November is upon us, and with it comes turkeys, menorahs, and midnight battles-to-the-death for cheap TVs at Wal-Mart. Yes, holiday shopping is here- so pull out your wallet and hand over that credit card to spread joy and frustration-free packing to your loved ones! However, if you are like me, there may be a line in your budget for a few “rage shopping” items for people who have done you wrong in the last year. For my extended family, passive aggressive gift giving is a skill you hone the whole year through. So while drum kits and Moon Sand will do in a pinch, here are some other suggestions for those you are wishing a “Happy Freakin Holiday” to.
Maybe last Christmas each of your many children received plastic recorders from a well-meaning (or secretly passive-aggressive themselves) aunt or uncle. This year, you see their devil flute and raise them Gak. Yes, 1996’s answer to the farting slime question that no one asked is back- and just as disgusting as ever. Basically, it is slime that makes horrible noises, and rumor has it that somewhere out there you can still find scented varieties. Bacon scented slime for my nephew? Yes, please!
However, if you take the time to read the reviews for Gak and just can’t pull the trigger on a gift described as “HORRIBLE” and “AWFUL,” there’s always the Annoying Orange Plush. This gift, conveniently with “annoying” in the title, is modeled after the YouTube series of the same name. This toy has creepy human features plastered on a fruit, says 8-12 annoying phrases and puns, and costs less than $5. Sold!
Inevitably, your child will participate in some version of “Secret Snowflake.” Without fail, they will pick the name of the child whose mother may have commented to you, “I wish I could be as relaxed about nitrates and GMOs as you are. It would make lunch packing so much easier in the morning!” For that child, I would suggest a Make Your Own Perfume Kit. Some reviews say that the scents turn out fantastically. Other’s call it a “stink factory.” My nitrates and I are willing to roll those dice.
A more gender neutral option would be National Geographic’s “300 Hilarious Jokes, Tricky Tongue Twisters, and Ridiculous Riddles.” This book is rated 4.5 stars out of 5. You know why? It’s because 9 out of 10 reviewers are grandparents who went home at the end of the day. Now, the only ones left to test those jokes out on are Mom and Dad. Over, and over again.
As STFUParents has taught us, Facebook can bring out the worst in parents. You may have a friend who has posted a well thought out and thoroughly obnoxious “wish list” for Neveah and Jaxxon. Is the list over 20 items? Is every item over $40? Do they each have some sort of educational component (the kids are gifted, after all!)? I want you to run out and buy these kids a portable karaoke machine. Throw in a Kidz Bop CD for good measure. The kids will thank you; their mom will not.
Lest you think passive aggressive gift giving is limited to those with small children, fear not! An aunt keeps sending you e-mail forwards about “defeating the gays in the culture war?” Donate in her name to the It Gets Better campaign. Your neighbor will not drop the “Obama is a secret Muslim!” rhetoric?- Hillary 2016 bumper sticker it is (plus, it’s free!) Your estranged relative sent your older children Melissa and Doug’s “Band in a Box” right after you had a baby? Send her fur babies Squawkies Talkies Flamingo – the dog toy that promises to be, “the longest continuous squeaking dog toy ever made!”
Finally, do you have a friend or relative who brags about passive aggressive gift giving? Did she draft a list that you secretly suspect includes you? Well, send her Emily Post’s Etiquette. Obviously, she could use a few helpful hints.
(Photo: Getty Images)