There are two types of people in this world:
- People who have finished all their gift shopping by Cyber Monday
- Everyone else
If you happen to fall into the second category and feel kicked in the knickers by your shopping list of bewildering length, feel free to reference the following guide. None of them reek of vague ambiguity (bath bombs, hot chocolate mix) or panic (a bottle of Chateau Diana, highway adoption) that last-minute gifts often do. They instead use a proprietary algorithm developed by me, and several years of trial and error. Every featured gift has been loved by someone I know personally with no reason to lie to me.
The best part? They all arrive in two days.
To: A skincare enthusiast…
Banila Co. Cleansing Balm
What it says: “I respect your moisture barrier.”
Any double-cleanser will already know about this product’s reputation. (It’s good!) Brand recognition lends to your credibility as a gift giver more so than, say, gifting them Glammy Glam’s Snail Secret Extra Strength Cold Cream.
To: Your childhood best friend…
Their High School Fragrance of Choice
What it says: “Do you have any body splash I could use?”
Did they use Warm Vanilla Sugar or Cucumber Melon? Ralph or Cool Water? It was Curve, wasn’t it? Smell is the strongest sense linked to memory and what’s funnier than watching an old friend get yoinked onto Memory Lane?
To: Enterprising eaters…
Prison Ramen: Recipes and Stories from Behind Bars
What it says: “The animals, the animals, trap, trap, trap, ‘til the cage is full.”
This book catalogues over 70 recipes by former convicts that show just how innovative they’ve been in their past lives in the slammer. As the title would suggest, most of the meals use instant ramen as a base. It is supplemented by other goods readily available at a commissary (and probably a bodega!): cheese spread, tortilla chips, Slim Jims. There’s even a dessert section that includes a thing made from red Kool Aid and Chips Ahoy called Parole Day Cheesecake. What white collar crimes can I commit to get myself a slice of that?
To: Fans of Hereditary...
A DIY Miniature Room Set
What it says: “cluck”
Each set comes with all the components you need to create the most precious desktop interiors, down to the smallest details (a thumb-sized broom, a whisk smaller than some vitamins I’ve taken). The assembling process takes a couple weeks, giving your giftee days upon days of feeling like Toni Collette in Ari Aster’s directorial debut—which, of course, is the real gift.
To: A VSCO person…
A Mesh Tote, Scrunchies, and Acrylic Barrettes
What it says: “SKSKSK”
Can I be real with you for a second? I am still not completely sure what a VSCO girl or boy is. I am, however, completely sure that the less I know, the better. Either way, I think they might wear things like this! And why wouldn’t they? They’re covetable, cute, and very of-the-moment. Just imagine a pound of tomatoes in that fishnet sack. Awwwww!
To: A new significant other...
A Low-Maintenance Snake Plant
What is says: “I got us a love fern!”
Hands down, the stupidest thing I’ve ever done was give my first boyfriend a hamster for his birthday. I mean, how irresponsible of me! We named him Baby, and he ended up living a long, full life, but I still can’t believe my audacity. Forcing him to be responsible and care for the life of another living being when all he wanted to do was listen to St. Vincent on his iPod and message other guys on Myspace (and I oop!). The more rational thing would have been giving him a houseplant and a good look at my pert twin peaches as I walk out the door.
Next year, same time, same place? See you then.
Photo via Getty.