You did it again, didn’t you? You waited until the last minute to buy your Christmas presents. Or, even worse, you found out somebody you didn’t suspect got you something, and now you have to reciprocate.
If you really wanted to, you could go out, brave the roads and stores and hope that you find something perfect. But you don’t. And that’s why you’re in this spot now.
There are a couple of ways out of this mess with far less trouble. Here’s my definitive guide to
this year’s every year’s hottest passive-aggressive gifts.
When giving a passive-aggressive gift, there are three goals in mind, and preferably one or all of the following will happen upon receipt:
1. Behavior is corrected. You don’t want to change the world. Just this person. But without conflict. Let’s hope they get the message. So, a good passive-aggressive gift will not only barely qualify as exchanging gifts, but will also solve a problem you have with the intended recipient.
2. You’re left alone. What’s better than solving a problem? Never having to deal with the source of that problem ever again. There’s no reason to feel awkward about Christmas shopping if there’s no one to exchange gifts with anymore.
3. You receive positive recognition. Why, yes, you are a hero, and it’s all because you took a little time (very little) to act as secretly as possible. Of course, if there’s a negative reaction to your little message, then that’s an opinion best kept to themselves.
So, these gifts should satisfy the bare minimum of gift giving and say a lot if the recipient actually cares about you.
Nothing says, “I’d like to get closer to you,” than giving the gift that adds, “But only …”
Is scratchy, unsightly facial hair in the way? Give them a shaving kit.
Are they just not pretty enough to hang out with you? Give them makeup or a makeover.
Do they smell? Soap and deodorant are both too obvious, but a subtle way to tell someone, “Here, this blend of spices and oils is preferable to your own natural swill,” is by giving them aftershave, cologne or perfume.
And there’s always candles. A candle attacks stench on two fronts: by giving off its own pleasant aroma and staying lit by burning the methane and other offending airborne particulates. (This pairs well with matches.)
The only thing worse than someone who stinks or looks terrible is someone who’s decent enough looking/inoffensively odoriferous with a lousy personality.
Fortunately, there is booze, which is proven to only improve people’s moods … outside of abusive fathers. In fact, booze is so important to making people bearable that we don’t like anybody from places where they don’t allow it.
And if the intended recipient doesn’t drink a lot? Even better. That means you can grab something off a lower shelf and tell them they never heard of it because it’s really rare.
And that’s pretty much it. Any other mood enhancer requires knowing somebody who isn’t an undercover cop. And that’s just work.
And, finally, we come to the gifts you give just so that someone will shut the hell up already.
Keep hearing complaints about the thermostat? Give them a space heater. Or, to really hammer the point home, a Snuggie.
Do they have a nasally voice? Get them mentholated candy to open those whiny passages up.
Or, to shut them up entirely, get a food basket. Lots and lots of food. The chewier and stickier, the better.
Good luck, and may all your Christmases be less of an inconvenience!