A Broke Dad’s Guide to Christmas

We’ve all been there. After another year of pissing away all your money on useless gadgets, nights out with your buddies, and get-rich-quick schemes, you realize that Christmas is around the corner again and you’re flat broke. Your bank account’s in the red, your credit cards are all maxed out, and you just know your boss is gonna stiff you on the holiday bonus because he’s still mad about the time you accidentally set fire to the men’s room. So what’s a dad to do? If you don’t bring home any presents, your family will hate you forever. Your kids will spit in your face, and your wife will never look at you again. But don’t you worry, because Tall Peters is at your service with some creative gift suggestions that won’t cost you a penny.

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1. Sober up. There’s nothing in the world that could make your family happier than seeing you finally conquer that crippling addiction of yours that’s been plaguing them all for so many years. They’ll be so proud to see you bravely battling your demons that they won’t even be able to imagine asking you for anything else. Not an addict yet? No problem! There’s still over a week left before Christmas, and that’s plenty of time for you to develop a serious drinking problem and then quit just in time for the big day. Hell, they’ll be so caught up in that emotional whirlwind that they might just forget about Christmas altogether! And the best part is, not only are A.A. meetings free to attend, they also usually have donuts and other treats for you to enjoy while you’re there, so you’ll be saving on food costs as well. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!

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2. Decide that this will be the year they learn an important lesson about humility. Now this is a tried-and-true classic. Say it with me: “Consumerism is ruining Christmas! This is supposed to be a season of giving!” So this year you’re going to take a stand. This year, instead of buying your kids a bunch of cool new junk, you’re gonna march them down to the local soup kitchen and teach them a little something about showing concern for their fellow man, just like Jesus Christ would have wanted. Naturally, they’re going to be a little disappointed at first. They’ll be missing out on all the latest toys that their friends are enjoying, and they could use some new clothes to replace the old ones that they’re quickly growing out of, and people at school are probably starting to make fun of them because their clothes don’t fit. But after a full day of helping out those in need, they’ll surely recognize that this experience was more valuable to them than any material possession. And if not, then they’re just bad people, which means they don’t even deserve presents anyway. After all, Santa’s only supposed to bring toys to good little boys and girls, right? Don’t forget to remind them of that if they won’t stop complaining.

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3. Hitch one of those Radio Flyer wagons to the back of your car and take the kids on a wild ride around the neighborhood. Trust me. There’s not a child in the world who hasn’t fantasized about this at one time or another. It’s a kid’s ultimate fantasy, hopping into that little red wagon and holding on tight while they get taken on the ride of their lives. Any dad could buy their kids a dumb old Lego set or Barbie doll or whatever crap kids like these days, but you’ll be the only papa in town who’s cool enough to make this dream come true for your special little guys. And boy, are all the other snot-nosed little buggers gonna be jealous when they see your kids flying down the block, propelled by all the horsepower of your Nissan Sentra. But just to be clear, we are absolutely not advocating that you do this at excessive speeds. That would obviously be very dangerous. We’re talking like 35 miles an hour, 40 at the most. Whatever the speed limit in your neighborhood is. And make sure you fasten that handle on very securely. Maybe do a test run with the dog first just to make sure. Safety should always be your top priority.

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4. Start a fake trust fund. This one might be a tough sell, since your children probably don’t know anything about finance and don’t really understand what adulthood is like. But if you can find a way to explain it to them, they’ll see that this is actually the best gift that you can give them. Instead of buying them some stupid toy that they can enjoy for a little while, you’re making an investment in their future. And with the way the economy’s going these days, by the time those little monkeys are all grown up, it’s going to be more important than ever to have a little extra financial assistance. Of course, this one comes with a catch, which is that sometime between now and the time they turn 25, you’re going to have to make a lot of money and put it into an actual trust fund for them so they never find out that you lied to them. But it’s alright, you’ve got plenty of time to figure all that out. You’ll come up with something.

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5. Remind those ungrateful brats that you’ve already given them the greatest gift of all: life. Let’s get real here, dads. You’ve done everything for those kids. They wouldn’t have even been born in the first place if you hadn’t selflessly chosen to inseminate their mother. Not to mention providing the roof over their heads, the food in their bellies, and the clothes on their backs, however ill-fitting they may be. And on top of all that, every single year, these lazy little freeloaders expect you to buy them a bunch of plastic garbage that they’re just going to get sick of in a few days. It just goes to show you how entitled young people are these days. They ought to realize what a precious gift it is just to be alive, and if they can’t see that, maybe it’s time to take them on a little field trip to the morgue. Let them take a peek at some of those bodies and get a firsthand look at how fun it is to not be alive, with your skin all blue and gross-looking and your whole body stinking up the place. Is that what they want? We don’t think so!

Now, we know that these gift are not ideas are necessarily ideal, and you might still feel a little guilty about not being able to give your loving family all the products that their hearts desire. But don’t beat yourself up over it. You’re just having a bad year, and sometimes when you’re the man of the house, you have to resort to unconventional means to save face. You can’t allow the rest of the household to lose confidence in you as a patriarch, or else the whole unit will fall apart. We all make mistakes, and next year, you’ll have a whole new opportunity to be more financially responsible and make all their Christmas dreams come true. Thanks for reading, and happy holidays!

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