Good morning worldwide readers. We have hit the 10 day mark. There are only 10 days until Christmas! Yes I know there are various cultures that do not celebrate Christmas but the majority of the world does so that is my point of reference at this time.
For those of us who have existed on this planet for greater than 19 months, we are acutely aware of the tradition of Christmas and the exchange of gifts. Some wee ones are under the impression that all Christmas presents are the work of Santa and Santa’s network alone. But for the rest of us, we know differently. As a fiancé, boyfriend, significant other et al, we cannot rely on the magical jolly old coot from the North Pole to make sure the object of our affections is sufficiently taken care of. We must try to listen all year round and make logical leaps of faith to try to capture gifts that will earn a positive endorsement from our partner in life. It would be nice if Santa would help with some of the crazy formulas needed to successfully land this 747 of holiday hope but nooooo. Sink or swim, we guys are on our own to try to nail down the perfect gift full of thought, creativity, acceptable threshold of money spent and wow factor for her to brag about to her friends. Luckily I have already anted up for this round of Christmas poker and we shall see if this year’s gamble pays off.
That last part seemed like a decent way to transition to the topic of the title. Going back about twenty or more years, I remember getting a particular gift from my grandmother who has since passed away. After a certain age, grandparents seem lost when they cannot give toy trucks and Tinker Toys to their grandsons. So what to give them as they get older and are no longer technically boys? Clothes and money seem to be the most popular gifts. For one particular Christmas in my early twenties, my grandmother bought me: a pair of pants, a book (by an author I don’t read, on a topic don’t read), a couple button up shirts and about $20 in scratch-off lotto tickets. This last item was new to me as a gift. As I had been conditioned by my parents to show appreciation, I thanked my grandmother and put on a bright ‘thank you’ smile. Later that night after the family gathering, I went home and proceeded to scratch off the 5 or 6 cards of that silver Crayola-like wax.
For the record, by this age I was already playing the Missouri lottery weekly drawing so I was familiar with the lotto concept but I had never to this point spent my own money on the ‘scratchers’ tickets. This form of lotto was uncharted territory. Before I started ‘scratching’, I admired the graphical layout of the tickets and read the appropriate instructions. I think the first one I started with had a potential to WIN UP TO $500!…but when the silver shavings were brushed away I had earned nary a dollar. The second one I think was the same brand…with similar result and payout – zilch. I had started with the smaller max payout opportunities and worked my way up to the last ticket which had a ticket price of $10.00 and jackpot potential of $50,000! With my stack of useless thin cardboard loser tickets piled in the trash, I began working my way through the ‘Silver Tuna’ ticket (to steal from the movie Home Alone). Line by line, scratch and reveal…until I was nearly done with the ticket. In my brain, the certainty of another losing ticket was solidifying. And then, I got to the last two squares to clear! Once those two were revealed and I sat back and stared. Nothing. Ten more dollars for the trash.
So to this very day when I hear those radio ads promising the gift of (enter your state here) lotto scratch-offs as a great gift…I say bah! Give me the money instead and I’ll decide how I want to blow it.
This has been my PSA for I never win at the lotto but I am still hopeful that the universe will one day smile on me so I play anyway but I hate scratch-off lotto tickets for eternity notice. I know other people win at those things all the time, but I’m part of the other 99.7% who don’t.
Happy Holidays to everyone!