Every year the holiday season has magazines, blogs, and websites producing archetypal gift-giving guides for all the usual suspects on your list. Their recommendations range from the glaringly obvious suggestions: jewelry for your significant other, cologne for your dad, etc. to the painfully vague: listen to what the little voice in your heart is saying, and shop accordingly. Where’s the brutal honesty you were hoping for? Where’s that sought after consolation that your plan to purchase a cucumber melon bath set actually isn’t the worst idea you’ve ever had? Look no further, ladies and gents, because this is the gift-giving guidance you’ve needed all along.

For Your Mother-in-Law: Shopping for the mother of your spouse or partner can be tricky, because more likely than not she moonlights as a fire-breathing dragon. For this unique situation, I recommend sticking to something simple, like a good ol’ fashioned beating heart or a soul. (If you happen to get along famously with your mother-in-law, I hear Yankee Candle has some great scents in their non-assumptionary collection.)

Definitely opt for the one with the bubble bath (that will probably get used twice before it's thrown away).
Definitely opt for the one with the bubble bath (that will probably get used twice before it’s thrown away).

For Every Young Female Age 13-25: No one seems to know when girls stop playing with dolls and start feeling more adult. When Britney Spears’ “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” fails you, you might get a little nervous. For the intimidating young woman in your life, take yourself over to Bath & Body Works where you can find a generic gift set that may spare you any of the following gift reactions: “You think I still shop at Forever 21? That store is so lame.” “I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing this fugly bracelet.” “Red nail polish? I already have this color, you worthless moron.” …May I suggest cucumber melon?

For Your Significant Other: For this one, you really need to gauge where you are in your relationship before going to the mall. If you’ve been delaying an imminent break-up because of the holidays, now is the perfect time to bolster your partner’s sock collection before you make your sweeping exit in the New Year. If you’re committed, buy something that’s really for you, but spin it in such a way that it seems like a thoughtful item you’ll both love. If you’re shopping for your booty call, check out one of those creepy strip mall stores with the front window display that encourages a few Hail Marys from your grandma.

For the Baby Boomer: Know that no matter how desperately you want to introduce the Baby Boomer in your life to modern technology (apps, clouds, etc.) if you get them anything that has more advanced functionality than a toaster with a cancel button, you will become their personal tech support. My advice to you is to stick to one of those allegedly useful As Seen on TV gadgets you’ll find piled up near the checkout line at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

For the Kids: You’re probably out of touch with the younger generation and their admiration for One Direction. Don’t worry! Remember that the iPad is a pretty safe bet for tykes of all ages. There’s also this thing called Rainbow Loom that has become the Pokémon cards or Ty beanie babies of the moment. If you think your kids are getting too greedy, teach them the subtle art of making dolls out of cornhusks.

Um, I don't care how trendy he is, unless your boss is Brad Goreski, do not buy him a bow tie.Image source
Um, I don’t care how trendy he is, unless your boss is Brad Goreski, do not buy him a bow tie.
Image source

For the Boss: Shopping for your boss can be delicate—especially when you don’t want to look like a desperate brown noser or incidentally reveal that it was you who recently slashed his or her tires. If you actually like your boss, an unassuming gift certificate to a restaurant or local coffee place is the way to go. If your boss is reminiscent of Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada, a new broom or some eye of newt would probably be really thoughtful. For the male douchebag boss, turn him on to some new cologne outside of his usual Pretentious Prick No. 5.

For the Person Who Has Everything: This one’s easy! Buy him or her something you’ve always wanted that you know they already have. They’ll be so moved by your gesture that they’ll insist you keep the duplicate item you purchased. Nothing embodies the spirit of the holidays like buying something for yourself, giving it away to someone else, and getting to keep it without feeling too guilty in the end.

For the Babysitter/Child Care Provider: There’s nothing too extravagant for any person who’s responsible for watching your spawn. Allow me to suggest a quaint three-bedroom bungalow, a yacht, or an endorsement for sainthood.

12 thoughts on “An Honest Holiday Gift-Giving Guide to Excuse the Cucumber Melon Bath Set

  1. I prefer to give the gift of bitterness. So basically I find the exact gift that everyone wants (not really) and get them a cheap knock off of that gift. It gets them so bitter, yet they can’t really accuse me of bittery because I got them what they wanted.

  2. Love this. My boss and I have an unspoken rule that we get each other booze related gifts. The rest of the guys in the office are getting mugs….because they drink hot beverages?

Don't you sass me! ...Actually, please do.

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