A year or two ago, I wrote a Christmas story which featured an Anti-Santa (or, at least someone who pretended that was what they were). You can find it here, if you're interested. Writing about an Anti-Santa made me wonder if there was anything else of a negative nature tucked away in the festive season, which made me consider the role of the Anti-Present.
Just to clarify, this doesn't mean being against the here and now. Nor is it a poorly spelled version of 'Anti-President' (I'm certainly not getting into all of that, here). What I'm getting at are those presents which are not fit for purpose. Not just things you don't like or, for that matter, didn't want. Those are just Non-Presents, like socks or allegedly humorous mugs. No, what I'm talking about are gifts that you not only didn't want but which, because you're forced to use them out of a feeling of guilt and shame, actually make your life just that little bit worse than before.
For example (and you just knew there was going to be a 'for example', didn't you?) a few years ago, someone gave me a very nice, leather key holder. This was a very kind thought. It wasn't something I particularly needed, but it's the thought that counts and I decided to move my keys over from the perfectly serviceable key fob on which they had resided for years. However, I then found that the act of actually using any of the keys, now that they are in the key case, is made difficult, if not impossible, by the presence of the key case.
|This isn't the key case in question - I'm sure this one works perfectly well :-)|
Logic would state that I ought to do the sensible thing and revert to the key fob, but I can't bring myself to do this. It was a nice thought and it is a beautiful thing. It just doesn't work!
So, it is an Anti-Present. It's not that it is unwanted, it's the fact that, far from improving my world, it has made it ever so slightly worse (as opposed to what an Anti-President might do, as we may be about to find out).
Have you had an Anti-Present?