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J. Crew Books compiles a hilarious list of missed gifts and mis-gifts

December 31, 2009 | 12:22 pm

It's the last day of 2009, and I'm sitting here in the Image section cubicle farm laughing to myself, thanks to the book "What I Didn't Get for Christmas."

It's the second title to come out of apparel retailer J. Crew's  foray into the field of publishing, and it ended up on my desk after I called the company to find out more information about its first book -- a hilarious (though unfortunately not currently available) tome titled "What a Man Should Know" by Max Blagg.

By Partners & Spade (a team that includes Andy Spade, founder of the Jack Spade line of men's utility Rage_Xmas bags and accessories), it sounds like an odd, and slightly depressing idea for a book -- anecdotes about memorable holiday presents that never were (or horribly ill-received gifts that were under the tree), by random people you've mostly never heard of before.

There's one missed gift/mis-gift per page, and none are more than a few paragraphs long. Each is accompanied by a crudely drawn Hugo Guinness illustration on the facing page. Some of the laugh-out-loud recollections involved a balance beam (clad in her gymnastic shoes, Amanda Brooks took the wraps off a ... grand piano), a G.I. Joe Mobile Support Vehicle, and the gift of wrong jeans ("to say what kind they were would damn them unfairly," writes Jeff Kling).

It might be kind of a downer to find in your stocking on Christmas morning, but since it's currently on sale at J. Crew's website for $9.99 (down from $20), it's worth salting away to throw out on the coffee table next year. With any luck,it will serve as a conversation starter for your own friends' tales of Christmas gifting gone awry.

-- Adam Tschorn

Photo: The second title from J. Crew Books, "What I Didn't Get for Christmas," by Partners & Spade's Andy Spade and Anthony Sperduti, is a funny and touching recollection of missed gifts and mis-gifts of holidays gone by. Photo credit: J. Crew

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