A weekly commentary by CBS News correspondent Andy Rooney.
At this time of year, I start my Christmas shopping by looking for things no one would possibly want. I eliminate those.
These advertising sections that fall out of your Sunday newspaper when you pick it up in the driveway are filled with things no one would want.
There are always lots of fountain pens. I think they're more popular with the people who give them than with the people who get them. I know I don't want a fountain pen for Christmas. I'm just not a fountain pen kind of a person.
These people are selling a tiny camera. It says, "Wear a camera on your wrist." Why in the world would I want to wear a camera on my wrist? It's wrong to keep all our body parts busy doing something they weren't meant for. Like wearing a ring in your nose.
Here's a sentimental gift for a man to give his wife: Can't you just imagine how happy the little woman would be if her husband gave her a vacuum cleaner for Christmas? If he wanted to be especially nice to her, maybe he'd also give her a new ironing board.
And, a battery-powered toothbrush doesn't seem like much of a Christmas present. It would make me nervous to put anything electrical in my mouth.
All these ads look like Christmas, but they don't say Christmas, they say holiday. Holiday, Holiday, Holiday. They don't want to offend potential customers who go to some other church, I guess.
One device says it gets 225 television channels. No one wants 225 channels. What we all want is just one channel with something good to watch on it.
"SIXTY PERCENT OFF ENTIRE STOCK OF GOLD EARRINGS." You know they're still making money at 60 percent off. Imagine what they were making when they were selling gold earrings for nothing off.
"GIFTS FOR UNDER $300" How much "under" would you think they are? $299.99, $299.99, $299.99.
So many of these ads are filled with really beautiful Christmas sentiment. One, for instance, says, "Nothing says Happy Holidays like Free shipping."
"NO INTEREST FOR 12 MONTHS" That's what I have for most of these things for even longer than 12 months. No interest.
In spite of all the bad presents there are to give people, I love Christmas. I get very sentimental about it, so don't give me a gift certificate either, please. I'd rather get a vacuum cleaner for Christmas than a gift certificate.
Written By Andy Rooney
Copyright 2003 CBS. All rights reserved.