There are plenty of crazy people on this planet, and someone has to be related to them. I think I’m related to most of them, or at least the majority of hillbillies populating South Jersey. (For real, I can’t tell my cousins apart from my brother-cousins.)
I hope people close to their extended family are eternally grateful, because there’s nothing worse than secretly resenting 80% your relatives and having to buy them Christmas presents. I’ll be totally upfront with you guys -- I would only take a bullet for my mom, dad, sister, my sister’s family, and two great aunts. Deep down I understand that giving gifts on a religious holiday is unnecessary and just a result of our spiraling consumer culture, but in real life I still have to give presents or at least sign an obligatory card for basically everyone that shows up in an ancestry.com search.
I’ve received a lot of WTF presents in my life that aren’t necessarily offensive, but also seem like low key “I hate you” gifts. Actually some of them are kind of offensive, LIKE THESE AFRICAN DOLLS FROM MY BROTHER-COUSINS:
Seriously??? First of all, I’m not from Africa, and neither are my cousins. I’m mixed, so there was a slave somewhere, but come on. Who actually thinks, “I’m feeling generous...where can I find a doll with dookie braids?”
While I’m terrible at confrontation, I’m great at being passive aggressive. Assuming at least one xoJane reader is like me and has relatives that cause stress-ulcers, I’ve compiled a list of gifts to give (or fantasize about giving) them.
A Bat In a Frame
All right, this one is actually kind of messed up, but I can’t stop laughing. To be fair I do have the meanest aunt in the world that travels on a broom behind a pack of flying monkeys. Well, she actually drives a PT Cruiser and has chickens in her backyard but -- same thing.
A Reservation at Guy Fieri’s Restaurant
This is a quote from the actual New York Times review of Guy Fieri’s Times Square restaurant:
“Were you struck by how very far from awesome the Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders are? If you hadn’t come up with the recipe yourself, would you ever guess that the shiny tissue of breading that exudes grease onto the plate contains either pretzels or smoked almonds? Did you discern any buttermilk or brine in the white meat, or did you think it tasted like chewy air?” SOUNDS GOOD TO ME! Send your least favorite family members off for a meal they’ll never forget.
Hahaha everyone’s poop stinks! Make someone uncomfortable with a spray that masks dookie smell with “a fresh floral blend of wildflowers in the spring."
Instead of racist dolls, get your weird third cousins creepy swing dolls. I literally just searched “weird stuff” on Etsy and these came up. Imagine having to walk by these at night.
A Weird, Ugly Santa Bag
I thought of including a knock-off bag in this list, until I remembered that I own knock-off bags and would like to have more. So here’s a purse with a beard instead. It’s like the ugly Christmas sweater of totes!
Step one: Buy these for a guy in the family. Step two: Claim Olympic runners wear them. Step three: Hope for the best.
Gift Card to a Store Inconvenient to Them
Oh but not just any gift card -- a gift card to a store faaaaar from said relative’s house. One year my aunt and uncle took a break from buying me Boscov’s gift cards to buy a gift card to a bookstore that was one hour away. Cool.
Are you saying I get things done? Are you calling me a bitch? LET THE FEMINIST ARGUMENTS BEGIN!
Just to be safe, don’t buy an anti-bark collar for someone that has a dog. After opening this, your aunt so-and-so will probably hold off on her Miley Cyrus rant during the family dinner.
Now being mean is not cool, so the point of this list isn’t to be malicious or hurt someone’s feelings. If you follow through with any of these, make sure it’s at least to a weird relative that has a reasonable sense of humor. Hey, if you’re going to give an obligatory gift, you might as well pick something worthy of whydidyoubuymethat.com (where people share the worst presents they’ve ever received -- one girl’s mother-in-law gave her a white pillow) and get a laugh out of it!
I don’t expect to receive anything during the holidays, and would rather receive no present than a generic one. Giving a thoughtful gift and handmade card to someone you love is fulfilling and heartwarming, regardless of the holiday or occasion. Christmas shopping for my sister and best friends will be fun, and I’m genuinely looking forward to it, but I have to say this was my most therapeutic article to date.
Follow Courtney on Twitter and Instagram @courtneypizza