December 17, 2011

last minute presents that make you look good

So, it's a week before Christmas and presents still need to be bought for the people who give you Chia pets, key chains and stuff with polyester. You can do better. Here's a list of awesome gifts that make you look good and make the recipient feel totally special.
1. Books: don't buy off Amazon. Support your local independent bookstore like Barnes & Noble (yes, I know B&N isn't indie, but it almost feels like it) Go into a bookstore and pick a book off the shelf. Any book. But make sure it has a classy cover. No romance novels. Homer's Iliad and Odyssey  are good choices - these are stories everybody should read, some say they have read and most people haven't even looked at. "Remember that movie with Brad Pitt, when he had long blond hair, and sandals paired with a short leather skirt? This is the book to the movie," you can say with a self-deprecating smile/shrug.

If you choose off the New York Times besteller list: Look up the blurbs so you can extoll its virtues or look up a plot summery and memorize a few good key sentences by heart. Makes you look smart because a) recipient thinks you sit hours in a bookstore and/or you follow the New York Times book review and b) you are assuming the recipient is intelligent enough to appreciate the written word. Perfect. No gift certificates. Buy a book.

2. Calendars: Yes, we all have our calendars on electronic devices but looking at a lovely black and white still of Paris or Vienna will warm anybody's heart. So get one of those calendars you hang on a wall - preferably of a city - (inspiration to travel if you want the recipient to leave the country in the near future) or, as an alternative,  a selection of paintings by an artist. The latter demonstrates your keen sense of the finer things in life i.e. the desperation of being an artist. I recommend a calendar with nude sketches of Egon Schiele. This shows you have artistic edge and are not a prude.

3. Scents: yes really. Perfume bottles are lovely. The thing is, the recipient has to open the bottle to smell it hence they'll have to keep it. Warning: if you get any scent named after a celebrity, your gift is going to get thrown in the trash. Any self-respecting member of the intelligensia is not going to be caught dead with a bottle of Beckham's delight or Christina Aquilera's whateveritscalled perfume. Christina may sing nicely but her and JLo's perfumes are crap. Stick with the pedigreed entities of designerdom: Chanel, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Burberry, Yves Saint Laurent. Prada is nice too. The Prada "Candy" ad is totally sexy.

4. Knit a scarf: sorry. It's too late. Unless you can spend the next 7 days knitting non-stop, forget it. But if you want to get a head start for next year, go for it. You know how long it takes to knit a scarf? Weeks. So give it to someone you really like.

5. Bake: anything. Cakes. Cupcakes. Pies. Cookies. Made-from-scratch shows you care. Or that you just want the recipient to get fat. Be that as it may - the "taking the time and making the effort" will prevail. Even if the baked goods don't look tempting, put it in a nice box. Wrapping is everything.

6. Homemade Jams: This is actually the perfect gift for the Vegan friend in your life because it shows you are environmentally conscious, organically friendly and are demonstrating a sufficient amount of vegan solidarity. All you need is a nice glass jar, a label and a person who has decent handwriting. This may be difficult to find since nobody can write worth shit anymore. Worst case, print them out using Papyrus font. For the actual jam all you need is fruit, sugar, a pot and a wooden ladle. Just put all the leftover fruit you have in a blender. Do remove all the brown bits. If the brown moldy bits make up more than 50% of your fruit supply, you're going to have to go out and buy some fresher fruit.

7. For the atheist friend: The Bible because there's plenty of sex, lies and weird shit going on. For your Christian Friend: 'god is not Great' by Christopher Hitchens. Maybe smart argumentation will snap them out of their "Jesus Saves" delusions.

8. Whatever you buy, don't forget the ribbons, bows and jolly wrapping paper. No matter what's inside, it's all about the packaging.

9. Before you buy crap for somebody you don't even like, donate to a charity in the name of the person you don't like. Start a trend. The Red Cross and Doctors without Borders are pretty awesome.

Happy Holidays.


As Tertulías said...

Support Argosy on East 59th Street... Darling, are you living uptown?

As Tertulías said...

I'm following all your tips!!!!!!! Great!!!!!

Christina. said...

celebrity perfumes -_-