gif by lauren kolm

Give the gift of nothing instead

Hanson O'Haver
February 07, 2018
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It’s that time of year again! It’s disconcertingly warm, Republicans are mad at Starbucks, and websites are full of gift guides. Yes, the holiday season is upon us, and that means you need to find presents for the food lovers in your life.

Shopping for adults can be difficult, especially if they’re fortunate enough not to really need anything. And really, many of us already have way too much stuff. Fifty years ago people wore the same hat for like a decade, and now everyone I know owns four different gadgets that make coffee. Not to mention, you could probably just smash the beans with a rock and boil them in a pot if it really came down to it. But sometimes it’s nice to have nice things, and it’s even better to get those nice things as gifts. You have to be careful, though. One man’s idea of a nice gift is another person’s “Well, my uncle got me that and he likes to visit so I can’t really get rid of it…” To help you out, we put together this list of food gifts to avoid.



New Christmas G String Candy Cane Thong Adult Novelty Gag Gift

photo courtesy of ebay

Did you know that a lot of people don’t realize “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” is about a mother kissing her husband, who is dressed as Santa? Like, they go through life thinking it’s a song about Mommy actually kissing Santa, or else that it’s about Mommy cheating on Dad with a man in a Santa costume (not sure which of these would be weirder). Just something to consider while you look at this candy cane thong.

Cannabis Advent Calendar / Menorah Bong

photo courtesy of coast to coast medicinals

Marijuana isn’t even legal in ten states yet, but businesses are already trying to cash in by embracing the cheesiest aspects of the straight world. At this rate, we’re two Christmas seasons away from nutcracker dolls that double as grinders showing up at Restoration Hardware.

Exotic Jerky Cane

photo courtesy of man crates

A Birchbox equivalent for the Ron Swanson–lovin’ reactionary in your life, Man Crates sends crates (boxes, but manlier) of Awesome Gifts for Men, like a “baconology kit” and vessels to drink alcohol out of. For Christmas, they've filled a cardboard candy cane with ten different types of meat. When else will you get a chance to give such jerkies as “garlic elk” or “root beer habanero wild boar”? 

Jelly Belly Christmas Candy Corn

photo courtesy of ohnuts

Have you ever heard the Lewis Black bit about how all the candy corn ever made was made in 1911? And every year the Candy Corn company goes through our dumpsters and collects the corn that's been thrown away. ("They wash it! They wash it!") It's a pretty funny joke, but there’s one glaring hole in his analysis: Christmas Candy Corn.

French Fries Rainbow Clutch Bag

photo courtesy of neiman marcus

As seen in the Goop’s “Ridiculous, but Awesome” gift guide, Judith Leiber Couture’s French Fries Rainbow Clutch Bag is decorated with Austrian crystals in "French fries shape with rainbow at front." It retails for $5,695.

Anything covered with “funny” slogans

photo courtesy of redbubble

This trend of gastronomic proclamations on shirts and accessories has got to go! Everyone likes desserts, but that doesn’t make it a good thing to base your personal aesthetic around. It’s fine to think an “Ice cream is cheaper than therapy” shirt is funny once, but what about on the twentieth wear? I imagine a person getting dumped and coming home, in tears, to sob into an “I lift (donuts to my face)” throw pillow. It’s devastating.

3-in-1 Avocado Slicer

photo courtesy of ebay

The ideal stocking stuffer for millennials who have given up on saving money for a house, this gadgets opens, slices, and pits avocados. I know what you’re thinking: How is this not just a knife? And the answer is, a knife would be way easier to clean. 

Tortilla Baby

photo courtesy of uncommongoods

This one is disconcerting because babies are almost the size of burritos, and it’s weird to think about eating them. Don’t eat the baby! On second thought it’s sort of cute, but only if you repeatedly make the joke that you are going to eat the baby (maybe even even nibble on the cap). But again, don’t eat the baby.

Macaron Soap

photo courtesy of Latika

Another thing not to eat: macaron soap. Imagine opening your stocking and thinking, Hell yeah! macarons! I hardly ever get these because they’re like $2.50 per bite but they’re wonderful… and then the disappointment sinking in as you realize, Wait, it’s soap? The thing I use every day? And don’t taste? “Thanks, mom.”

Whiskey Stones

photo courtesy of amazon

Whiskey stones are a product without a market. They only exist because people are desperate to find gifts for their adult nephews. Doesn’t everyone who’s seriously into whiskey—i.e. the people who worry about their drinks being watered down—drink it at room temperature? Anyway, a guy I sublet my apartment to left some behind and they made my whiskey taste like month-old ice.

Egg Nog Protein Shake

photo courtesy of natures plus

Perfect for the loved ones who won’t let the holiday season stop them from hitting those gains, or vice versa. (Also comes in pumpkin spice.)


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