but have finally accepted that gift giving is one of her “love languages.”

My love languages are Pig Latin and Esperanto. In fact, Tito Gallegos has been something of a mentor to me. But I digress. . .

This Christmas my mom got me this dandy little package of love-life enhancer:

Which includes the following items:

I’m pretty sure all 6 of my readers already know that I’m sporting the full beard through the hibernatory months, but if you didn’t know, well, I am. And yes, the beard is also graying.

But Does the Love-Life Enhancer Really Work??

Hold your horses, I’m getting to that part.

For Christmas dinner we were invited over to some friend’s house for a big gathering of their family and friends.

In preparation for an evening of socializing my wife wisely chose to indulge in a Christmas afternoon nap on the couch. While she dozed I had the perfect opportunity to give my beard a trim and try out the new whisker treatments.

What I Discovered

The Beard Bar wasn’t terribly exciting. It’s basically just soap that has been fancifully shaped into an abstract form and then sliced into bars. Admittedly, it did produce a somewhat thicker and creamier lather than my standard shower soap, but other than that I didn’t see how it was going to help me build a better beard.

Now, the Beard Balm on the other hand, here was a product with potential. Only I didn’t see how it would live up to that potential on my beard. You see, I’m not rocking the wavy santa claus beard or planning to compete in the world moustache championships. However, if I ever want to go full handlebar with the ‘stache, I now have the technology.

The final item in the love-life enhancing kit was something called Whisker Elixir. Go ahead and say it with me one time, Whisker Elixir. That is a nice piece of assonance right there.

To be honest, this was the one element of the kit that didn’t really appeal to me. I thought it might have a lotion-like consistency, but turns out it’s more of a very light oil, maybe a 5w-30, possibly lighter.

The product comes in a spray bottle and I thought to myself there’s no way I’m going to be spraying oil on my face.

However, after reading the instructions (often an infinite source of wisdom) I learned that you’re only supposed to use 2 or 3 drops sprayed onto your fingers which are then used to work the elixir through your whiskers.

I also noticed that this stuff had a marvelous aroma owing to the fact it contains cedarwood and rosemary essential oils. Not sure what makes an oil essential, but these two together conjured just the right blend of rugged and refined.

So, following the instructions I dabbed a few drops on my fingers, rubbed the elixir into my newly trimmed and washed beard, and tip-toed downstairs to check on sleeping beauty.

ZZZzzzzzzzz. I’m Hungry.

There was only the sound of soft snoring coming from the living room, which was handy since it gave me time to address the mild grumbling noises coming from my stomach. With my wife still sleeping I grabbed a couple handfuls of peanuts from the pantry and fed them to my stomach trolls.

After silencing the digestive beasts I heard a gentle rustling coming from the vicinity of the couch so I sauntered in to the living room to put my new love-life enhancer kit to the test.

As my wife stirred from her slumber I knelt by her side and leaned in close to give her a soft kiss on the cheek and the tenderest of nuzzles with my newly enhanced facial hair.

I whispered lovingly into her ear, “What do you think of my new whisker elixir?”

In a sleepy voice she replied, “I’m sure it’s lovely dear, but right now all I can smell are peanuts.”

Ladies and gentlemen, I rest my case.



  1. Love the PJs! Your wife is talented!

    Oil on hair must be used very sparingly — says the woman who oils her hair every day in order to flat iron it. (Except this week I haven’t bothered since I’ve been wearing a hood and the iron is no match for static.)

    You beat us with the 7 bucks. No Christmas gifts — no birthday or anniversary gifts either. One of the nicest gifts Mr. G ever got me was a candy bar from a fudge shop in an airport. He was coming home from a business trip and thinking of me. Yes, I let him share the chocolate bar with me.

    Happy New Year!


    1. Thanks Mrs.G. Yes, all jokes aside my wife is pretty awesome.
      I haven’t been doing my hair much this week either since it’s been under a hat or a hood most of this chilly week.
      I was shocked to receive not one but two gifts this year from my wife. Crazy! It truly is so nice to not live under the gift-giving burden of Christmas, anniversaries and birthdays.
      Happy New Year to you as well!


  2. This is a great post. The Pig Latin of Tito Gallegos had me in hysterics. I had to look up the word “assonance”, which was well worth the click. I will definitely need to refer to this article next year, just about the time we start feeling the pressure of the season. Love those pajamas!


    1. Susan – thank you for the comment! Not sure if you ever watched the Ben Stiller show back in the 90’s but it was great. The Pig Latin Lover was just one of many hilarious bits. I thought I might get slapped for the “nice piece of assonance” line but it was all in good fun.

      The big way we saved on Christmas this year was deciding we just weren’t going to buy gifts for the ever expanding cast of nieces and nephews. No complaints so far.


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