Need a fun last-minute gift for the humorous set?
Brett Berk: Wondering what to get that special parent in your life for the holidays? Well, if you gave them one of those easy-to-install childproof deadbolts for the outside of their kid's room last year, and they've got nightstand drawers full of earplugs and sleeping pills, and you've already purchased a copy of "The Gay Uncle's Guide to Parenting," you could do worse than make them one of these. What the hell is it (aside from a waste of $4.99 and a trip to 7-11)? Well, it's apparently what's known in parts of the Middle West as "A Singing Christmas Tree," and it's as easy to make as marinated cheese.
Alls you do is cover a round piece of cardboard -- like from an old pizza box -- in tin foil, take the 12-pack out of its bird-asphyxiating plastic holsters and put it all in a pretty sack (along with some holiday cheer). Then you trail the whole kit over to the recipient's house, barge in, and let them know you've gotten them a gift. When they ask what it is, you place the silvery disc on their kitchen counter and tell them, "It's a Singing Christmas Tree."
You then remove the cheap swill from your bag one can at a time, forming a diminishing pyramidimical trio of round beer tiers atop the silvery disc, all the while murdering some jolly tune like "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," "Good King Wencelaus" or "I Don't Know How to Love Him." The best part? When you're done crooning and you've recovered from the ball-peen hammer injuries your hosts are likely to inflict, you can immediately begin chugging. It's a gift that gives itself.
|Brett Berk, M.S. Ed., has worked with young children and their families for over 20 years -- as a classroom teacher, preschool director and research consultant -- and is the author of "The Gay Uncle's Guide to Parenting."|