Well, it’s that time again, kids. Sleigh bells are ringing, and carolers are singing “Be of good cheer…” It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
For retail, at least.
My personal plan, in this era of shrinking budgets and industry bailouts, is to move to handmade gifts for next Christmas (and beyond). However, this year, I remain a member of the huddled masses eager to pre-spend their economic stimulus on stuff the recipient will most likely forget about within a fortnight, and in my role as such, I humbly present to you:
Claire’s Giftstravaganza Guide 2008
The Recipient: Grandma
The Gift: Slanket
The Reason: Grandma’s old. She’s tired. And she is always – ALWAYS – freezing cold, even in her condo in Miami. Unless you have one of those irritating “hip” grandmas, chances are she’s stretched out on the davenport sipping chamomile tea, working her puzzles and watching her stories, at any given moment of the day. Ideally, grandma would like to be able to do these things while also maintaining a body temperature above 62 degrees. Enter…the Slanket. Designed by top engineers, this blanket with sleeves (see what they did there? Eh? Eh? And…cue vomiting) will keep your nan ensconced in a toasty fleece cocoon that she’ll have to leave only for trips to the potty….and depending on her age, maybe not even then!
Where to Get It: The fifth circle of Hell, or here.
The Recipient: Your Geeky Brother (or Sister, if she goes for this sort of thing)
The Reason: Exposed to Star Wars at an early age, your poor brother/sister never had a chance. Now a full-fledged geek, his/her only hope of finding a mate is to either become the head of a giant soulless corporation or trolling the conventions for a similarly afflicted female/male/etc. of the same species. Until the day he/she invents the iPhone app that translates Huttese to Klingon and makes his/her fortune, he/she can draw inspiration from this excellent poster of Princess Leia. I know I’ve seen Carrie Fisher in other movies. I’m sure I even enjoyed some of them. But when I hear the words “Carrie Fisher,” I think not of “When Harry Met Sally” or “Drop Dead Fred,” but instead Leia, chained to Delta Burke Jabba the Hutt and further complicating the Rube Goldberg mechanics of my burgeoning sexuality. Chances are, so does your brother/sister.
Where to Get It: Harrison Ford’s jumble sale, George Lucas’ attic, ThinkGeek.com
The Recipient: Your Unwanted Secret Santa
The Gift: Something under the $20 limit.
The Reason: We’ve all been there. You’re in a club. You work in a “fun” office. You stumbled into an AA meeting by mistake, liked the coffee and ended up staying despite the shady moral implications. At some point, we’ve all drawn the tiny piece of paper with some random person’s name and wish list written upon it and thought “Aww, MAN!” That’s right – you’ve drawn the name of the last person you’d ever want to purchase a gift for, and as you suspected, their tastes run in the direction of the absurd/lame/possibly illegal in certain states. So what’s a reluctant Santa to do? Well, there’s always the gift that says “I don’t give a damn about you, but I feel compelled to fulfill my obligations. Ho, ho, ho!” Or, if you’re a more kind-hearted sort, why not give them a gift basket? There’s a gift basket for every occasion and recipient…even weird Judy, who sits quietly conversing with the copier when she thinks no one is looking.
Where to Get It: Oh, just about anywhere – poke around, lazy. Yeesh. Ok, fine, here.
The Recipient: Your Boss
The Gift: How should I know? They’re YOUR boss.
The Reason: Buying a gift for your boss is a task fraught with the potential for reward and disaster alike. Who among us (well, the mercenary among us) hasn’t given a gift to our boss and thought “Yes! The promotion is mine!” only to be told, in a quiet tone that nevertheless betrays the simmering rage beneath, “My brother was killed by a novelty pen holder in the shape of a golf ball, you heartless bastard!”? OK, probably none of us, actually. However, my completely unrealistic example should encourage you, gentle reader, to learn your boss’ interests and hobbies (assuming they have them and are not corporate automatons whose only goal is the glorification of their employer and better stock options). Why? Because if you get them something they’ll use (e.g. a golf range finder, tickets to the Osmonds, ShamWow, the chamois that makes you say “Wow!”), then they’ll be out more often, using it…which means that you can finally finish that report/take a nap/beat Frostmaw’s Burrows and complete your Master Dungeon Guide.
Where to Get It: Again, it’s your boss, yo. But it can’t hurt to try here.
The Recipient: Your Helpmate, Your Beloved, The Very Shade of Your Soul
The Gift: Something befitting the person to whom you’ve already given your heart.
The Reason: Ah, love. It manifests itself in so many ways…the gentle caress across your cheek, the way they let you say “sammich” instead of “sandwhich” because it’s “cute,” that one thing they do in bed that causes you to make a noise the neighbors assume to be a mountain lion being fed into a woodchipper…for all these reasons and more, the gift you give your significant other should be one that comes from the heart. Stymied for ideas this year? Hunting for something that says “my love for you is deeper than Heidi and Spence’s operatic tale of mutual adoration?” Well, pardner, you’re in luck, because there are as many ways to say “Happy Holidays, love” as there are loves! For example, the more clingy may want to check out the personalized photoframe. They get a physical reminder of your constant, smothering affection, you get the peace of mind that comes from knowing they’re under your hawklike gaze 24/7. Prefer your lover stay with you out of devotion rather than abject terror? Then you should sign them up for a “whatever-of-the-month” club membership. They get a yearlong reminder that you’re thinking of them, you get infinite brownie points every month when they open their newest shipment. “Oh, honey, that’s okay, I can take out this heavy bag of trash. You just sit there and enjoy your premium microbrews I bought for you out of pure and unblemished love.” Finally, for those of you with a saucy side, there’s always the much-anticipated (or dreaded) sexy Christmas gift. What better way to say “I would prefer our first child be born in early September” than a sexy bit of red-and-white lingerie? (Insert your own candy cane joke here. Or your own candy cane. It’s none of my business, buster).
This concludes Claire’s Giftstravaganza Guide 2008. I hope it proves useful in your search for the perfect gift, and remember, the best gift you can give is the gift of yourself (unless they already have one of you, in which case I’d go with one of those envelopes from the bank with a cutout for the face on a crisp $50).