Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Holidays! From: Someone Incredibly Thoughtful

Technically this blog is supposed to chronicle my ongoing career crisis, so I usually feel compelled to tie in a possible career choice or previous job or at the very least throw in some thought-provoking, soul-searching mumbo jumbo.  But today I'm not even going to pretend to be on topic.  I've always believed that the holidays are a time for celebration, distraction, and ignoring one's problems.  It would be sacrilegious to do any real work.  Even if I did have a job, I'd probably be doing exactly the same thing right now: deciding where to go for happy hour and taking care of some last-minute online shopping.

As I mentioned previously, one of my many talents is buying thoughtful presents for people.  So today, as my gift to you, I'm offering up a few pointers and suggestions for those of you who are still struggling to find the perfect gift for that special someone.

The key to good gift buying is to tailor each gift to the recipient.  Start by making a list of their personality traits, hobbies, and interests.  Try to avoid the obvious.  Giving golf balls to an avid golfer certainly makes sense, but I'm afraid it won't earn you any points in the thoughtful department (unless they're the ridiculously expensive, top-of-the-line golf balls and they're hand-delivered by Tiger Woods).  Remember, thoughtful gifts are full of thought, so if you came up with the idea in less than a minute, keep thinking.

To get you going on the right track, here are a few examples of creative, specific gifts…

[In case you're wondering, I don't get paid to promote anything.  I promise you, this blog earns negative income.]

If your special someone has a sweet tooth, you might consider giving them the world's largest gummy bear.  Or if you know what their favorite candy bar is, pick up a few hundred and then use them to spell out "Merry Christmas!" on their living room floor.

If you're shopping for a desperate single woman who happens to find baby animals adorable, give her the 2011 Hot Guys and Baby Animals calendar.  Or if this is a Hanukkah gift, go with the 2011 Nice Jewish Guys calendar.

Is your special someone a complete narcissist?  Then give them a customized stuffed animal that looks exactly like them.

For the introvert on your shopping list, buy a t-shirt that discourages social interaction.

Shopping for someone who really hates their job?  Help them vent their frustration in a creative way with a mousepad that reads, "I've Quit Better Jobs Than This."  Also available in a tote bag, coffee mug, or wall clock.  Don't think they're ready to take their job hatred public?  Then how about a pair of "I Hate My Job" thong underwear?

And for your loved one who suffers from road rage?  How about a remote-controlled LED car sign that displays messages such as "Idiot!" and "Back off!"

Still stumped?

If you're shopping for your boyfriend or husband, practical items are always a good fallback.  If there's a new video game or a cool gadget on the market, he's the first person in line.  But I'm betting his underwear has been around since the beginning of time.  Buy him some new pairs, throw out the old ones, and consider it a thoughtful gift for yourself.

You can never go wrong with alcohol.  Sure, it's not the most thoughtful gift, but have you ever seen anyone look disappointed when they're handed a bottle of booze?  Even if they don't drink, alcohol is perfect for re-gifting.

And of course, there's always cash.  Who doesn't want more money?  Unfortunately, cash is commonly regarded as the least thoughtful gift possible.  Some people say it's better to give a gift card, but my husband likes to point out that gifts cards are just "money with strict limitations."  Instead, try giving cash along with something small, like a highly personalized ornament.  That way, your gift says, "I'm capable of being thoughtful, but I also want you to have this money."

Boy, nothing gets me in the holiday spirit like solving someone else's gift-buying dilemma!  Now if only I knew where to go for happy hour...

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