Monday, 1 December 2014

Christmas Gift Ideas For The Cheap, Greedy And Sociopathic


Christmas is approaching as it is prone to do and with it come the familiar sights of sounds of terrible weather and people constantly remarking that they can't believe it's Christmas again. As Christmas is apparently the only thing that knocks most people out of the waking coma that they've been stuck in for the rest of the year, wouldn't it be a nice gesture to make it an extra special time of year.

Unfortunately you're most likely an adult, so you can't make anything without the fear of looking mental. You have a low paying job, so you won't want to buy anything particularly fancy and like many people, you don't actually know your family well enough to get anything of actual sentimental value. 


My family have avoided this awkwardness by introducing a fair and charitable system into our Christmases. We each come with a ten pound note, sit at the table and then each pass our money to the next person clockwise to us. The entire table has then received a gift, but with no overall loss to any individual family member. At that point we then stand up and leave the room, avoiding all contact until next year's festive meeting.

It's a great system. No one has to make anything, no one loses any money and since we all love money, it fulfils the sentimental quality that all good gifts need, without requiring spending time together and discussing our various likes and dislikes.

But if you can stand to breath in the recycled air of your family and look into their disappointed eyes for longer than a few minutes, then maybe you might want to continue that trend of irrationality by giving them a gift that can't be broken down into cold, hard units of value.

So I've been doing some digging around and have found some actual gifts that are not only easy going on the wallet, but have universal sentimental value, while also giving you something back in return. So let me take a look through my big sack of joy and see what we've got in store.


BREAKFAST AT SOME RANDOM PERSON'S HOUSE - £0.99
General Description: 
A lovely home cooked breakfast, prepared by a random stranger, at their own home.

Sentimentality For Them: 
One thing to bear in mind here is that this isn't some fancy pants restaurant cooked breakfast. Nor is it a breakfast prepared in a cafe. This is a breakfast that you can buy for less than a quid, and then have the pleasure of driving all the way down to Stafford to eat, at what I assume would be an early time in the morning. So why is this a good thing again, you might ask. Well firstly, you're promoting travel to the lucky family member, a multiple in a lifetime's chance to visit the locally famous West Midlands. They'll also get to meet new people, who may or may not be dangerous.

But most importantly it'll be a new and exciting dining experience. People would thank you for a multitude of other original dining experiences. You'd get a thank you for taking them to the new Ethiopian restaurant in town, simply because they've never had it before. They'd be risky enough to try potentially deadly blowfish in a Japanese restaurant, so why should they also not enjoy dining with a potentially even more deadly Staffordian. Sure they may have undercooked the parasite infested bacon and the bodily fluid levels are high enough to force the Food Standards Agency to set up a quarantine zone, but all the while that they are vomiting up their meal, held prisoner in the basement of their mentally disturbed host; they can't deny that it wasn't an experience.

What's In It For You: 
Luckily, there is also the chance that the breakfast maker might be mental and end up killing the family member who is stupid enough to travel for it. This doesn't have to be a negative thing in the slightest since it will save the trouble of having to think of what to get them next year, other than a simple bouquet of flowers that you can whack on the grave and head off without fear of offending anyone by not hanging around for an extended visit.


BOAT COLLECTION AND DELIVERY SERVICE - £1.00
General Description: 
A bloke with a truck who will come and transport your boat anywhere you want for less than a cup of coffee. Or at least I think that's what it is, since that seems to be a terrible business model.

Sentimentality For Them: 
Even in the worst of times, there's nothing better for the spirit than knowing someone believes in you. Belief is a strong force. The very belief that there is any meaning behind anything is the thin shield that protects everyone from tearing out the oesophagus of anyone nearby, robbing a bank and escaping to a private island somewhere in the Caribbean surrounded only by slaves and whores that you've captured along the way.

So the gift isn't simply a cheap and useless service that your boatless family member can feel offended at. It's an endorsement. An endorsement that one day they will have a boat and that one day a strange man in a van, working oddly cheap rates, will come and move that boat for them. And it was your unshaken belief in that future, that would have helped them realise it.

What's In It For You: 
Now I don't want to keep going down the family member gets murdered route, but given that this guy can travel and doesn't have to risk committing the act near his own home, this could be a likely outcome. See the previous section for all the benefits that this can bring about.

Also you won't actually end up losing any money since you won't actually need to buy it in the first place. There's no receipt sent to you to prove that you've bought it and your family member will most likely forget about it and would never have the boat transport needs to force them to ever take you up on the gift. So just tell them you bought it and get all the love, without any of the minimal cost.


CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE DESSERT RECIPE, ONLY FOR COLLECTION FROM BULGARIA - £0.10
General Description:
A closely guarded family secret for a delicious Chocolate Truffle dessert, that is being sold off at next to nothing.

Sentimentality For Them:
There aren't many rarities that can be bought this cheaply. Most original and rare works of art go for millions of pounds and the only precious thing that most people will ever make for themselves will be their children, which can only amount to being a joyless waste of the best years of your life. Gaining anything of value is something that you will either never be able to attain or marred by the fact of simply being a feat that even a teenager, pissed up on white lightning can manage to pull off.

So what better to give to someone than a long kept secret family recipe. They don't have to know how much you paid for it, or even the fact that it was openly available to the public. All they must know is that this is a secret recipe purchased solely for them at a price of some kind.

Better yet, the item is only available for collection. From Bulgaria. So the likelihood of them ever getting it is very unlikely. This is good because just because it's a secret doesn't make it good. Those stories that daddy never seemed to quite want to indulge about how planned your birth might have been. The inconsistent details of your partners wild nights out on their last holiday away from you. The suspicious number of times that your mum has fallen down the stairs during an argument with papa. Some secrets aren't always good. Just because the truffles recipe is secret, does not mean that it is necessarily delicious. I have plenty of secret recipes that I wouldn't dare cook for another person out of the fear that they might die.

If they have a problem with the fact it's abroad, try and spice up the journey. Tell them not that they're going to Bulgaria, but instead that they're going to the second world. This will make the journey seem far more fantastical and futuristic than the tedious journey it will almost definitely be.

What's In It For You:
I'm trying to avoid the death of the family member being a positive here, but it still works for this one as well, so I'm just going to give in and accept that maybe this is the best outcome of all these gifts. Anything outside of just directly hiring a hitman, who's blood money could be traced back to you, seems to be your best shot for a happy Christmas at this rate.

One way to avoid the death is simply just to spend an hour or so just randomly selecting ingredients and compiling them into a list and calling it a secret recipe. As long as the family member thinks they got a secret recipe from a mysterious source then they'll be happy anyway, and you'll have saved a few pence. People have ugly and stupid children who continue to shame them for decades and they seem to still love them, so why should your recipe be treated with any less adoration.


AN EXCUSE THAT IT HASN'T COME IN THE POST – MINIMAL EFFORT

General Description:
Lie.

Sentimentality For Them:
Just tell them whatever they want to here and let them fill in the gaps. If anything the work is all being done on their end, since the present has to remain a secret regardless. They'll imagine any number of wonderful gift that you cared enough to get them, whilst you can relax and have a manageable Christmas.

What's In It For You:
Little work. No cost. And best yet the consequences will never come back to haunt you. After Christmas day they'll slip into their sedated state and forget all about your lies. Then all you have to do is ignore them for the rest of the year and pull off the same trick next year.

If all else fails and you get caught out, just call the Post Office a cunt and get into a pointless, drunken Christmas discussion about how the country isn't as good as it once was, simply nodding along to all their points. Give them the greatest gift of all this Christmas. The false belief that any of their opinions matter.



2 comments:

  1. This thing is still going? I popped in during September, I think I paid a brief visit in October and all the lights were off. In November a security guard asked who I was and would I please exit the premises, preferably without stealing the fixtures and fittings. Then suddenly here you are, Harvey in fine form once more. This is the best Christmas gift ever.

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    1. We've been away fighting a hefty legal battle after Aaron was found with over 100 terrabytes of child porn in his house. Now that the case has been concluded as a mistrial, we can back on to what's most important in life. Talking about shit on the internet. Nice to see you checked back in.

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