Goodness me, look at the date. There are only 24 panicking days left until Christmas. What will you buy your friends and family to gain the acceptance you oh so crave? I recently read that a scientist did some research and concluded that there's an 80% chance that your loved ones will hate the present you buy them, a 70% chance that they will just hate you instead, and a 5% chance of snow. Whilst the prospects of a White Christmas are always subject to doubt, the bona fide fact about Christmas is that if you don't buy the right gifts, no one will like you and you'll get all the nasty bits of the turkey for Christmas lunch. Like the neck, and the giblets.
You might be thinking to yourself that this is a lost cause. Surely you cannot buy a present and guarantee that the recipient will like it. Well, I say, of course you can! For starters, if you buy yourself a present, you'll almost certainly like it. In a slightly different vain, you can get your pet cat or dog something that it will like, because pets are stupid and like everything. You could even trick it into thinking you're giving it something, only to take it back a few minutes later. Similarly, any senile or mentally deficient relatives will be easily pleased by shiny objects or lumps of dirt. You don't even need organic dirt, normal dirt will do just fine for the retards close to you. And again, as with the pets, you can take back the gift after they've forgotten about it. My own grandmother has received the same shoebox as a present from me for five years in a row.
Next, select people who owe you something. This could be a concrete debt or an emotional debt (say, for instance, your spouse cheated on you and you didn't 'avenge' it). For their Christmas present, simply cancel the debt. Here's an example conversation demonstrating how to present this unique gift:
Friend: What did you get me for Christmas then?
You: Remember that time I leant you money for the bus?
Friend: Yeah... it was 20p wasn't it? About three years ago? Why are you still going on about that?
You: Four years actually. Anyway, as your present, let's call it quits. Merry Christmas!
What can they do? What rebuttals will they have up their sleave? "That's the worst Christmas present ever, wahhh wahh wahhhh". Too bad. Serves them right for not paying the debt.
Now we move onto more difficult territory: mentally well relations who don't owe you anything. If you're not the creative type, now might be the time to start visa negotiations with a foreign country. Let's start with your mother. This is a soft target because your mother will always love you no matter what you do (although some mothers can draw a line at child rape). Get your mother any old tat, she doesn't care, she's just glad you've come back for Christmas. Besides, it's not like she's done anything to deserve it.
Call it an Oedipus complex, but it's my opinion that your father doesn't care about you. If you're still in contact with your father, consider a utility gift - socks is the classic. Don't get something that's not useful, because your dad brought you up to be frugal and emotionless. Lucky for me I never see my father so I don't have to get him anything. Score!
Aunts and uncles are a pain in the arse. In fact, what do they care? I mean, your parents bought you up 24/7, tending to your every need, and your aunts and uncles popped round once a month just to hear themselves be called 'auntie' and 'uncie'. And they still expect a present! Don't get these fairweather fans anything; because they don't deserve it. Not even a card. And don't make eye contact with them. The same goes for your cousins: spawn of the moneygrabbers.
I left the most difficult gift until last. The present for your spouse - be they your wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, or even "civil partner" if you're a gay person who just got one for the hell of it. This is the one that will make or break the Christmas festivities. The tension will hang in the air like a build-up of static if you fail. And, let's face it, you will fail. Going into Argos on the 23rd of December and frantically rifling through the catalogue is not going to cut it. The best idea I've had is to ply their beverage with Rohypnol. It's usually used for date rape, but I've just invented a slightly less sinister use for it which I call "present rape". (It still sounds sinister so it has more chance of getting in the Daily Mail). Rohypnol makes your victim/lover extremely compliant, so present them with the sub-standard gift, and tell them they like it. Voilá, they will love it! At this point it may be tempting to actually commit date rape as well, though I'd advise against it. It's just contrary to the whole spirit of Christmas.
© The Natflap 2005 - 2013.