It’s almost the season of giving; and if you don’t want to end up re-gifting the fruit bowl Little Auntie gave ypu last Christmas, you’ll have to get creative. Here are few things you probably haven’t considered:
1. The uncle who’s been everywhere and seen everything
We all have one – the uncle who visits at Christmas or New Year, and who has the world-weary air of having done literally everything on the planet. Not only can’t you impress him with your anecdotes, he can always go you one better.
You went skiing? He went skiing once – he had to hide out in Switzerland in World War II. You went to New York City this year? He had to work there, in the meat packing district for two years earning $1 an hour. You bought a new Honda? He was once chauffeur to a zillionaire, and knows everything about Hondas.
What to give:
Give him more incredible anecdotes to narrate, with the Atlas Obscura. This travel guide covers all the weird things that don’t appear in regular travel guides – stuff like a whole museum hidden in an elevator, or a “clone factory” where he can get dolls made (that look just like him).
Who knows, he might even something that makes him raise an eyebrow.
2. The boozer, who “only parties and drinks on days that end with the letter Y”
This is the buddy who knows all the best nightspots. Go out with the person, and you won’t be home before six in the morning.
These types have an immense repertoire of drinking games, a bizarre ability to make otherwise normal people do crazy things (like backflip off a car in the Zouk parking lot), and seem to always have breakfast at 2pm.
What to give:
You know what this type needs? A beer foam enhancer. You stick this little gadget in your beer, and it will give you the ultimate head of foam (that’s important – it stops the beer getting bitter too fast, among other things).
That’s a conversation starter, and gives them more time to yak without their beer going off.
3. Secretly the only kid you can tolerate coming around (at Christmas or New Year)
Children are the future and all. That’s the mantra we use, to stop ourselves from exploding the 10th time a visitor’s kid spills Sprite all over the sofa / floor / dining table.
But there’s always one kid we really like – the polite, intelligent one that we secretly give the best presents to. This year, you may as well focus your cash resources on spoiling these kids. Maybe if you’re more miserly to the ones who annoy you, they’ll stop coming to your place.
If your favourite kid is a girl, gift her with this light-up teddy bear, guaranteed to make all other plush toys look lame. Also, it’s pretty useful for walking around at night.
If your favourite kid is a boy, gift him with this flying remote-controlled FLYING shark that freaking flies. It’s also a shark, and did we mention it flies? The only thing that could go wrong with this is dad grabbing the remote, and refusing to give it back.
4. The gamer who’s constantly staring at a screen, and twiddling thumbs
These types usually have a PC (the master race), as well as a console or two. And what a PC – their gaming rigs are more than just computers. They probably spend half their monthly income on getting the absolute best, and if you turn on their computer the airport might black out.
Forget about buying video games for them – that’s the worst mistake you can make. You’ll either end up buying them something they already have, or earn a cold stare of contempt when you pick the wrong genre. Anyway, they’ve already signed up for the Early Access release, and they’ve pre-purchased games months in advance (yes, this is a thing now).
What you can do is get them accessories. Not just boring stuff like speakers and nice mouses(?) mice (?) They already have loads of those.
What to give:
This mouse with a real preserved spider in it. It even lights up when they plug it in. They’ll never use it for serious gaming (please, they have a $300 mouse for that), but for casual use they might plug it in just because it’s cool.
For a more hardcore variation, this one has a whole preserved snake in it. Just ah, check for phobias and all first, okay?
5. The naturally outdoors and sporting type, who defines 10 kilometres as “a short walk”
This the type who asks, without a hint of irony, that they signed up for a 25-kilometre marathon this weekend, and who wants to join them?
If you think they’re exercise nuts, you’re wrong – being an exercise nut is for people who need to work out. These people live such naturally active lives, they can avoid the gym for years and somehow maintain abs. They casually walk-up mountains that leave commandos panting, and they’d hike across half the Amazon before asking if the trail “has started yet”.
If you hit the gym five days a week for 15 years, you may someday be a tenth as fit as they are.