3 min

What not to buy

Gifts that'll make your sweetie shudder in all the wrong ways

Credit: Corey Pierce

I’ve been to the shops, kids, and like every year retail is practically choking us with consumable Christmas. It’s enough to make you gag, should you be the type to still have a gag reflex.

What’s scariest of all is the amount of crap gift “ideas” to be found. Everywhere you look the everyday is now adorned with whatever it takes to make it look like the ideal somethin’ special for your sweetie. For example, this nugget from Canadian Tire: Give the gift of a plastic owl! Nothing says “Iove you” like something to petrify pigeons away from your beloved’s balcony.

Such nonsense led me to do a completely unscientific survey of some of the worst gifts ever received and then head out to see if same or similar gifts were really being foisted on the general public as “great gift ideas.” If there was a bow or a bell or bright lights around it, I considered it foisted.

The results stagger; there is indeed a correlation between foisting and shitty. Herewith are the results of a poll I’ll now call “Gift Giving Don’ts: A Case Study In Fucking Up Your Relationship.”

Wheel of misfortune. Do not give a gift that implies your sweetheart is a big eater, especially not to the point that they can’t even access the food they want without it being loaded onto a spinning wheel. Yes, I’m talking about kitchen favourite the Lazy Susan. Bad idea. I know someone who got one as a gift and, yes, if you go to that chain of knick-n-knack-and-bric-a-brac stores, there are the Lazy Susans in a stack with a shiny bow on top. Not even the chubby or their chaser wants to unwrap that on Christmas Day.

Big disappointment. Your shnooks also doesn’t want a dishwasher, while we’re still in the kitchen. I know a dame who stared and stared at this huge box all wrapped up with her name on it beside the tree, only to burst into tears when she saw what was inside. “It wasn’t even stainless steel!” she recalls. Ignore the TV ads from big box appliance merchants telling you now is the time to buy this “perfect” gift.

Snap out of it. Don’t give photos of you in GQ or Vogue poses, in drag or spread-eagled in a sling. There’s a local singer who kicks around the village who says the worst gift he ever got was from an ex all dressed up in leather. Sure, it sounds like a good idea just reading this — you’re probably slipping into a harness and grabbing your Polaroid camera right now. But put the camera down, reader. Put the camera down. The reality is that very few people really know how to pose without looking silly. “He looked just… wrong,” says the performer, who still bemoans the pics of his ex à la leather Daddy. There are far better ideas if you want to go the homemade route, like a jewellery box made from Popsicle sticks.

Black Christmas. Stay away from the occult too. A Ouija board or Tarot cards may seem all dark and edgy – imagine the sex later! But the real message here, as someone I know who was given the gift of Ouija for Jesus’s big day put it, “Merry Christmas, now go conjure the devil.” Where you’d even get a Ouija board I don’t know, but just don’t.

Risky business. Stay away from playing cards too. Nope, not even if they have a naked Chippendale feller on it. These days such items are the facefuck of the Christmas rape, because they are “perfect stocking stuffers!” Nuts and oranges and blue Tiffany boxes are actually perfect stocking stuffers — a deck of cards will only work if you envision a lifetime playing solitaire for yourself. In fact, stay right the fuck away from any and all last minute “impulse” stands, which I know is almost impossible since such stands always surround you as you wait interminably in lineups. Stay strong.

Homo improvement. Avoid anything that suggests your sweets needs some kind of personal improvement — especially in the area of the mind — isn’t going to get you any Christmas Yule log later (or figgie pudding, if you prefer). Now is not the time to propose your wee darlin’ get to work creating A New Earth, regardless of the fact that it’s now attractively packaged into decks of 52 cards, one a week to carry on their person. Your babypoops wants to feel pretty and spoiled and Paris Hilton-esque for the holidays. You can sign them up for 12 steps in the New Year.

In short, there is no irony, no humour, nor any cool kitsch in these ideas, foisted though they might be in downtown shops even as you read this. If you are reading this, you are most likely queer. That means you cannot only do better, you are required to.

Jesus is counting on you.