Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker

Ways To GoAwry With Christmas Presents

As we are getting so super close to Christmas, I think a lot about the commercial and religious aspects of Christmas. Both are important to me. In previous posts, I talked of my altruistic ideas for Christmas, as well as some other tangible gift ideas.

I know a lot of people will be giving and receiving a good number of gifts this holiday season. Gifts that come in wrapping paper or bags or boxes. Gifts that should make a person’s eyes light up as they remove the last layer of packaging to reveal the perfect gift. Gifts that, when properly chosen, really exemplify the real meaning of Christmas.

Okay, maybe I went too far on that last one. But still, you get my point. Christmas gifts, for whatever reason, are important. And there are a number of ways for it to go wrong, so here I am to the rescue!

1) Too much tape. Have you attempted to open an impeccably wrapped gift only to be thwarted by tape? I’m a huge fan of perfect, tight corner gifts that look like they were wrapped at a department store. But the tape is meant to hold the paper on, not to keep it locked down like a vault. Unless your gift is literally bars of gold, do not super glue that shit shut! A few pieces of tape here and there is sufficient.

2) Ridiculous paper. Don’t give a cartoon-ish paper on your gift to your grandparents unless you’re less than 10 years old. Don’t give a 5 year old that fancy schmancy paper you spent a ton of money on at Target. Trust me, watching him rip through the bronze and burgundy velvet paper will diminish the joy of your day by a full 4%.

2b) Beautiful paper that is still somehow ridiculous. Don’t get paper that is destructive to those around it. I just got a Secret Santa gift at work. It was beautifully wrapped in a chocolate brown and gold glitter paper with a golden ribbon tied in a perfect bow. And as soon as I touched it, I got glitter everywhere. Literally everywhere. In order to unwrap it, I had a pile of glitter on my desk, my hands, my lap, and the floor. I was wiping off my hands for a long time trying to get all that glitter off. I’d brought food with me to eat, but couldn’t eat it because I didn’t want to be-dazzle my insides! I felt like I was trapped in a snow globe! It was truly beautiful and truly disastrous.

3) Gifts that would be better for you that the person you bought it for. We’ve all seen the commercial where the husband buys his wife power tools. Don’t do it. Learn from Sears advertising and do better. If you want to buy a self-serving gift, buy a big screen that will service the whole house, or better yet, a trip for two to an island that will allow you both to escape the winter.

4) No gift at all. Do not proclaim to have a gift you can’t actually produce. There’s this scene in one of my favorite movies, The Holiday.

In this movie, Kate Hudson’s character is in love with this man who just cannot do right by her. He mentions he got her a Christmas gift. She reacts with pleasure by handing him his gift. As he takes it, he backtracks to say he doesn’t have her gift with him, and if fact, he’s probably mislaid it, but he’s sure he’s got her something somewhere. Don’t be that douche.

Of course, you could just go the simplest route ever: Give a $25 iTunes gift card in a gift card holder greeting card. But if you’re thinking of doing that, don’t. Not unless you’re shopping for a teenager who you will definitely disappoint if you actually try to shop for them. Good luck with your last minute shopping!

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