2009 Merry Christmas Awards

December 24th, 2009

The holidays are tough enough for most of us, so we decided to honor a few people for their contributions in making the season easier to bear. But first, our Evil Act of the Season Award to two scumbags who stole cars full of Christmas gifts. And the owners were both out of work.

In the Ballard section of Seattle, Margaret wrote that a friend parked her white 1990 Honda Accord (with peeling rear window tint and a very loud muffler, we are told) which contained skis, boots, and a trunk full of Christmas gifts. The friend has been laid off for a year. In Kansas City, Kan., Carmel Vaughn, homeless for two years, reported her car stolen with, again, a trunk full of Christmas presents, some for her 7-year-old daughter. One may question why these out-of-work folk have money for Christmas gifts, but the Grinch-infected people who stole their cars did not.

The Tree Transport Award goes to “skate park designer Greig Howe” of the U.K. who used his tiny G-Wiz electric car to tow a 50-foot Christmas tree 15 miles to his house. He then cut the tree into sections and stuffed it into different windows of his house to make it appear that a giant tree was bursting its barriers. Way to go, Greig, though I’m not sure I want you designing my skate park.

Another U.K. source reports that cars laden with Christmas gifts can take up to 25 percent longer to stop. Gor-blimey, carsite.co.uk definitely gets the Stupid Christmas Driving Warning Award for pointing out that the additional weight of two adults, three children, and their luggage and gifts might make it harder to stop—and on ice and snow yet.

The Christmas Save Money Award goes to Kay Bell of Texas, whose 12 tax tips for Christmas include: buying a car before December 31 and deducting the sales tax paid from your 2009 tax return. There are some guidelines and restrictions, of course, but “in most cases,” Kay says, the deduction will apply on vehicles costing $49,500 or less.

Finally, if you really are a gift-giver with the Christmas spirit, you can earn our Thanks for the Car! Award by giving your “mechanically sound and safe” vehicle to Cars 4 Christmas. They will repair the car if needed or sell it at auction (and use the proceeds to provide cars to needy folks), even providing free towing. That might be a tax-deductible gift too.

Whatever you do over the holidays, please drive safely—and allow for extra braking distance, right?

—jgoods

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