Holiday merrymaker Yale Brown receives his roommate's ex-girlfriend's blender as an early Christmas present.. Sam Morse photo.
Living in a ski town during the holidays can be tough. Often including long shifts for low pay doing seasonal work. The only respite for a not-so-merry ski bum is the occasional unexpected gift from Mom; Santa Claus is definitely out of the cards — we know you've been too naughty to get a stop from his merry ass.
But even so, don't forget to leave out some milk and cookies, Skype your loved ones, decorate a house plant and take every fresh pow turn you can. Here are a few last-minute gifts to pick up for the lonely, hard-working ski bum in your life.
1.) Old Roommate/Ex's Stuff
In ski towns, people inevitably come and go, but their stuff has a way of lingering, like that Tupperware in the back of the fridge that no one has the courage to clean out. Blenders, mysterious articles of clothing, coffee makers— the sky's the limit. If you're a poor ski bum, it's always new to you.
We know it's a tired cliche that ski bums smell bad, but when you're living out of your '94 Legacy and haven't taken a shower in three weeks, the cliche is actually true. Spread the cheer: this holiday, give the gift of cleanliness.
3.) Obsolete Phone Chargers
We all have tons of these things laying around, and the good news is that everyone needs them, regardless if they're used or not. If wrapping is a problem, just wrap a rubber band around them and tie the charger into as many convoluted knots as possible.
4.) A Park Pass
Every ski bum wants a National Park Pass, but when summertime rolls around, the $90 price tag can often be too hefty an investment for most roving dirtbags who just got back from Bali ...or wherever. If you want to give the gift of experience, this is a pricey, but great option!
Skiing, drinking and working long hours puts the hurt on your body and mind, so giving a bottle of over-the-counter painkillers is the perfect gift for your cousin Jerry who loves to go bell-to-bell, then drink all night before working at 7:15 a.m. the following morning.
6.) Frozen Burritos
We all need some emergency sustenance before a big day on the hill, and frozen burritos are the perfect (disgusting) gift to give the dirtbag in your life who may not have the highest culinary standards.
7.) Wool socks/layers
As kids, most people hate getting underwear or socks — it's like the shitty black sheep gift that everyone knows is coming but doesn't want. But as ski bums, those same individuals look forward with greedy anticipation to the new pair of Smartwool socks that may be in the UPS truck down the street. If you want to get the dirtbag in your life something you know they'll love, use and cherish, go with Merino.
Who doesn't love suds, plus it'll make you forget how sad you are after getting off of Facetime with your whole family in Connecticut while you're stuck in staff housing with your roommate Eddy who's free basing resin off of a glowing knife and cooking frozen pizza, or the burritos you bought him.
9.) Duct Tape
Rumored to fix anything — except an empty bank account or broken heart — duct tape is the old standby that can bring your old puffy back to life, be used in car repairs, or even put up X-Mas lights.
The timeless classic, nothing says "I love you" more than giving someone a completely impersonal gift that can be used in any way, like on snow tires, parking tickets, herbal remedies, Thai food or top-shelf cocktails that they really can't afford but order anyway.