I have to begin with a confession: I am a terrible gift giver, and that counts on every occasion. But as awful at it as I am the rest of the year, I somehow become even more inept during the holidays. It’s probably because I stress over the process too much. Or it could be that my timing is always off, aka I procrastishop. That’s me wasting an entire business day, shopping between December 19th and 22nd, and often ends with me empty-handed. It’s just that some people are really hard to shop for – well, everyone in my case. I’m so bad at it. Thank God I’m married.
As for receiving, I stopped looking forward to opening gifts long ago. The last time I remember being truly, off-the-hook, crazy excited about a Christmas gift is when I opened the scale Millennium Falcon at age nine – damn, that thing was sweet.
These days, it’s watching my kids rip open presents on Christmas morning that gives me enjoyment. Save your cash; I don’t want or need anything. Give that money to your kid, put it in a college fund, buy him or her more Christmas presents. There’s probably a tenth of a tenth of a percentage of a chance that I use whatever it is that you planned on giving me.
However, if you do insist on buying something for me, then let me help you figure out the perfect gift. There’s only one thing that will get me childishly giddy on Christmas morning. I want good beer! It’s not that bizarre of a request. Sure, it’s frivolous, but I’ll thoroughly enjoy it and I guarantee it will get used. I can’t really think of a present with more utility, unless you find a bargain deal on TP or road salt.
Before you laugh it off, let me stop you. I’m dead serious. I have more sweaters, ties, useless tools and colognes than the stores selling them. The worst gift I ever received in my adult life was a juggling kit. Yes, a juggling kit. I have never in my life had an aspiration to be or showed any interest in becoming a clown, mime or juggling performer of any kind, yet someone decided that would be the right gift, specifically for me.
I’m actually not a stranger to receiving craft beer as a gift. Like many of you, I’ve been given plenty of beer for my birthday. It’s what the people who are closest to me know that I love. One Valentine’s Day this year, my wife got me a basket full of chocolate stout bombers – god, I love her. It was thoughtful, because it was perfect for a beer lover like me. And it was a hell of a lot better than the crappy heart-shaped box of cheap chocolates I gave her. So where are all these perfect gifts come Christmas? Why is Christmas excluded as a beer gift holiday?
Yep, good damn beer. That’s what I want for Christmas. You don’t even have to wrap it. You can just slap a bow on it and stick it under the tree. You can drop a bomber in my stocking, or even do a 12-kickass-beers-for-the-12-days-of-Christmas thing. I don’t care how you do it as long as the beer is good.
You don’t even have to leave the house. Try an online beer store or monthly beer club, like craftbeerclub.com, belgianstyleales.com or beermonthclub.com. I bet Clark Griswold would have been a hell of a lot more excited if Frank Shirley had given him a one year membership for a beer of the month club for his Christmas bonus!
Speaking of a gift that keeps on giving the whooole year – if you have a budding craft beer enthusiast on your list, what better way to nurture their curiosity than by getting them a homebrew starter kit? It’s like gifting someone a lifetime supply of beer and introducing them to a hugely rewarding hobby and craft. Homebrewing.com or northernbrewer.com will bring a homebrew kit right to your door.
If you love to give Christmas themed gifts, good damn beer has you covered there, too. Now-a-days, seasonal craft beers are all the rave in the craft beer market, and chances are most craft beer lovers’ favorite breweries offer a holiday or winter brew this time of year. It’s hard to find a more appropriate Christmas gift to give a craft beer lover than Rogue’s Santa’s Private Reserve, Port Brewing’s Santa’s Little Helper or Great Lakes’ Christmas Ale.
The way I see it, nothing instills the Yuletide spirit like snow on the ground, a roaring fire and a great beer in your hand. Nesting some tasty suds under the tree this year just might make this one of the best damn Christmases for your beloved beer nerd. I know that’s what it would do for me, but just to be safe I think I’ll send Santa my Christmas list.