Christmas! The most wonderful time of the year, is it not? And we all know that the best part of Christmas, despite all that horseshit about charity and goodwill that the Man is always trying to lay on us, is receiving — that’s receiving — presents from our family and friends, at least some of whom are hopefully a little more well off than we are, and thus can afford to shower us with many and various examples of love in its most quantifiable form. The bitch of it is, we’re expected to give gifts, too, not just take them. And every penny you spend on a gift for someone else is a penny you could have spent on yourself. Depending on how generous your relatives are feeling this year, the amount you spend on them could actually exceed the amount they spend on you, leaving you not the least bit financially enriched at the end of the holiday season. You might even find yourself a few bucks in the hole! What’s the fucking point of that? What are you supposed to do? Skip Christmas? And lose out on all your presents? Fuck that!
Don’t sweat it, baby. I got you. Because you just happen to be reading
You Know, Some People Don’t Even Get Presents!
Steve’s 2008 Holiday Gift Guide
(The feature you are about to read has nothing in common with, is not based upon or inspired by, and is certainly the hell not plagiarized from Dave Barry’s Gift Guide, which as far as I know does not even exist.)
The answer to your problems, as you may have guessed from the 2006 and 2007 editions of this particular series, is to spend as little on your family as possible by buying them weird cheap-o novelty gifts from websites like Baron Bob and Stupid.com. But even these retailers of tacky, tasteless junk offer an intimidatingly wide selection to choose from, and Christmas is right around the corner. Fear not, and read on.
For The Hopeless Yet Practical Alcoholic
The Twelve Shots of Christmas Wreath
Maybe you’ve got an uncle, or a cousin, or a father or a younger brother who, rather than face the harsh, bleak realities of life at the bottom, has spent his years draining away first his health, then his relationships, then his dignity, and ultimately his soul, all poured bit by bit, swig by swig, drop by drop into the bottle, until all that’s left is something you’d hesitate even to call human. He’s a shell, a hollow husk that was once a man, a pitiful creature who can barely rally to attend Christmas dinner once a year, much less hold a job or maintain even a semblance of a social life. His future black and desperate, his imagination burned away by corrosive rivers of scotch and bourbon, would it even seem right to wish a merry Christmas to such a crumbling crust of a man?
On the other hand, he’s always been a man who appreciates good space management. This gift, a cardboard wreath with twelve plastic shot glasses, each with a depiction of a Christmas icon like Santa Claus or a gingerbread man, appeals both to his practical side and his crushing, inescapable alcoholism. Just hang it right on the wall, or behind that door that hasn’t opened on a warm, smiling face in many, many years. It’s decorative, it’s out of the way, and when Christmas dinner is over and he staggers home in the desperate grip of delirium tremens, he can take it down and line ‘em up! Maybe the suicide can wait one more year . . .
For Those Who Can’t Make Friends Any Other Way
Magic — it puts smiles on the faces of children, can evoke a sense of wonder in even the most jaded adult, and has enabled David Copperfield to rape scores of women in no fear of the law. It’s also a great way for socially awkward, fearfully lonely outcasts — like, say, you — to interact with other people. See that guy who just started a few weeks ago? The one who you’re almost positive smiled at you on your way out to lunch that time? Well, what are you waiting for? Go talk to him! Do you want to be alone your whole life? Do you want to die by yourself in your house and just lie there rotting for a month before someone finds you? And when someone does eventually break down the door and discover your fetid corpse seeping into the couch cushions, it won’t be a family member or cherished friend — you don’t have any of those — it’ll be the paperboy, looking to collect, or the UPS man, curious as to why you haven’t been taking your regular QVC deliveries off the front porch.
Yes, that’s your future. Friendless, childless, cremated and buried in a cardboard box. Now go talk to that guy! It’s not too late! And don’t ask him if he’s fucking excited about Lost coming back next year — you’ll lose him straight away! Here, use some of this Mystic Smoke. Put it on your hands, then approach him and touch his shoulder with the tip of your finger. Draw back suddenly, as though stung, and go, “Sst! Ouch! Damn, you are so hot.” And rub your fingers together, causing the smoke to mystically waft upwards. “See?” you say, cocking your eyebrow, giving him that unmistakable “I’m receptive to sexual intercourse with you” smile. He’s all yours, baby. Pretty soon he’ll be on top of you, grunting, pounding away, and you’ll be saying to yourself, “Damn, who knew landing a man was this easy? I shouldn’t have waited so long!” All thanks to Mystic Smoke . . . and a little Christmas magic.
For Those Who Still Haven’t Gotten Over Their Miscarriage
The Fetus Cookie Cutter
Sure, it’s a tough thing losing a baby. But it’s been two months! Isn’t it time she got over it? You know what the problem is. She was expecting to hear the pitter-patter of little feet this Christmas. The holidays seem empty. No matter how many glasses of egg nog you pour down her throat, no matter how often you let her go on top even though it’s damn near impossible for you to get off that way, no matter how careful you are to fast-forward through all that Tiny Tim bullshit whenever you watch A Christmas Carol, the fact is the woman has lost something that you just cannot replace. Unless you want to try getting her pregnant again, but fuck that! You already dodged that bullet, thank you very much!
Maybe there’s a way you can fill the yawning void in her soul without having to waste the rest of your life being a father. Try taking the image of that lost fetus that haunts her dreams, not to mention her every waking moment, and making it into something festive. This fetus cookie cutter is just the thing. It’ll be therapeutic for her to whip up a few dozen crispy and delicious replicas of that little child she now knows she’ll never, ever have. And don’t worry when one of them breaks, or doesn’t quite turn out. Just grab the pieces, pop them into your mouth, and rub your belly with a big smile. See that, honey? Nothing to cry about. Delicious.
For the Pastor Tired of Hearing About What a Fucking Hypocrite He Is
The Bible Flask
“How are we supposed to turn to you for guidance when you can’t even get your own life under control?” If they only knew how sick you are of hearing that! As though having a little drink now and then disqualifies you from leading the church. As though they somehow expected you to be perfect when they hired you. Ha! Fat chance, that! Nobody’s perfect, children. Nobody. Except for Jesus, but you’re starting to have your doubts about him, too. Still waiting on that demon of addiction to be cast out, Lord! Oh no, don’t worry. You’re not going anywhere. No hurry. You wonder if Valley Wine & Spirits is still open this late . . .
Maybe you can’t do anything about their whispers, their holier-than-thou looks, but you can at least keep them outta your face and off your ass by being more careful about how you indulge in your favorite necessary sin. This here is a flask, fit to hold any self-medication of your choice, ingeniously disguised as a copy of the so-called Good Book. They’ll see you walking into your office with this under your arm and figure you’re just locking yourself in for a little long overdue prayer. This is one Bible that might actually do some good.
For the Guy Jealous He Didn’t Get the Shot Glass Wreath
Pull My Finger Santa
We all know — we’ve always known, even when we were credulous, wide-eyed, little children, deep down we knew — that the guy in the Santa costume sitting at the center of the mall isn’t really the magical elf who flies around the world delivering presents to all the good little girls and boys every 25th of December; that instead he’s just some perverted, gin-soaked old drunk who needed a job and fit the physical requirements of the character. In a way, this little item, a plush Santa Claus who makes a fart sound whenever you yank on his finger, is unnecessary. Just go up to any mall Santa, or any of those damnable Salvation Army bell-ringers all decked out in Santa gear, and pull on their fingers. You’ll get the same thing, and for less than the $16.95 Baron Bob is asking for this motherfucker, to boot.
Pull My Finger Santa not only farts, but he says one of 7 randomly selected phrases — Christmas gems like “Was that on your list?” and “There’s a gift for ya!” Maybe it’s worth the money afterall.
For the Creepiest Person You Know
Little Rude Riding Hood Cat Figurine
Maybe he’s the type of guy who scours the web daily for furry fan fic. Maybe he’s the friend who makes you nervous with the way he always insists on holding your cat just so on his lap. Maybe it’s the guy in his forties with all the Care Bears paraphernalia on his desk whose name you drew from the secret Santa hat. Whoever he is, we all know him. He’s the quiet, quirky guy with offbeat interests that we just know run to some very dark places. Places which might enable him to appreciate and admire this statuette of Little Red Riding Hood, with a cat’s head, a short school-girl skirt, and lacey white leggings.
Appreciate and admire instead of, say, flee from screaming in terror. From its hypersexualized look, to the uncannily disturbing smile on its face, to the squashed corpse of the Big Bad Wolf on which it stands, this is some fucked up shit right here.
For Those Who Ought to Have Killed Themselves By Now, But Haven’t For Some Reason
Inflatable Husband and Wife Dolls
It’s not the fact that these inflatable dolls come in boxes shaped like the McDonald’s Happy Meal cartons, or that they’re only three feet tall, or that they’re marketed on the website using sexist stereotypes like “The inflatable husband is a great listener who never talks back at the wrong time” or “she’ll just sit right next to you on the couch during the game and never complain.” No, these aren’t what disturb me the most. What disturbs me the most is that these aren’t even blow-up sex dolls. They’re just balloons, designed to fill the space that would otherwise be taken up by a spouse. The girl up there trying to score with Mystic Smoke would find this pathetic.
Ever read that great Clayface story by Alan Moore, where Clayface has gone crazy and fallen in love with a mannequin while incarcerated in Arkham Asylum? ‘Cause the guy who invented these sure did.
For the Hygienic Practitioner of Judaism
The Moses Rubber Duck
Hassidic Jews are some of the most fanatically religious people in the world. Hassidic rabbis aren’t even allowed to touch a woman, even their wives. Hassidic rabbis and their wives make love through a hole in a sheet. These people are crazy. But they are also, presumably, very clean. I bet they wash the fuck outta those sheets. And themselves. And what is a more fun way to wash yourself than in a nice warm, sudsy bubble bath? Ah, but what good is a bubble bath without a rubber ducky? And what — are you following me here? And what is even better for a religiously observant Jew than a rubber ducky? Why, a rubber Moses, of course!
This little fellow, complete with the requisite beard and Decalogue tablet, is the perfect image of Moses, the great prophet of God who carried the Ten Commandments down from Mount Sinai, led the Israelites through their forty year trek across the wilderness to the promised land, and conducted the mass-murder of the Midianite men and children and the mass-rape of the women! Now you can be reminded of this wise, genocidal old prophet, and the psychopathic God he served, every time you step into the tub.
For Those Who Want to Relive the Magic
Barack Obama and John McCain Action Figures
This year, America took a chance, threw caution to the wind, followed its heart, and elected a president we all hope to be proud of, Barack Obama. It was a magical and historic night, one which all of us fortunate enough to experience it will long remember. Now, we need not be content with only our memories. Now we can recreate that unforgettable campaign any time we want, with these Barack Obama and John McCain action figures. All the great moments — the debates, the speeches, the Meet the Press and O’Reilly Factor appearances — can live again, through these action figures and you making funny voices. Just think — McCain’s gracious concession speech, Barack’s majestic victory address in Chicago — you’re limited only by your imagination and eight points of articulation!
Let your imagination run wild. Imagine what the campaign might have been like had McCain chosen Battle Armor Skeletor as his running mate instead of Sarah Palin! Imagine if Barack traveled back in time forty years to rescue his future opponent from that Vietnamese prison camp! Imagine if the president-elect and his defeated rival put their differences aside and teamed up to win the WWE Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania! Imagine what it would look like if Barack Obama fucked John McCain up the ass! There’s really no reason not to buy these.
For Those Who Want the Ends, But Ain’t Got the Means
Lockpick Tool Set
Ever wonder how Batman’s always able to sneak into so many places without anyone noticing, and without ever having to ask someone for a key? Does he have a ring with a copy of every key in Gotham City? Of course not! Can you imagine how big that ring of keys would have to be? I’m picturing it right now, and it’s ludicrous. No, no. Batman’s got one of these, son. It’s a lockpick tool set that fits right on his utility belt. Whenever he needs to sneak into some gangster’s secret hideout in an abandoned dockside warehouse, or free himself from a set of handcuffs so he can get dressed and get outta sight before the police arrive after being seduced and double-crossed by Catwoman yet again, he relies on these babies. You always wanted to be Batman. Now you can be.
Alternatively, you could also use these so that you never have to pay for anything, ever again. All you do is just walk around the store where the stuff you want is, memorizing its exact location. This is known professionally as “casing the joint.” Then, when the store closes and the clerks go home for the night, along you come with your trusty lockpick tool set. You jiggle open the lock in a few seconds, waltz right in and help yourself to Snickers bars, Ziploc bags, shoe deodorizers, notebook paper, whatever your little heart desires! It couldn’t be easier. Just remember to beat it if the cops show up. And always carry a gun — I recommend a snub-nose .38 special — in case one of the elderly owners decided to work late. Batman might be rich enough to bail himself out, but you’re not. Leave no witness.