Holiday shopping for the terminally clueless

The Miscellany News.

Well, it’s that time of year again. Do you celebrate one of the Unspecified Wintry Holidays™? Does said holiday happen to involve gift-giving? If so, you’ll currently be plunging into the ho-ho-holly jolly hell of holiday shopping, hoping against hope that you can find a gift for each of the important people in your life. These gifts have to be just so: cheap enough not to be awkward, expensive enough not to offend, personalized enough to warm the heart, but also useful enough not to just create clutter. In other words, they have to be perfect–and don’t forget, the stakes are immense. There’s nothing worse than smiling awkwardly as a close friend looks up in disbelief after unwrapping their container of vintage 1993 Cool Whip, or their fishbowl-sole disco shoes or their rhinestone-studded iguana harness. Don’t strike out yet again; follow my holiday shopping tips to make the season bright!


But first, a confession: I am terrible at holiday shopping. If you’ve ever bought anyone a gift, you know that the instant you begin to consider the question of what to get them, you realize just how difficult it is to find something good for even your closest friends. Everyone has hobbies and interests, of course, but you know far less about another person’s hobbies and interests than they do. Maybe there’s an avid cheese sculpture carver in your life, but how on Earth do you know that you’re getting them the right thickness of cheese wire? Which variety of cheese do they usually work with, and how might that affect your choice? And do you even use cheese wire to carve cheese sculptures? That was sort of an assumption you were rolling with, but now, as you think about it, you’re realizing that maybe it’s not such a sure shot after all. See how difficult this is?


If you don’t go the hobbies-and-interests route, though, you’re left with attempting to find something generic and inoffensive. Really, though, how many chocolate bars and pairs of socks and scented candles does the average person need? The answer is: probably not as many as they’re going to receive from the horde of other desperate gift-givers this holiday season. Remember, for as much as you’re struggling, so is everybody else!


No, it’s clear that you’re going to need a Nondenominational Holiday Miracle to find the perfect gift for that special person. That’s why I’m about to give you the perfect gift right now, in the form of my Hot Tip to end all Hot Tips: my foolproof, sure-shot, failsafe, one-hundred-percent perfect method for finding a great gift each and every time, a gift that says “I care about you,” but not in a weird and creepy way if you’re not really that close to the person, but also not in an impersonal and distant way if you ARE close to them, and yet definitely not in a way that leads them to suspect that you just got the same thing for everyone else on your holiday gifting list, which you definitely did that one year after you won that palette of Beach-Fun-scented Yankee Candles in a raffle drawing, so you’re already in the doghouse and need to tread carefully.


If you haven’t caught on yet, the Hot Tip is this: Stall for time. It’s socially acceptable to show up, apologetically, on the big day and plead that you definitely ordered the perfect thing, but that it just hasn’t quite arrived yet. If the person forgets all about your purported gift in the holiday chaos, then mission accomplished; if not, you can pull out the big guns and divulge that it’s something that hasn’t quite come out yet. Make it sound as though you’re going to get them a really great gift, like a copy of the new “Legend of Zelda” game, or a spot at a midnight-release party for “Despicable Me 4,” or tickets to the One Direction reunion tour that’s definitely, definitely going to happen at some point. It’s going to be just peachy, if only they can be patient for a little while longer. Repeat ad nauseam until you both die of old age.


The fact is, anticipation of a great gift is almost as good as the actual gift itself. As long as you can keep the ruse up, you’ll be doing something nice for them, more or less! And if this all seems like a cop-out to you: Look, the holidays are hard. Rather than just getting presents for other people, why not give yourself the gift of rest, relaxation and peace of mind? Telling endless lies is a small price to pay for a little success in life. Speaking of which, have I told you about my surefire new cryptocurrency offering? It’s going to the moon!

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