The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

December 10, 2012

Mike Pound: Gift theme is just what men need

My wife said something to me on Saturday that put me in the holiday spirit.

It takes me a while to get in the holiday spirit. I’m not one of those who believe the holiday season starts on Thanksgiving Day. To me, Thanksgiving is only a speed bump to let you know that the holiday season is nigh. (I try to use the word “nigh” at least once a year.)

We also finally got our Christmas tree over the weekend. I say “finally” because, as I’ve mentioned before, my wife and our 14-year-old daughter, Emma, thought we should have put up our tree in July. But getting our Christmas tree doesn’t put me in the holiday spirit, although I do have to admit that our yearly drive east of Carthage to Pinewood Nursery to get the tree is always a pretty neat deal.

What put me in the holiday spirit this year is what my wife said about a Christmas present she has purchased for me.

My wife likes to talk to me about my Christmas gifts. My wife thinks, I guess, that I’m 8 years old and spend all my waking hours wondering what I’m going to get for Christmas, which is silly because she should know by now that I spend all my waking hours wondering how bad the Kansas City Chiefs can get and, on a related topic, how much beer I have in the refrigerator.

The truth is that I dread getting Christmas gifts from my wife. My wife tries to be creative when it comes to buying me gifts. She spends the entire year trying to catch hints from me about a secret, must-have Christmas item on my list. But the sad thing is that I seldom have some secret, must-have Christmas item on my list, so my wife has to make one up.

The first Christmas after we got married, my wife gave me one of those pulsating shower heads that I didn’t want. My wife proudly watched me open that present, and then, when she saw the puzzled look on my face, she said, “It’s a shower massage. You said you wanted one.”

When I asked my wife when I had said I wanted a shower massage, she said, “Last June. Remember you took a shower in that hotel and you said you liked the shower?”

I didn’t.

By the way, it would have been a cool O. Henry short-story moment that year if I had sold our shower so I could get my wife a TV for Christmas. But I didn’t, so it wasn’t.

If my wife isn’t buying me an obscure gift that I didn’t know I wanted, she is creating a “theme” by giving me a number of related gifts that I didn’t know I wanted. A theme might be OK if I liked the theme, but I seldom do. Say my wife built a Christmas gift theme around beer. I would like that. But my wife doesn’t build themes around beer. She builds themes around — I don’t know — our living room. Which means that I will be forced to open 10 living room-related Christmas gifts while smiling and say, “Oh, just what I wanted” over and over again.

On Saturday, my wife started talking about one of my Christmas gifts.

“You’ll like it,” my wife said. “But when you open it, you’ll probably go (she then made a face that suggested puzzlement and disgust).”

“Ooh, can I open it now?” I said.

Then my wife tried to explain.

“It’s part of a theme,” she said.

So now I’m officially in the holiday spirit. I know now that not only will my Christmas gift from my wife both puzzle and disgust me, but also that the gift will be part of a theme, and I will get to open several Christmas gifts that puzzle and disgust me.

It’s a Christmas miracle is what it is.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

Text Only
Local News
  • 072814_jd anderson.jpg VIDEO: Noel strongman advances on talent show

    The past week has been busier than normal for Noel resident J.D. Anderson. Members of the production crew for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” told him they have shot more footage of him than of other contestants for the next episode. “They said I have the busiest schedule of anyone this week,” Anderson told the Globe in a phone interview Friday. “There’s so many fun things you can do with B-roll as a strongman.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • AndraBryanStefanoni.jpg Andra Bryan Stefanoni: ‘Annie’ production is a family thing

    There’s a twist to this week’s production of “Annie” at Memorial Auditorium. The show, a beloved classic tale of an orphan girl in search of a family, is full of real-life family members.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 Band Box.jpg Jo Ellis: Carthage icon continues to play in local restaurant

    Chicago Coin’s Band-Box, also known as “Strike Up the Band,” has been a Carthage icon since the mid- to late 1950s. Any customer who frequented Red’s Diner, or Ray’s Cafe, and now the Pancake Hut is familiar with the pulsating rhythms and movements of this mechanical device.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • SusanRedden.jpg Susan Redden: Gubernatorial hopefuls make area appearances

    Three potential candidates for Missouri governor in 2016 made stops in the Joplin area this past week.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anti-landfill group seeks grand jury probe

    As more than 200 people filed into Riverton High School on Sunday to attend an anti-landfill group meeting, many stopped to sign a petition asking the Cherokee County District Court to summon a grand jury to investigate how land was acquired by the city of Galena for a proposed landfill.

    July 27, 2014

  • shoalcreekcleanup.jpg Wildcat Glades center puts on service day at Shoal Creek

    About 20 people on Saturday pulled trash out of Shoal Creek as they paddled in canoes and kayaks from Grand Falls to Zan’s Creekside Campground in Joplin.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hearts & Hammers plans annual home repair event

    Since 2003, volunteers with Hearts & Hammers of Southwest Missouri have made free improvements to more than 170 homes owned by the elderly, physically disabled, and single parent or low-income families.

    July 26, 2014

  • Money clouds farm fight

    For much of the summer, while the campaign surrounding “right to farm” has been focused on its impact on “small, family farmers,” the bulk of the money pouring into the fight has come from big agriculture interests.

    July 26, 2014

  • jameswelbornupdate.jpg Local teen completes half of solo river trip

    James Welborn, a recent Webb City High School graduate, has reached the halfway point of his solo canoe trip down the Mississippi River — just in time to celebrate his 19th birthday with family.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Neosho police warn residents of phone scam

    The Neosho Police Department has received complaints from residents saying someone impersonating a lieutenant from the Newton County Sheriff’s Office warrants division has been calling them.

    July 26, 2014

Must Read


Given that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that electronic devices and communications are protected from searches and seizure without a warrant, do you think Missouri needs Amendment 9 added to its constitution?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter