The 4th of July and Thanksgiving are my favorite holidays:
- July 4th: Sit around with friends and watch exploding projectiles. Oooh. Aaah.
- Thanksgiving: Sit around with friends while eating stuffing and cranberry sauce. Mmmm. Mmmm.
As a kid, Christmas was another favorite. The best part was spending time with relatives. I did enjoy the gifts, but they aren’t my favorite memories. Except the Alpha Probe. I loved the Alpha Probe:
The Alpha Probe was awesome. It made noises and had another mini ship inside the payload bay.
The Alpha Probe creators were also ahead of their time. The toy came out in 1979, but had a woman astronaut. The first American female didn’t go to space until 1983. Way to go Fisher Price!
I think I have my Alpha Probe in a box somewhere. Hold on a minute while I look for it…
***went to the basement to look through some boxes***
No Alpha Probe. I have no idea where it went. Perhaps it was sent to the landfill in a toy purge. It breaks my heart to think that the Alpha Probe’s last adventure was in a garbage truck on the way to the dump. Sigh…
But I digress.
The Alpha Probe was a great gift because it gave me hours of enjoyment and as a 6 year-old, I didn’t have the means to purchase it myself. Woot!
As an adult, life is different:
- I’m not a minimalist, but…: While an Alpha Probe would make me happy (yes, even as an adult), little else would. More stuff means that I need more time to maintain the stuff. I value my time more than stuff.
- I already have it: I’m thankful to have the financial means to get what I need and what I want. If I need something, I buy it. I feel especially bad when a relative who struggles financially buys me a gift.
My philosophy on gifts is this:
If I happen upon something that I know a friend or family member will enjoy or needs, I buy it for them regardless of the day.
Forced gift-giving sucks. The practice feels hollow and uninspired.
Forced gift card giving is even worse. A segment of my circle of humans has a gift card exchange. Here is how it works:
Each person tells the others what gift card to buy them. At a planned time, we exchange them.
WTF. I’m about to puke on my keyboard just thinking about the upcoming anti-fun
I’ve tried to persuade family to give up the practice of giving gifts. Instead of buying an object, I’ve suggested that we all use our money to spend time together. In some cases, it’s worked. In others, not at all.
To end the battle, perhaps I could come up with some gifts that are so horrible that the practice will be discouraged forever?!?? And why let my research go to waste? I present to you:
The Ultimate Crappy Gift Guide
Toilet mug: When I was a child, the toilet did double-duty as a Hot Wheels car wash. I don’t think I ever drank out of it though. But now you can (NOT an affiliate link)!
Batcart: Do you have a friend who wants to look like a massive tool on the golf course? For a cool $28,000, I give you this (NOT an affiliate link):
“Massager”: Want to waste a shit-ton of money and make gift opening super uncomfortable all at the same time? For only $1,150, I give you a golden vibrator (DEFINITELY NOT an affiliate link!):
And don’t worry, pets can get in on the action too. Here’s a $180 dog dish (it even says “dog.” just in case you forget what kind of animal Scraps is):
I can’t take any more of this nonsense, so I’m going back to the basement to see if I can find my Alpha Probe.
But I like to give!
Instead of blowing hard-earned money on silliness, why not help out a local charity or institution that you enjoy? Meaningful giving is the best kind.
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*Only if your life is pretty bad to begin with.