By this time, I gather you have gotten mostly everything you wanted for Christmas, exchanged what you didn't, or are hustling to get what didn't end up under the tree if you just can't wait until next year. Undoubtedly, some of you ended up with things only a parent would love.
I'll talk about ugly sweaters in a moment. But let's get to what mothers are fond of giving when you don't ask for it: underwear.
Bill Cosby -- long before he found himself in the middle of a sex scandal -- once joked mothers care more about the condition of your briefs than your body. Get into an accident, and Mom wants to know if you were wearing clean underwear. Well, maybe you were.
Moms care about this issue because they did your laundry. They sorted, they saw, they grimaced. If nature and natural wear and tear didn't get to your skivvies, the pests would.
"The moths like to eat a lot of things," I remember the Queen Mother lamenting while I was but a wee subject. "But the one thing they love is underwear. They love to eat underwear."
Men don't naturally replace underwear on their own volition. Boxers are like toothbrushes. If they fit and they still hold together, they're good. Somebody else will deal with them in the wash. Even in college, when I started doing my own laundry, I didn't think of keeping a brief budget. What works, works.
Then one Christmas in the mid-1990's the Queen Mother reached her limit on ratty, rotten, holey underwear. In addition to our regular Christmas gifts, every member of the family got a nice new package of stark white briefs.
"Everybody in this family is getting underwear!" she said.
Yes, your humble servant included. For the record, I actually asked for some high-end boxers this year. They look good, they feel great, and they don't draw moths.
And I always know if I don't put anything on the list for next year... guess what I'm getting?