So maybe Black Friday and Cyber Monday left you with all your Christmas shopping done, or maybe you haven’t given it a freaking second of thought.  Either way, let me shine a little truth on the subject that nobody else is willing to say outright. 

First off, tell me you didn’t buy someone some god-awful figurine that will collect dust for many years to come sitting on some random shelf in some hallway nobody goes down because the person you gave it to thinks it’s the most hideous thing ever but they love you too much to throw it away or give it to Goodwill – that, or you wrote a note in sharpie on it somewhere with your name on it so they can’t give it away without you being able to track it down!  No, for the love of all things holy, quit with the damn figurines!  (Unless, of course, they collect said figurines.  A friend of mine collects precious effing moments, and yes, i always call them that, and yes, she loves them dearly anyway – good thing she has a housekeeper to clean ‘em.)

Second, please don’t give someone a fruitcake!  You know the old joke about how there’s just one fruitcake out there getting passed around like a hot potato or an STD on a college campus.  That’s all I need to say on that topic.

Third, do not, under any circumstance, give a meaningful, thoughtful, emotional gift to a man and expect him to respond properly.  He’s not going to know what to say and you’re going to be pissed off.   Also, don’t give him clothes and expect him to be jumping for joy – stick to large TVs and video games if you want real appreciation.  On the flip side, if you’re one of my guy readers – DO give a thoughtful, memory-ridden gift to your woman.  She will be appreciative and sentimental and sappy about it and think you are the greatest man on the planet even if you haven’t done the dishes or picked up your socks in two months.  All will be forgotten.  Rumor has it, expensive jewelry given with the sentimental, sappy gift also works wonders for some girls.

Fourth, do not give sexual presents as simple as string bikini underwear or as tacky as Playgirl or Playboy in front of parents, not even if it’s in good fun like Blue-haired Debbie Does Dallas.  I can say with reasonable certainty that nobody opens up that can of worms without embarrassment and humiliation.  Be aware of the crowd when giving gifts.  That’s all I’m sayin’.

Just an FYI, if you’re gonna re-gift presents, at least be positive that the person you’re giving the gift to will really love-love it, not just not-hate it or the guilt will get you.  Might wanna make sure the gift receipt is still good and the gift card is not still attached as well.  But if it has a lawn gnome, an angel, or a fruit cornucopia on it, please just burn it now.  The only recycling that should happen in that case is in the form of compost piles.

And for the record, no good can come from having an ant farm in the house. 

Plus, “improvement” gifts are not acceptable either.  Don’t give your husband a Tale of Two Cities because you’d rather he wasn’t a non-reader and don’t give your wife a vacuum because the house isn’t clean enough.     Those are “screw-you” anti-gifts and they’ll get you a gift alright – the gift of bad karma!  At least, I hope so!   And right there along with improvement gifts are the “subtle hint” gifts.  Even if they’ve had 7 kids and are on welfare, the gift of condoms is still not appropriate.  We’re not out to hurt people’s feelings this holiday season.

Finally, don’t give chocolate to a dieting diabetic, nor should you give size 0 jeans to a size 16 plus model or alcohol to an alky and definitely don’t give cash to a recovering gambler.  I’m anti-gas station gifts, as well.  If you can buy it at the gas station, it shouldn’t be under my Christmas tree!  Oh, and maybe it’s best not to give a pre-nup to your future spouse.  Let’s just say it’s best not to bring a knife to a gun fight (and believe me, I’ve seen a few Christmases that rivaled a gun fight!).  Just keep the intricate details of others’ lives in mind when gift-giving. 

Then again, if you really don’t give a damn, just chuck a mop bucket and toilet cleaner at them with an “lol” on the card, and hope they give better than they receive.  Happy shopping, boys and girls!