The recession in the U.S. has just racked up another casualty, the tradition of giving decent gifts for the holidays, with many Americans reporting that they have received the shittiest Christmas gifts in recent memory.
With fewer holiday dollars in their wallets, cash-strapped consumers are resorting to giving such unwanted holiday gifts as shoddy homemade crafts and crumbling baked goods.
And as the wave of crappy giving spreads across the country, it is creating a reaction of outrage and anger from those it was intended to please: the recipients.
"I opened a present this morning, thinking maybe it was a laptop or something, and it turned out to be a framed Wal-Mart photo of my nephews," said Harland Dorinson of Topeka. "Talk about a way to wreck the holidays."
Mr. Dorinson said he wished that the crappy photo were an isolated example, but it wasn't: "Whether it's homemade scrapbooks, stupid-looking wreaths with pinecones glued to them or stale little gingerbread men, every present I've gotten this year sets a new record for shittiness."
Davis Logsdon, who tracks the decline in the quality of holiday gifts at the University of Minnesota, says there is a lesson to be learned from Christmas 2008's meager gift offerings.
"It's true that it's the thought that counts," Dr. Logsdon said. "But if all you're going to give is some stupid hand-knit scarf, like the one my sister-in-law just gave me, that's a pretty shitty thought."
Andy Borowitz is a comedian and writer whose work appears in The New Yorker and The New York Times, and at his award-winning humor site, BorowitzReport.com.
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