Hate that gifting everyone you know chocolate makes you look thoughtless but need someone else to do the thinking for you? Want someone to tell you how to appear thoughtful with the perfect present?
Well, me too. So I guess we all have to settle this season.
Inspired by the gift exchanges–Secret Santa, White Elephant, one-on-ones, you name it–I’ve witnessed over the last few weeks and wanted to “improve upon,” I’ve put together a quick guide for your holiday gift-giving. It’s personalized to the recipient, assuming everyone in your life falls into ten categories.
Making Your Holiday Gifts “Better”
1. The girl who’s been playing Christmas music since October.
Stand out from other friends who give her cute ornaments and ugly Christmas sweaters. Sharpie a “+” sign on a pregnancy test to remind her the virtue of things that come on time.
2. The socialist.
I bumped into a friend on the way to his organization’s Secret Santa reveal. He was holding a tissue box shrine to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (the Democratic soon-to-be Congresswoman) for his socialist Secret Santa. I thought it’d be more fitting of socialism for Friend to take something away from his Secret Santa, demand the person give him a gift. My suggestion was politely not taken, probably because I’m not a socialist or as funny as I think I am.
3. Your sentimental friend.
Framed photos? Sweet cards? No. Give them something else that’s functionally worthless and only ostensibly meaningful, like your life.
4. The acquaintance who always talks about wanting to see the world.
In lieu of the typical souvenirs and empty photo albums, just get him a map of the world so he can see it. The map also comes in handy when he inevitably looks to find himself.
5. The indecisive friend.
You could give them cash so you don’t have to guess at their preferences when going out to eat. Or you could gift them a waffle-maker so you won’t starve the next time they’re being exhausting… waffling between restaurant options.
6. The “I was born in the wrong decade.”
The standard gift for this type is vintage anything. Instead, you should hand them as many $1 bills as you own because they hate change. Or get them socks, for their cold feet.
7. The random recipient.
You can’t be sure who’ll get your gift at White Elephants. Instead of trying to consider all preferences or throwing in the towel to accommodate no one—I’ve seen a set of pee cups and a bag with six cans of Waterloo sparkling water—play the randomness to your advantage. Print off a bunch of statistics for however many participants there are. “1 in 10 people have a ratitis. I’m sorry you had to find out this way.” If you print enough, one of them might turn out true and then everyone has bigger things to worry about than your horrible White Elephant.
8. Your professor who tells you happy holidays after a rough semester.
Don’t hand him a standard Costco hot chocolate mug set through gritted teeth. Gift him a game of charades. You’re onto him.
9. Your father.
Watches and sports tickets are so impersonal. Borrow one of those attendance books from your TA so he can use it to mark himself absent.
10. The passive-aggressive friend.
Being passive-aggressive about someone’s passive aggression probably creates a wormhole, which you can say will help them make their way toward the center of the universe.
Having gone through this extraordinarily unhelpful list, you might be wondering what I gave people for the holidays, if I have so much unsolicited advice to give. What creative, personalized gift ideas did I cook up?
That’s easy. I got everyone chocolate.
Guys, by the way, someone really said “the best gift to get someone who’s into bondage is ’12 Years A Slave.'”
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