Key to Christmas gift giving: No plug-ins

By Grant McGee: Local columnist

They say the great thing about being a guy is you can get all of your Christmas gift shopping done in half an hour on Christmas Eve. Well, I must have missed that lesson because choosing a gift for someone ranks right up there in my top five “Anxiety-Producing Things of Life.”

I have to credit The Lady of the House with teaching me a couple of valuable lessons when it comes to giving presents. The first one is when it comes to shopping for a gift just go shopping and there’ll be something on a shelf, in a catalog, online somewhere that will just pop out as the perfect gift for the person in mind. The other lesson is just give the gift with an open heart and don’t worry about how it will be received.

These new lessons replace old rules I had about gift giving. For instance there was the one, “Never give a plug-in as a gift to a woman,” plug-ins, of course, being anything you have to plug in.

No one had told me this rule when I gave the gift of a food processor to a woman I’d been hanging around with years ago. This was back in the ’80s when Cuisinarts were all the rage.

She had been talking about a food processor ever since I’d known her. She started talking about it more and more as Christmas got closer so I just assumed she was dropping hints as to what she expected me to give her for Christmas. So I bought a nice unit, wrapped it up and took it with me as we went out to dinner. I presented it to her while we waited for our food.

“Is this really a food processor?” she said looking at me sideways with a strange smile.

“Yeah,” I said. “What do you think it is?”

I was answered with another sideways glance and an even stranger smile.

She opened the box to reveal the Cuisinart.

“It really IS a food processor,” she said. “IT REALLY IS A FOOD PROCESSOR!”

She wasn’t smiling anymore as she shoved the box across the table at me. “I can’t believe you got me a food processor for Christmas!” she said as she stormed out of the restaurant, leaving me to eat my enchiladas in the company of my own new Cuisinart.

It turns out she was hoping I had hidden an engagement ring inside a big box. We didn’t hang around with each other much after that.

I’ve learned other stuff about gift giving over the years like, yeah, it’s nice to give cash but choose a thoughtful little gift to go along with it.

And then there are gifts from children. There’s something wonderful about a gift picked out by a kid.

So I pretty much wrapped up my gift shopping for The Lady of the House’s Christmas with one last little item. I won’t say where I got it or what it was. As I came into the house with it I said, “Don’t look! Turn your back, turn your back.”

As I headed to the place where I have her stuff stashed I paused and turned around. “I hope I’ve chosen wisely,” I said.

“I’m sure you have,” she said with an honest smile.

Feliz Navidad to everyone!

Grant McGee hosts the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. Contact him at: