As some of you may have noticed the holiday season is upon us and Christmas is right around the corner. Next week to be precise. In the true spirit of Jesus’s birthday and in celebration of all that he stands for, most of you have spent the last month or so in a haze of jingle bells, tinsel and thinly concealed homicidal rage over trying to find the perfect gifts for those special 2-12 people social convention tells you you’re required to shop for. I am no exception.
I know they say Christmas is supposed to be all about celebrating with your family, spreading joy, and above all giving, but I think we all know that the sentiment “It’s the thought that counts” is a steaming pile of reindeer shit scrapped off the bottom of the boot of a disgruntled worker elf who hasn’t seen a pay raise in over four centuries, and left out on a plate for Santa to wash down with a tall glass of milk.
What present you present someone with (haha) is of the utmost importance especially if that someone is of the female persuasion and chooses not to simply TELL YOU what the fuck she wants and leaves you to drown in a sea of cosmetics, clothing stores and other girly shit you know little about. Don’t get me wrong, I love my sister but she better throw me a fucking bone before I pull one out of the next shopper with the mileage of a deaf, dumb and blind pinball playing tortoise that I get stuck walking behind.
Getting someone the wrong gift can lead to you getting the stink eye the rest of your winter vacation while the receiver wonder’s if you know them at all before broadcasting their disapproval to anyone who will listen while you’re out of ear shot. I’m telling you, Christmas shopping is a trap. A trap virtually no one can escape. The more people you have to buy for the more likely you’ll fuck up.
Some people are amazing at shopping for other people. Some pretty much get off on spreading joy through their love of retail but these people are in the minority. For most of us Christmas shopping is a source of great stress and often indignity where you have to fight tooth and nail for that last Furby or bottle of over priced celebrity perfume. People enter that market place bright eyed and naive and leave hardened by the horrors of consumer ambition and the stupid shit real people actually buy.
For example my quest lead me to an anime store. A strange, colourful, and mildly creepy place I would never venture if not for the looming fear of a disgraced friendship. Let’s face it, I can’t afford to be pissing off friends I only have like four of them. I had no choice but to enter that land of nonsense creatures and oversized eyeballs.
The things I saw in there… Sometimes I just lie awake in bed at night — thinking about $35 they charge for a 6inch tall plushie — unable to forget the manga-fied faces of Clark Kent and Hal Jordon. I’ll never be the same.
There’s really no way to get around having to go christmas shopping, if you tell people not to get you anything and you won’t get them anything you’re a grinch. If you hand make your gifts and you’re over the age of 10 you’re a cheapskate. If you try to cop out and get everyone gift cards you’re unthoughtful and lazy. And everyone knows only douchebags like myself give gag gifts.
I really am terrible at shopping for other people. I’m shitty at interpreting other’s emotional responses to things especially when I’m the one inducing said reaction. When I’m goofing off with a friend I have to stop the joke to make sure they aren’t actually mad at me because if they were, I would never know it. I’ve lived with my roommate for like eight months now and I still don’t know when to stop making fun of her flatulence or taste in men unless she straight up tells me. And even then I’m never 100% on whether or not she means it. I am just crappy at gaging social interactions.
This makes buying gifts a great cause of turmoil for me as I’m never convinced anyone will like anything I get them. That moment when it’s finally time for the recipient of my present to peel back the spiderman wrapping paper and mess of ribbon to find out what’s inside I literally hold my breath in anticipation of being bludgeoned to death by a snow globe.
It’s totally not fair either that Christmas shopping is so fucking hard for me because if you ask anyone I am one of the easiest people you could ever have to buy for. REALLY. Buy me a a Blu-ray of anything in the horror genera or some stupid or ultimately useless piece of superhero or fantasy merchandise or something or anything with a pig on it and I’m happy.
I’m so easy to shop for I only had one person ask me what I wanted for Christmas this year because everyone else was already done shopping for me before they even started. That one person was my brother, and that’s more out of one part extreme laziness and and one part lack of imagination on his part but that’s cool because in return he tells me exactly what to get him and my life is all the simpler for it. It’s times like this when that little punk is my favourite family member.
Luckily all of those wasted hours trying to ninja my way through slow shuffling crowds of other confused souls have paid off and I am nearly done my holiday shopping with what has to be at least a 37% success rate. I only have two more to go. FUCK. I really can’t bare to go back in the mall again. I’m just not strong enough. I’m like three grazed shoulders and one misleading window display away from just laying down on the escalator and letting it just strip me of my flesh and suck me under.
Next year, I’m doing all my shopping online from the safety of my couch.