It’s too late. You were supposed to buy stuff for people, some of them you even like, but now you hate them all, because it is the season of OBLIGATION. Children even, you might hate right now, or at least resent, because you think you have to buy them something or their parents will think less of you. You might be married to one of those children’s parents.
Desperation will clarify your gift-selection process. Get yourself into a CVS, or a RITE AID (which is now really WALGREENS), or a DUANE READE (which is also now really WALGREENS), or hey, even a WALGREENS. There’s at least one row of affordable gift crap waiting for you.
Nothing more last-minute and zero-effort than buying something and putting it in a GIFT BAG that might cost more than the gift you were budgeting that $20 for, according to the rules of the stupid reindeer-game office Santa Claus bullshit you signed up for. Try to avoid the gift bag, but if you buy a gift and then buy a gift bag, go ahead and feel bad about yourself, because it’s a certain rarified type of failure. You ended up spending more than if you had put a little thought and planning into it, but it’s still a failure, and somehow, it’s worse than if you had just blown off that office potluck. You satisfied the requirement to provide a gift in a festive wrapping, but you’re showing everyone you gave it no thought, and you spent more than you wanted. You also probably forgot to remove the price tag from the gift bag. You failed.
Everybody hates their BOSS, of course, so you could get somebody this smarmy-looking STRESS RELIEVER and they could think about Christmas while they sit at their desk and squeeze the shit out of this blue goon. Are you a boss? Merry Christmas!
This “Scrabble”-looking item is FORM A WORD GAME WITH CASE, and those thoughts are equal, the game, and the case in which it is contained. The serving suggestion on the box shows words and also non-words, so not only is it not Scrabble, it’s some janky reverse-engineering of Scrabble involving dice. Console yourself with the thought that the disappointment of receiving this FORM A WORD GAME WITH CASE will be the final disappointment, because this game will never be played, it will be immediately re-gifted or donated. Meanwhile, IQ PUZZLE has the potential to be a tremendously insulting gift if you give it to someone and they can’t solve it. Ages 8+.
Absolutely no idea what’s on the 100 cards of CHICK FLICK TRIVIA, but please remember it’s called CHICK FLICK TRIVIA, so it’d be OK for one of those truly anonymous gift swaps, but if you’re on the record presenting this as a gift, maybe think about your company’s Human Resources Department for a moment.
The shape of MINI MOTION LAMP will only be a problem reported to the H.R. department if you say something stupid when you present it.
Even LAURA ASHLEY has given up. She used to be all about fine fabrics, but now it’s just a Brand tacked on to this possible harmonizing gift combo of AUTOMATIC WINE OPENER and OVERSIZED CHAMPAGNE GLASS that already appears to be filled with corks, in some sort of a Time Machine preview of the glass once it is pressed into service by the person who received it as a present, a person who uncorked many bottles of wine, a person for whom a regular-sized Champagne glass was not appropriate.
What’s horrifying about this TIM BURTON’S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS mug is the spinning head gimmick built in to the side of the vessel, guaranteeing it a future as a microwave oven hazard and never properly cleaned relic on the shelf in the break room once the person you gave this to has moved on to a better gig.
It almost doesn’t matter, just grab one of each item. Don’t think about the KEY FINDER being a project and not a gift, don’t think about the MINI WHISKEY BARREL being a poor choice for an eight-year old, just grab stuff and keep moving.
This might be a legit pop culture thing, this GEKKO, for the PJ MASKS GEKKO DRESS UP SET, we don’t know, but we bet everybody will want to put the goofy mask on.
One thing we guarantee no child is hoping for is a MAZE MONEY BANK, because it’s a supposedly fun thing combined with Responsibility, and nobody wants that. Also, it’s a red flag when the WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD sticker is larger and more prominent than the product name.
Do children even know what coins are nowadays? $6.99 is pretty cheap, though.
FINGERLINGS FRIENDSHIP @ YOUR FINGERTIPS BANANA SCENTED BATH TIME FRIENDS BATH SQUIRTERS is a double entendre-paloozafest of which we want no part. Don’t buy this, it’s weird. Or at least don’t buy it for somebody else, OK?
Nobody wants a banana-scented toy.
Plush toys are a safe bet for younger children and certain adults, but think about the gift wrapping. You should be able to get by with a big ribbon on top, like in those annoying car commercials where people buy affection by giving $50K cars as holiday gifts.
Again, we don’t know if we are lacking in pop culture knowledge or if this is just some plush-toy knockoff factory invoking an algorithm and producing an average character, but this happy blue plush-lump would at least make for a serviceable pillow.
OK, it’s a dog, or a bear, maybe, but it’s probably a dog, and it’s got maracas, so that’s fun, yes, and annoying, which is always a good way to go when you’re buying for a child you don’t live with. The other thing next to maracas-dog, it’s a Grinch-type knockoff, or maybe an ersatz Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street, wearing dark glasses, but that’s it, and it doesn’t even look well made. Ever since Walgreens took over the Rite Aid, we’re seeing more of these low-quality knockoffs and we’re not happy about it.
Maracas are officially trending, and this time they are MICKEY MARACAS, featuring everyone’s favorite perpetually copyright-protected rodent. This is a budget buy, 10 bucks, and it’s a noise toy, so we definitely recommend. If there’s enough inventory, get one from the back because everybody will have tapped the batteries out on the merch up front.
MUSIC STREAM MICROPHONE looks like a pain in the ass to set up, as far as bluetooth, but ENHANCED VOCAL EFFECTS means it will be a noisemaking device even if you can’t get it to stream any audio, so this looks like a successful gift.
We’re not sure what PIKMI POPS is, and it’s another SCENTED item, who asked for this? You need to get a sense of the scale of this thing, it’s almost the size of a human head, so there’s a certain wow-factor, but it’s gonna be difficult to wrap. Maybe get a gift bag.