There are some people in life, that no matter how hard you try to be open to and think good of, bug you for one reason or other. Finding a gift for these people can be really, really hard because your head is saying, “find the cheapest, nastiest thing out there!” while your heart wants to do the right thing. Provided you apply a sense of humour and an understanding of the consequences of playing around a bit in the gift-giving department, this might be just the occasion for sending a meaningful message by way of gift. May karma be with you…
Warning: Use of these gifts does not promote ‘good will’ towards all persons. If you can’t be nice, don’t give a gift at all. Remember what the season is about to begin with.
- Purchase a large wooden spoon for the trouble-maker in your family or workplace. (That person who is always causing trouble, stirring up a mess and sticking their nose where it isn’t wanted.) This gift says, “watch it, we think you’re a pot-stirrer”. For the less obtuse, this present is nicely pointed.
- Wrap up some personal hygiene products for the person who never bathes or who breathes down your neck lasciviously even though this person knows you’re taken. A bottle of deodorant and some shampoo speaks volumes for this person. Make sure to wrap it in clear cellophane.
- Give that lazy son-in-law a cooking set and a food processor. It’s time he understood that cooking is for anyone in the household, not just your daughter.
- Give a sexy lingerie set to the prim and proper daughter-in-law who is driving you crazy with her perfectness. She’ll be embarrassed at what possible thoughts are going through your head about her relations with your son! (But be forewarned that given even as a joke, you may forever be labeled as a Dirty Old Man or Woman by everyone present!)
- Give uncaring parents-in-law a large photo of you in a beautiful frame. So they didn’t put your picture out with the rest of the family, or at least not one large enough to match the others? Make up for it with this wonderful “in-your-face” addition to the family photo collection. It’s a difficult gift to wriggle out of displaying. Make sure your smile is large.
- Make a whistle and stopwatch kit. Give this to the bossy person in your life. It sends a message to them that you haven’t exactly enjoyed their need to tell you what to do and when.
- Consider music. A song you know they don’t much like can turn into an entire CD by the artist in question. After they open it, insist they play it for everyone to hear. This is a great Christmas show-stopper. An album or mix CD with lyrics that touch on your frustration with this person can also have an interesting effect.
- Provide a set of knives to someone who backstabbed you. It doesn’t have to be real knives; plastic toy ones from the dollar store still carry the message perfectly well.
- Remember to keep your sense of humour throughout this exercise. It is meant to be a light-hearted response to real challenges that you are facing in your relations with certain people in your life and you must accept that it can and will backfire with some recipients. If that is an outcome you are prepared to face, these gift ideas might be for you. If not, try more constructive means for approaching the nagging mother-in-law, the overbearing boss, the faithless lover, or the whining friend.
- For those folks bad mouthing you while their glass house reveals that one or both of them are married–to someone else, papier maché initials painted red either with a craft brooch pin on the back, or a hanger for a tree. Most won’t get the “Scarlet Letter” reference, but you will!
- Get flowers to say it. Use the language of flowers to make a bundle that says how you feel:
- Hydrangea – heartlessness, frigidity, vanity
- Narcissus – egotism
- Pennyroyal – escape
- Winter cherry – deception
- Carnation – disdain and rejection
- Yellow rose – infidelity or cowardice
- Bouquet of withered flowers – rejected love
- Cyclamen – goodbye and resignation
- Yellow hyacinth – jealousy
- Orange lily – hatred, disdain, wealth, pride
- Petunia – anger and resentment
- Naturally, when you engage in this type of subterfuge, expect to receive as good as you give.
- While humorous, this sort of side ways conflict can make problems worse. Don’t expect positive relational results.
Things You’ll Need
- A list of possible gifts
- Wrapping paper
- Card for any messages
- How to Give a Great Gift to Someone
- How to Choose an Anniversary Gift
- How to Shop For Gift Cards
- How to Ask for Money In Place of a Christmas Gift
- How to Buy Lingerie As a Gift
Sources and Citations
- Some of these ideas were inspired by Susannah Constantine and Pia Marocco, Just What I’ve Always Wanted, (1995) ISBN 0 85561 686 5. Read their section “People You Don’t Really Like” for even harsher ideas.
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