Stocking stuffers. What started out as an innocent little addition to the Christmas gift tradition has turned into something completely different. While on the check out line at Sephora, I noticed dozens of impulse items and couldn’t help but paw at all of them. Who doesn’t need airplane-approved Fresh seaberry oil? Okay, that’s beside the point. The point is, that so many of these goodies were stamped as perfect stocking stuffers, yet, were all fairly pricey for what they were. Which leads me to question: are these types of gifts antiquated? Back when I was a kid, things that got stuffed in stockings were things like midges, plastic Care Bears, fun pens, and, if you were lucky, sample size perfumes. If you couldn’t tell, really nothing over five dollars. But today, we’ve raised the stakes and now stockings aren’t as harmless as they used to be. Really, they’ve just become vessels for more gifts. Because apparently it’s more fun to pull gifts out of a inflammable sock than it is to find them under a Christmas Tree. With that, I give you nouveau stocking stuffers and a little reminder of a simpler time:
It’s holiday season and you know what that means. Lots of drunken office parties, shitty secret santa gifts, and every blogger under the sun posting *ultimate holiday gift guides!* [Insert break for vomiting here.] The few that I’ve compiled are funny, I think, but correct me if I’m wrong. I suppose that it’s just one of those things people do, they share their sponsored suggestions in hopes of helping readers out, and quite possibly, make a commission when readers click. What I take most offense to is how stereotypical and boring so many of them are. Yes, I get it, if you like George Washington, of course you’re going to flip out if someone gives you a miniature Houdon bust. And if you’re a constant fisher, then who wouldn’t want a mechanical singing bass to hang on their wall? Do you see where I’m going with this or do I need to provide another handful of repetitive and demonstrative examples? But do you know which classification I find most assaulting? Gifts for readers. Bookies. Nerds. Dorks. Whatever other pithy names people choose to bestow upon us. I don’t want to see anymore silkscreened totes and t-shirts, fancy tea, notebooks with knitting puns, or anything else of the like. Let me take this moment to tell you that people who like to read are just like everyone else, except maybe a little smarter. We do things that everyone else does: we enjoy pattern play, sleep in, get drunk, clean on Sundays, we don’t clean at all, we eat artisanal food, we eat processed foods, we watch professional sports, and we use cellphones (even the luddites amongst us). With that, here are a bunch of things that people who read might appreciate:
1. This canister is evocative of my favorite hotel’s decor // 2. Year-round garland // 3. Kitschy prints to brighten any space // 4. Who doesn’t want a camel? // 5. Get cozy and quirky // 6. This pillow says it all // 7. LOVE this book and happy it’s been everywhere // 8. Unisex matte accessories for sharing // 9. These are just for show, mom, I promise // 10. I would take this everywhere // 11. Buy some baked goods and show them off // 12. Keep it clean.
As it pertains to me–because this is my blog–I like gifts that I would never buy myself but that I’m obviously going to use. Who wants something that they’d never buy themselves that they’d never use?
I’ve been there many times and it’s not fun. The worst is when you get something that you can’t return. I know it’s supposed to be the thought that counts but it’s not. If thought was the only thing that counted, there’d be no market for gifts. It makes me cringe when I think about all the time
I’ve my mom has spent returning things that I either didn’t like or wasn’t going to use. Can I my mom get those hours back as a gift? How about money for the gasoline? The depreciation of the car? The lack of a peaceful afternoon not going to the mall?
Here are a few no-fail options that help us avoid the waste of time and the disappointment that comes with receiving a gift that never had a chance. Who doesn’t love a cookbook of their favorite blog? Or a fifth pair of slippers? And while you usually don’t need to be reminded that everyone’s a dumb whore, sometimes a matted needlepoint of that truism frames your perspective.
Happy holidays, and maybe next time, just go for cash–or bitcoins.
I know I said that books always make good gifts for guys, but so do things. How and why did guys get such a bad reputation for being difficult to shop for? They have interests and hobbies just like everyone else! They’re normal…ish! And mens stuff really is the most fun. For this post, I tried to imagine what the coolest and nonchalant guys I know would want. Guys like my brother and cousin, though I’m not picking favorites. What would they like? What would they use? Gift giving is a funny thing because on the one hand, you want to get someone something that they’re going to like and use. And on the other hand, this is a great opportunity to get them something that they would never buy themselves, something that’s a little extravagant. With that, here is a smathering of personalized gifts, some go-to favorites, and indulgent extras.
1. Juice Press // 2. Shades from Warby Parker // 3. Faux wood external charger // 4. Camp socks // 5. Got soul? // 6. Look sharp with Harry’s // 7. Mast Brothers infused whiskey // 8. Black on black Miansai wrap // 9. Wallpaper guides.