The Last-Minute-And-Probably-Too-Late-Anyway-But-Oh-Well Gift Guide

There are some Christmases (or birthdays or any other holiday, really) when I finish my shopping early, and have thoughtful, lovely presents for everyone on my list. They’re wrapped with gorgeous paper and tied with bows. I stayed within budget, and some are possibly even handmade. However good my intentions may be, though, those Christmases tend to be infrequent (read: almost never).

Fortunately for me, I finished my shopping today. But as I wandered the aisles of my favorite gift store (no, really) I started thinking about what to do if I totally mucked up and didn’t get someone a present. Instead of presenting somebody with an I-Obviously-Bought-This-At-The-Grocery-Store-On-The-Way-Here gift, go for the gusto. Wallow in your lateness. Make the most of it. Give your person a gift that is so magnificently unexpected, so hilarious, so MIND BOGGLINGLY ASTOUNDINGLY AMAZING, they’ll forget it was even late.

For instance, take the book Me Write Book: It Bigfoot Memoir. This would be a good gift for anyone with a sense of humor. If you don’t know anyone with a sense of humor, give it to outdoorsmen, conspiracy theorists or aspiring writers. You can buy a copy here.

Consider a lifesize cardboard cutout of Edward Cullen. I know this seems like a serious gift, but it all depends on who you give it to, and how. For maximum impact, plop a Santa hat on Eddie’s head, hide him in your recipient’s closet (or if you live in a temperate climate, outside a window) and start a countdown. When you hear shrieks, you know your gift has been discovered. This works best for people who hate Twilight, literature majors or people who don’t like undressing in front of other people. Bonus points for WD-40. You can buy one here.

What is possibly the best food on earth? Bacon. What is the best way to save money? Take a brown bag lunch to work. How can you prevent your apples from getting squished? A lunchbox. How can you give the greatest gift ever: a way to save money and protect food in the magic of bacon? A bacon lunchbox, of course! In the entire history of lunchboxes, this one is clearly the best. Give this to your favorite teacher, construction worker or cubicle-dweller. Give it to your favorite chef. Give it to anyone who eats. (Protip: fill it with (cooked) bacon for a baconstravaganza.) You can buy one here.

The Tauntaun Sleeping Bag is perhaps the pinnacle of ThinkGeek.com merchandise (and let me tell you, they have thought up some amazing things). I still haven’t figured out why somebody hasn’t done it sooner! What could be warmer than the thought of snuggling up in a pile of steaming intestines? Send this to your favorite smallish child, animal rights activist or your friend who just bought a ticket to Siberia. You can find it here, if it hasn’t sold out yet.

If you bestow this beaded headdress on one of your friends, it proves two things. One: Lanvin was producing just as many beautiful clothes in the 20s as it is today. Two: you have impeccable taste and know your fashion history. And the best part? Your recipient will look fabulous in it. Give this to your local fashionista, your most recently engaged friend, or your favorite Josephine Baker impersonator (perhaps with a few bananas). You can order it here.

Thus concludes this awesomely awesome gift guide of awesome (patent pending). If there’s anything you can learn from this advice, it’s this: do your Christmas shopping early. But if you can’t, don’t freak out and play it safe. Go for something weird. ‘Cause when the wrapping paper hits the floor and your recipient suddenly announces her hatred of Bigfoot/Twilight/bacon/Star Wars/Lanvin, she can always regift it, right? Right.

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