It’s time to Grinch those lame Christmas gifts

FROM JASON’S UNDERWHELMING YULE TIDE SPIRIT — Black Friday is upon us, and American consumers are expected to haul their turkey and cranberry sauce-stuffed asses to the malls and departments stores. Retailers are predicting a $474 billion day.

That’s going to mean a lot of waste; each Christmas season, I seem to be wary of a growing selection of crappy, impersonal presents. There seems to be added pressure to buy token gifts for wider-ranging groups of acquaintances, co-workers, and business contacts. Extended families seem to extend just a little more each year, especially as I get older and relatives start dropping new children with reckless abandon.

So choosing appropriate, useful, relevant gifts — all within a reasonable budget — is getting trickier.

So as a man, I feel obliged to highlight some stupid man-gifts that you should avoid buying for the one you love:

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woodpuzzle.pngWooden puzzles: Those brain-teasing 3D jigsaws are fun for about 13 minutes before they find a permanent grave in the confines of a closet, buried under dominos and Monopoly.

None but a savant has a chance in hell of solving them anyway. Inevitably, one or more of the pieces will get lost or, worse, end up in the dog’s belly.

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trimmer.pngNose hair/mustache trimmers: A man needs one of these in his lifetime. I have four, thanks to well-meaning gift-givers.

Unfortunately, it is almost always more convenient and expedient to use a razor and/or scissors to trim those troublesome follicles. Unless the recipient is a lycanthrope, leave this one on the store shelf.

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giftcard.gifGift cards: Here I have to rant. The whole point of Christmas is to express friendship and good will by selecting a present that is unique to the recipient’s tastes and interests.

Giving a gift card is essentially saying, “I don’t know you well enough or care enough about you to expend the effort to buy something personal.”

There’s another issue. It’s gotten to the point in my family where we merely exchange gift cards — of the same value! — with certain other family members. We’re basically spending postage to give ourselves permission to go shopping. When you reach that point, shouldn’t you just acknowledge that it’s all just a charade?

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massager.gifMassage gadgets: These line the shelves of upscale department stores, purporting to be remedies for tired backs, hands, and feet. They’re really just vibrating ball bearings covered in cloth. They can be quite painful and will suck a pack of batteries dry in no time.

And are we really going to let people label these “shiatsu” massagers? Let’s face it: We know what they’re really being used for, ladies.

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novelty.pngNovelty items: I don’t need a farting Santa statue. I don’t want a school bus key chain, a pen that can write underwater, a pocketknife with 132 widgets, a motorized fish that sings AC/DC songs, or Batman shot glasses.

Hot Topic is not punk rock.

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crucifix.pngReligious items: Even if I believed in god, getting a crucifix for… I don’t know, just around the house?… would be kind of lame. As it is, I don’t want to be spoon-fed tracts. No attempts at conversion this holiday season, please.

If you think Christmas is about the birth of your lord, then you obviously are blind to history. It was originally a German pagan holiday, adopted by the Anglo-Saxons as Yule, a celebration of the winter solstice. It was a time to sacrifice human slaves and slaughter boars.

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sudoku.pngSudoku: Just like MySpace, Paris Hilton, Coke Blak, and Al Gore, those annoying Sudoku puzzles are soooo 2006.

Last year’s Christmas market was flooded with electronic versions, CD-ROM versions, giant Sudoku puzzle books, and even Sudoku neckties. Now that the craze has subsided (and people have discovered that it was remarkably boring), stores will be trying to unload their overstock and trying to label Sudoku as “hip.” Don’t believe it. Not even your mom wants to do these puzzles again this year.

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One Response to It’s time to Grinch those lame Christmas gifts

  1. Billy GRIMM says:

    I just got the lamest gift eeeeeeever!My sister let me tell you this is my only sister and I’m her ONLY brother…she got my mother a nice leather purse and my father a really expencive pool stick my son a outfit and my wife a expencive necklace and I got a……..gift card…to mcdonalds…with only $15 bucks on it…I DONT EVEN EAT THERE!I’m so pissed off at her that I’m returning her $50 dollar book back and buying be somthing…DAMN!

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