December 23, 2008 | 8:30am
The Fuck You gift is a perversion of all the holidays stand for. It is a truly despicable, evil gesture reserved for only the most cynical and sinful amongst us. It is a dark art Riptide mastered as a bitter, bitter teenager, and one thankfully I am largely beyond, but while Christmas shopping this year I was tempted, so very tempted by the stress of it all. See, that is where the Fuck You gift stems. Because frankly, the mass produced craps on our store shelves don't really express all the good cheer and love we've been told they're supposed to. Trying to find the perfect gift for the ones we love is so often exacerbating it's some what cathartic to find the gifts that express the exact opposite for those we're almost obligated to wrap something up for despite our secret disdain. And that's the beauty of the Fuck You gift. Inevitably a lot more thought goes into them than whatever generic candle or fancy chocolate you'd get that step parent, obnoxious secret santa recipient, racist uncle or brother's miserable new girlfriend anyway. Isn't it the thought that counts, anyway?
Let's start with what the Fuck You gift is not. It's not overt. It's not a lump of coal wrapped in a bow. It's not a fruitcake chocked full of substances the giftee is allergic too. It is not that illicit photo you keep as blackmail blown up and nicely framed. No, it's much more subtle. It shouldn't disrupt any one else around the tree, and it really shouldn't blatantly upset the reciever either. It sould just confuse the hell out of them. The joy of unwrapping a gift should be completely ruined by what's inside. You know you've done your jobs when you receive a tepid or bewildered, "....uh, thanks."
Our truly deoplorable guide after the cut.
Even when they're well intentioned most people are less than thrilled by receiving a book for Chirstmas. When they're a Fuck You gift, they can be devastating.
My best worst FU Gift might have been giving my stepmother a copy of Madame Bovary. Yes, yes. It is one of the best novels ever written according to English profs, but a portrait of a woman in an unhappy marriage is not the kind of book you get for a woman spending the first Christmas with her new husband. Nor do you get the English translation for someone whose first language is not English. Nor do you buy the mass market paperback version available for $3.95 at Barnes and Noble. I feel childish about it now, but I'm pretty sure I've been the recipient of a couple fuck you gifts from her since.
There's all sorts of book related opportunities. But don't be cruel. Diet books for the overweight are lazy and mean. Books often make us feel dumb, and that's what you should be exploiting here.
People hate getting clothes they don't like. People hate getting clothes they like but in the wrong size even more. Whoops sorry. Lost the receipt.
Movie Sequels on DVD
Getting a DVD nowadays sucks, because for the price of one a month you can have a Netflix account. Getting the sequel to some stupid movie you haven't even seen is just frustrating. I thought about getting my brother, cousin, and step-brothers each a sequel to Saw once, but then I realized I didn't want to financially support the makers of Saw.
The Collaborative Effort
I've never seen this in the wild, and it's inspired by an accidental occurrence. The first year my aunt brought her new boyfriend to Christmas no one really knew him, let alone what to get him. It was also the year The Beatles Anthology came out. Guess how many copies he got? At least three. So you'll need to conspire with a couple of other family members to buy the same impersonal gift and act like it's a coincidence. Luckily evil is inherited.
Massage Certificate at a Spa an Hour Across Town, a Crappy One
"Oh, I know it's far from you, but I go there all the time and it is just the best. It's so Worth the Drive" *Smile* *Wink* *The Sound of Your Soul Shriveling Up and Dying*
A Fancy Set of Thank You Notes
Sure they'll come in handy, but there's something so condescending about giving a gift that's only purpose is to give thanks for receiving gifts. Of course you give the giftee the opportunity to FU right back by not sending a thank you note for the thank you notes.
Same Gift, Two Years in a Row
Nothing says "I could really give a crap about you," than getting the same subpar gift for someone two years in a row.