All we want for Christmas is not seeing an exercise bike under the tree

We’ve all seen the exercise bike commercial by now, right? The one where a smug-looking guy gives his rail-thin, fit-looking wife a Peloton. The one where she documents the struggles on a bike during the 30-second commercial. The one that made us want to barf. The one that has become the butt of jokes by comedians and news anchors around the country.

If anyone sees our husbands looking at exercise equipment for the holidays, stop them immediately. Their lives are in danger if either of them even thinks about buying us an exercise bike, a treadmill, a vintage Jane Fonda video…you get the picture.

After some good fun spent criticizing the ad, we got to talking about bad Christmas gifts and all the money wasted on gifts no one really wants. Americans will spend an estimated $62 billion online shopping this year. How much of that will be on bad gifts? A lot, and we know two guys who have gone through some rough patches when it comes to gift giving. We won’t name names; we promised our husbands we’d keep them out of this.  We don’t want to sound ungrateful, but we think there are lots of other women who can relate.

Jewelry is typically a safe bet for the holidays. Not if you’re Mindy. She cringes a little when she sees a little box under the tree. That’s because she went through a phase of her marriage, when her husband didn’t seem to understand jewelry shopping, and of course, he was not going to ask for help or directions to the best jewelry store. Instead of diamonds, he went for hearts. Lots of hearts in fun colors that would have make any 10-year-old girl squeal with delight. 

We really wish there had been Amazon gift lists we could have provided to our husbands to save them some serious grief. Laura would not have included a Dustbuster on the list, and anyone who’s met Laura knows she did not hide her disappointment when removing it from the brown paper bag her husband wrapped it in. That was in 1990. She’s not received cleaning supplies since.

Just because we cook and clean, doesn’t mean we want appliances or apparatuses related to cooking and cleaning. Frankly, neither of us like to cook. Mindy recalls all the years she kept getting cookware, appliances and more wooden spoons and spatulas than any one woman can possibly use.  

Of course, there are gifts that we’ve received from well-meaning relatives that we’ve had to keep in a closet, so we can quickly pull them out for a family get-together and perfumes from grandmas that forced us to lie about how much we love them, but never admitted to being out, because we didn’t want more.

You have to be careful what you say around the holidays. It’s easy to be misunderstood. For example, when we complain that our jeans feel tight, that does not mean we want exercise equipment. It just means we’d rather be wearing stretchy PJs watching TV and making jokes about ridiculous commercials.


  • Claudine Roselle Puente

    They say that It’s the thought that counts. The question is, how much thought did someone put into your gift… particularly when it’s a family member? I received a dustbuster from my brother. I tried so hard to maintain my composure, and what made things worse was his attempt to force me to like his gift. I finally just said, “if I have to listen to this again, I’m gonna ask you to take that gift back.” It wasn’t a very nice thing to say, of course, but I was sick of him pushing his gift onto me.

  • Theresa Oberlander

    Worst gift EVER was a grave wreath! Yes, Hubby is still alive.

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