Please welcome this month’s Guest Poster, Daniel!
Daniel is tall, skinny, and weird. He writes over at http://danielsfunny.com/, which is the funniest place in the world.
For years, people have deemed gift cards to be the worst presents that you can give someone. They’re “thoughtless” and “easy.” However, despite what the naysayers think, gift cards play a very important role in humanity, as they are mankind’s only defense against being awful at giving gifts. We, as a species, for the most part, are terrible at figuring out what other people want. If I asked someone to get me a pair of socks, they’d likely return with two towels and a blank expression. Despite what years of knowing someone has taught us, as soon as Christmas comes around, we immediately lose all sense of their preferences when it comes to anything.
So, as it would be thoughtless and easy to list “gift cards” as something that you shouldn’t hand in wrapping paper to a loved one this December, here are five things that you should abstain from even thinking about putting under a tree.
If what you’re giving me on December 25th is an ornament, or even remotely Christmas-themed, your next present better be a time machine that I can use to render this gift even remotely useful. Stores go insane when it comes to selling Christmas stuff in the last month of the year, so I could see where someone would make an error and think that it would be a good idea. You’re literally surrounded by it, and when you see a Snoopy with reindeer antlers on it that plays Bing Crosby songs, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of deciding that it would be a fitting present.
But don’t. If you buy a person a snow globe, you might as well skip the wrapping paper and just bury it in the bottom of the box that it’s going to hide in for the next year. Also, no one has ever gone to bed on Christmas Eve, hoping to get that one special thing that they can put on their shelf for two hours before they pack it up and stow it away in the back of their closet.
Any Kind Of Food
I eat food every day. And I hate to sound like a member of the 1% here, but hell, sometimes I eat it multiple times a day. It’s not special to me. So when you give me mixed nuts for Christmas, or candy, I’m going to wonder what Little House on the Prairie novel that you think I just limped out of.
Maybe food was a popular treat back in the day, when an entire global population had to worry about feeding their nine children with flour and a dead horse, but now, food only works as an aside. For example, if you buy me a Christmas decoration, a Hershey bar taped to it is a great way to make sure that I remember to return your phone calls over the next year.
Technology That You’re Unsure About
I’m not a technological genius. The way I fix every piece of electronic equipment that I own is turning it on and off again until it performs the way I want it to. My 3DS wouldn’t play a game yesterday, and my only method of solving the problem was taking the cartridge out and then shoving it back in until the stupid machine realized that I wasn’t fucking around anymore. That being said, I know that, unless the person has specifically told me exactly what they want when it comes to anything in the computer genus, I’m not going to buy it for them. Feigning enthusiasm for multiple CD players given to me past the year 2007 has made me able to recognize that it’s a foolish move to guess the make and model of something that a person might need.
If you’re going to buy technology, you’re going to have to go all out on it, and just buy the whole damn thing. Otherwise, you’re going to end up with a disappointed grandson or nephew, who stare at a pile of useless cords and wonder if you still know how to work the TV remote.
I have never cared so little for someone that I got them candles for Christmas. “Does a candle make for a good Christmas present?” is the first question that you ask if you’re trying to figure out whether or not you need to hire a Blade Runner. It’s such a sociopathic way to deal with shopping, that the Christmas card that accompanies it are just blank sheets of paper with the person receiving its name crossed out on it.
The same goes with lotion, which no one has ever wanted enough to be happy about when they received it for Christmas. Usually, when people need lotion, (and I know that this might seem like a crazy concept but hear me out), they go to the store and buy some. If you’re imagining that the person you’re shopping for doesn’t have enough common sense to go out and get lotion when they need it, thus forcing you to make a special thing out of it, you either have the worst intuition ever, or your friend needs help that goes way farther than lotion.
Something that looks like something else, only for it to, surprise, not be that something else, is the lowest form of evil. You give a “funny” item to a child only when you’re trying kill all the humor in their lives. If you were to research every winter holiday in Ted Bundy’s life, you’d find a history of whoopee cushions and wall mounted singing fish. Maybe it’s because I spend a majority of my day trying to compensate for a lackluster middle school experience by writing jokes on the internet, but if I force a laugh at the little plastic square that makes a burp noise whenever you press the one button on it, I hope you’re prepared to receive a bag of sand at this same time, next year.