05-31-2002 09:18 PM
By Jeff Westover
The first Christmas for us really wasn't so hard. After all, we were in love and there was nothing else more important. Sure, being a couple changed the holidays for us but wasn't everything else different too?
It wasn't until life and routine settled upon us that it got difficult. First came one baby and then another. Living off my meager wages so that my dear wife could be home with the kids made things a little tough. We felt lucky to provide them with socks and underwear for Christmas. There just wouldn't be anything left over for each other.
I was all too much the victim of a society that programs us to measure such things as Christmas in things. I may not have openly admitted it at the time but not getting my wife anything for Christmas somehow made me less of a person, a friend, and a companion. I had to do something.
Of course, she didn't help a bit either.
Knowing our circumstance and taking a position so typical of a devoted mother, when I asked her what she wanted for Christmas she did not hesitate to respond. "Oh, nothing. I'm fine."
"Nothing," I thought. "Just what Christmas needs, a martyr. Thanks for the help, sweetheart."
I was hoping she would suggest a new pair of nylons or perhaps something small but useful like a new lipstick or even a box of cereal. But she didn't even bother to give me an idea of a simple little luxury that would brighten her day. No, she would be content with nothing.
"Fine," I thought. "If it is nothing she wants, it will be nothing that she gets."
And with that, I partnered with my computer and invented the world's greatest gift. A few minutes at my word processor and a couple of printed pages later, I had devised a gift more clever and meaningful than any other I had given before.
I had invented Nothing. And there, under the tree and beautifully wrapped, was a box full of nothing just what she asked for! neatly explained on two mere pieces of white paper. How simple Christmas had become!
This is what the paper said:
For you, my sweetheart, I give you the desire of your heart this Christmas NOTHING.
NOTHING is truly an incredible product. In fact, NOTHING is needed in every home and family. Not since the introduction of casinos has capitalism produced such a perfect product. Look at what NOTHING can do:
NOTHING is fat free.
NOTHING cuts cholesterol.
NOTHING cures cancer.
NOTHING makes you happy.
NOTHING is Y2K compliant.
NOTHING is acid free.
NOTHING is antibacterial.
NOTHING is recyclable.
NOTHING is delivered.
NOTHING is preferred by 3 out of 4 dentists.
NOTHING is new and improved.
NOTHING comes with a 30-day free trial.
NOTHING is guaranteed not to chip, crack or peel.
NOTHING can be had for low money down.
NOTHING tastes great and is less filling!
What would you pay for such an amazing product? $19.95? Maybe $39.95? DON'T ANSWER UNTIL YOU SEE THAT:
NOTHING is politically correct.
NOTHING beats a great pair of legs. (Sorry, couldn't help it)
NOTHING controls tartar.
NOTHING is on time.
NOTHING is fresher.
NOTHING is unscented.
NOTHING is hypo-allergenic.
NOTHING is full of minerals, vitamins and nutrients.
NOTHING is asbestos-free.
NOTHING stops wetness.
NOW what would you pay for such a thing? $59.95? Maybe $89.95? Hold your answer, BECAUSE THERE'S MORE, like:
NOTHING is the quicker picker upper.
NOTHING is preferred in national taste tests.
NOTHING is FDIC insured.
NOTHING can repair your credit.
NOTHING makes moving easy.
NOTHING is sharper, clearer and has better color.
NOTHING is low tar.
NOTHING is color-safe.
NOTHING saves you 30% over the leading brand.
…there are no roaming charges!
…everyone eats for free!
…long distance charges may apply!
…your mileage may vary!
NOTHING is available in boxes. NOTHING is available in bottles. NOTHING is available in bags. NOTHING comes in a variety of colors and sizes. You can even get nothing TELEPATHICALLY.
Look at these testimonials:
"NOTHING saved my marriage."- Elizabeth Taylor
"I'm getting' NOTHING for Christmas!"- Spike Jones
"Never was a product more aptly named- NOTHING is just what it says it is!" Bob Smith
"NOTHING works." Mary Smith
"I got plenty of nothing"- George Gershwin
WAIT- THERE'S MORE!
YOU can now make money with NOTHING! The inventors and makers of NOTHING proudly announce an exciting new Multi-level Marketing Plan. Sign up today and you can get:
A Distributor Kit full of samples of NOTHING
NOTHING on tape.
NOTHING in binders.
NOTHING in ads to place.
Secrets to making money with NOTHING.
PLUS, an added special bonus report:
MONEY FOR NOTHING. (chicks for free)
See what others have to say about this NOTHING opportunity:
"I used to be a banker but now all is do is NOTHING."
"NOTHING changed my life"
"My life used to be busy, hectic and tiresome. Now it's NOTHING."
Haven't you waited long enough for NOTHING? You owe it to yourself to order NOTHING today! Bring your wife, your pink slip and your checkbook on down to our dealership or ORDER RIGHT NOW! OPERATORS ARE STANDING BY! Quantities of NOTHING are limited, SO HURRY!
In all my life, no other gift gave me more pleasure in wrapping. The truth of the matter is that we were facing hard times. We swore to each other that gifts at Christmas were not necessary. The gift of nothing seemed appropriate and would be appreciated.
On Christmas morning, as our kids rollicked in the empty boxes and wrapping paper, I pulled one last gift from under the tree and handed it to my wife. She looked at me with surprise and then disappointment.
"This isn't fair!" she said. "I didn't get you anything. How could you do this to me? I thought we had an agreement."
"Trust me, Honey," I said. "It's nothing."
So she opened it and giggled until she cried. In fact, it gave us a great sense of relief to laugh at our situation together that Christmas. In the face of family and friends, who called to wish us well, it remained our private joke for hours, giving us a sense of warmth and cheeriness we had not anticipated from this Christmas.
When her sister called to inquire about our Christmas and asked my wife specifically what she received my wife could hardly explain through the laughter that she had received nothing. My sister-in-law was befuddled at our hysterics and it wasn't until we could calm down that we finally explained what was going on.
I guess some of the others failed to see the humor in it. But to this day, years later, it remains one of our fondest memories.
The funny thing is that even though our circumstances have improved we've never really done much for each other at Christmas. I can get her that lipstick now probably even lots of them but she's always content with nothing and I'm more than pleased to give it to her. Every year, that memory gives us a laugh and makes Christmas most enjoyable with each other.
Nothing is all it is hyped to be.
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