The Night the Brandt Stole Christmas

by brandt

Note: This story is 100% true, and literally happened last night at about 9:30/10:00 at night. It hasn’t been dolled up to make it more dramatic than it actually is. This is a story about why I’m a dork.

Some of you may be reading this wondering how I was able to screw up Christmas this year.  Some of you probably want to watch me squirm in uncomfortableness while I write this.  Some probably found this post based on Ashley’s Facebook status last night, which read:

Christmas is ruined

No matter the case, this is how the Brandt stole Christmas.

I’m going to blame this whole pattern of behavior on my mother.  I guess it all started there.  I’ve never known her to not know what she’s getting for Christmas, and that’s solely based on a few snippets of information someone gives her.  It’s like a game of 20 questions, where you only give the person answering 2 answers to their question, and they figure it out.  It’s a blessing and a curse

Obviously, everyone wants to know what they’re getting for Christmas, but I think that nobody really wants to know until Christmas day.

And that’s where I come in.

Bless Ashley’s heart, every year she tries so hard to think of some surprise, SOMETHING that will knock my socks off.  The problem is, I pester her and pester her to give me some small nugget of information.  Then, I’m able to keep working on her until I catch her off guard, she let’s a really big nugget of info slip, and I’m able to work it over in my mind the rest of the night until I’ve figured it out.  I’ve gotten better.  I used to figure it out and either say (out loud), “AH HA!”, or “Ahhhhhhhhh”, or something to that effect, making it obvious that I’ve figured it out.  I’ve been able to stifle that to only let my facial expressions show that I’m comprehending, and not my voice, which she can still see right through.

Enough background.  On to the chain of events from yesterday.

When I get to the office in the morning, I start my computer up and usually go through a habit that I’ve developed.  While the computer is booting and loading up, I go fill my water bottle, and come back and open up my email and internet windows.  I check my work email, then go to my personal email and a handful of sites I visit every morning to get caught up on what I missed while I was sleeping.  One of those sites is like Kryptonite to me, because they have dorky tech deals every single morning.  That site is

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a wonderful site.  It’s like my own personal grown-up playground.  Dorky computer items that I really don’t need, nerdy t-shirts that only nerds would appreciate, and weird items that only I would be interested in (like a Roomba).

Well, yesterday was Tuesday, and many Tuesday’s they will have a 2-for deal.  BOGO.  Buy one get one free.  And my biggest weakness is that sometimes, as hard as I try, I just can’t say no to a good deal.  At $8.00/Two-fer batch (4.00/item), I went ahead and purchased 2 sets (4 items total).

Well, after heading home from work and catching up with Ashley, I realized later that night (at about 9:30 or 10:00) that there were a few more items I needed to complete for work before my counterparts go on holiday.  So I fired up my work computer and was going through the security protocols involved, when I had a sudden thought: I need to tell Ashley about my great find.

You know those cartoons with the good angel on one shoulder and the bad angel on the other?  Here’s how that conversation went.

Bad Angel: Brandt, tell her.  It was an awesome find!  You scored an awesome deal!

Good Angel: Do you really need to tell her that you bought something?  I mean, Christmas is right around the corner…

Bad Angel: Yes, he needs to tell her that.  It was an amazing item, at an amazing price.

Good Angel: OK, did you use any rational thought process in this decision?

Bad Angel: Yeah.

Good Angel: Please, explain.

Bad Angel: Well, it was only $4.00 per item, it’s something that can be used immediately by the 2 of them, and since he bought 4 of them, you can give them out as gifts to family or friends!

Good Angel: That’s not too shabby……Alright Brandt, you can revel in your success.  Tell Ashley.

(I think I need to get replacement Good and Bad Angels).

So I told her “Ashley, you know that website ‘’ that I like?”


“Well they had a great deal today.”


I pulled up the website.  She looked at it.  Then looked at me.  Back at the website.  Then back to me.


“No?  I got a great deal, it was a 2 for Tuesday, and I was able to snag 4 of them for only $4.00 each!  Plus each one comes with a book light!”

“Brandt.  Please tell me you did not buy 4 Snuggies.”


“No.  No.  There’s no way you did this.  No.  No!”

Then I looked in her eyes, and the little mouse in my brain started running in his little mouse wheel.  Wait a minute….

“Ashley, what’s the big deal?”

She looked at me, and said “Seriously Brandt!!?!?!  Seriously?!?!?!?  4 days.  4 days until Christmas.  You couldn’t wait 4 days?!?!?!?!”

“Oh my goodness…………..” I said, the pieces clicking into place.  Then, it hit me.  She got me a Snuggie for my Christmas gift.  The one thing I wanted.  The one thing that she said she would never ever buy.  The one thing that she had been able to keep hidden from me, and have me completely oblivious.  The irony of the situation…..

And then I did the worst thing.

I laughed.

I couldn’t help myself.  The irony of the whole situation came cascading over me like a waterfall.  She couldn’t help herself, she started laughing too.  And then the laughter turned to anger.  She was drinking a cup of water at the time.  Notice I said “was.”  As soon as she saw me laughing, she tossed the water in my face out of frustration.

She stormed out of the office where I was working.  I asked her to stop, and asked her what was the matter.

“Seriously Brandt.  You couldn’t wait 4 days? I’ve had that gift wrapped and hidden in our closet since SEPTEMBER! I even felt a little bit embarrassed buying that thing, and the only thing that kept me sane was being able to see your face on Christmas day and realize that I had finally fooled you!”

My laughter turned to sadness.  Had I ruined Christmas?

“A little bit, Brandt.”

But the story does end happy.  We were laying in bed that night, and all the sudden Ashley starts laughing.  And then says “4 days, Brandt!  4 days!  I almost did it!  4 days!  I even took out cash so you couldn’t see it on the bank statements!”

“Um…I’m sorry?  I just want to be with you on Christmas.  I’ll still be happy about my gift.  As a matter of fact, don’t you even think about taking it back, or I’ll be sad”

“UGH!  OK, next year, we have rules.  No purchases in December.  No, no eBay, no Amazon, no nothing.  You will have a surprise next year, whether you like it or not.”

So thankfully, Christmas wasn’t completely ruined.  As a matter of fact, we can look back now and laugh about it, and I have the feeling that we’re going to be laughing for a long time.

So here’s my question…does your significant other know what they’re getting for Christmas, or do you keep it secret?  And are any of you involved with dorks (like me) who are able to figure out what their Christmas gift is at the slightest little hint?

Have a merry Christmas and happy holidays, everyone!  I’ll be back Christmas Eve with a Christmas-themed Random Friday Five (as if they haven’t been already).

Grinch image from the Reformed Baptist Seminary.


16 Comments to “The Night the Brandt Stole Christmas”

  1. Why the heck did you buy Snuggies in the first place!

  2. The best part of this entire story is that it was a Snuggie. What does one do with FOUR Snuggies? I am two seconds away from snorting water out my nose, I’m laughing so hard. I love it.

    My husband loooooooves practical gifts. So they are never really a “surprise,” per se, because they are all useful items. But I was able to totally surprise him with a dinner party at our house on his 30th birthday earlier this month. It’s all about the poker face.

  3. Found your blog through This story made me laugh so hard cause it seems like something that could happen to me so easily. This is my husband and I’s first Christmas together married, but before this we’ve never told each other what we’re getting and so far we haven’t either. I think it’s much more fun if it’s a surprise. =]

    • Welcome welcome, Morgan! Have fun with your first Christmas together with your husband. I think the one piece of advice I would give would be to start traditions early, and keep them up!

      And good luck not telling. Apparently Ashley went out and bought something else because the surprise was ruined…so who knows what will happen on Saturday morning. That is…if I don’t guess it first!

      (insert creepy laughter here).

  4. First of all don’t blame your screw ups on your Mother. Secondly it is because you have your intelligence from your Mother – definitely not from me. Third, haven’t you learned anything from observing what I’ve done over the years? and Lastly, you never,ever, never buy anything for yourself in December….! Love Dad

    • where would I be without your constant words of encouragement, dad?

      That’s right…I’d still be buying that Snuggie. The deal was too good to turn down.

      And with that being said, I think you can figure out what the family is getting from us for birthday gifts this year!

  5. Priceless *grins* And a Snuggie to boot. Now we need pictures :o)

    I grew up suffering from a Mom who could guess a gift no matter how crazy we wrapped it and a Dad who would talk about a thing he really really wanted and then went and bought it for himself 2 days before Christmas …EVERY ….SINGLE …. YEAR. I blame both of them on me never really getting the hang of doing my Christmas shopping early :o)

    I’m glad that Ashley can laugh about it now :o) Sulking wife on Christmas is worse than finding coals in your stokcings.

  6. Micha, you better believe that there’ll be pictures.

    And at least I was able to control myself…i mean, I did wait until 4 days before Christmas! And while I haven’t experience sulking wife on Christmas, a little part of me says I don’t think I want to experience it!

    That’s the reason why I married the girl. She keeps me on my toes!

  7. awwww. snuggies strike again! haha! poor Ashley! I can totally relate x100

  8. That is a HILARIOUS story… I don’t think I know anyone whose one Christmas wish is to get a snuggie. I can’t judge… I love my snuggie, but I love that it’s the one thing you wanted! Hope you enjoy it this Christmas!!

    • See? There’s Snuggie love for everyone! And I have very simple tastes…I want to be able to have my blanket, keep my arms warm, and not worry about losing body heat if I have to change the channel. Thus, the Snuggie solves that problem. Maybe I’ll model the Snuggie for all of you when I get it!

  9. This is hysterical!

    My husband is a) hard to shop for and b) excellent at the guessing game. Which annoys me to no end. I’ll hand him a nicely wrapped gift and he’d say what it is before opening it. And he always guesses right, even when I’ve put video games in larger boxes. Like he can’t just keep quiet for the extra 2 seconds until he opens it??

    He also loves woot, and has a snuggie. He is impossible to shop for and since we’ve been doing wedding/house things forever, we haven’t exchanged in a few years. All he wanted this year was an iPad and I didn’t have a spare $500 hanging around!

    • And let me guess – the husband loves the snuggie, correct? There’s something about a long piece of fabric with sleeves that speaks to a man, no matter how absurd it is. And Woot is my ultimate weakness. The deals are sometimes too good to pass up, whether we…err…I need them or not.

      An iPad is on the list, believe me. Same position, though – $500 is a bit too pricey for my blood. See, I do have some self-control!

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