Every gift has subtext.
You buy your spouse a wedding ring to symbolize your eternal love and devotion. You buy someone a Zune because you hate that person.
With so many gifts, Christmas becomes a minefield of hidden intentions and unintended consequences. And let's be honest: Christmas is about gifts. Even the Three Wise Men knew enough not to arrive at God's birthday party empty handed.
Regardless of how much time your family has spent gift-shopping, their presents are bound to imply something about your value systems or the crowd you run with.
If you get any of these things for Christmas, you might wonder what the giver was really trying to tell you. Get behind the subtext and find out what you're really getting for Christmas this year.
Congratulations, you're in the club.
At $150 retail, Hunter Boots are expensive enough to make the middle class feel like the upper class without going broke.
Sure, you've got your Western Chiefs or your Sperry Pelican Boots, but nothing quite says, “Invite me to brunch!” like these bad gals.
Kohl's Gift Cards
They might as well have handed you $25 and said, “You know the mall? Yeah, you have to go back there.”
You're apparently “too picky” to buy clothes for, so your “friends” gave you plastic cards that forcibly prolong your hellish week of holiday shopping. You thought it was over. But oh, no. It's only just begun.
Here's what your December 26-31 looks like: Go to the mall in your sh*tty pre-Christmas clothes because, whadya know, you can't wear Kohl's Cash; spend hours purchasing clothes; pay more money than the gift card was for; regret and return half your purchases; stress eat your way out of the remaining half; return those, too; wear sweatpants for the entire month of January.
Merry f*cking Christmas.
A Subscription To The New Yorker
You're about to become unbearable for the next 365 days.
You'll start using words like “acerbic” and “proto feminist.”
You'll skim culturally dense articles and come away thinking you're some kind of expert on Islamophobia or Jackson Pollock or whatever the hell you just read.
If your friends start consistently sighing at your very presence, don't ask why.
"Fallout" isn't a gift. It's a f*cking life sentence.
There are two things that drive people apart during the holidays: "Fallout" and the burden of family tradition. Thank God the former offers a solution to the latter.
Don't believe me? A man in Russia sued "Fallout's" publishing company because he played so much that he lost his job and his wife divorced him. And what did he do? He kept playing because "Fallout" is better than sustainable, long-term fulfillment.
A MacBook Pro
You didn't think you were getting a PC for Christmas, did you?
You asked for a laptop and you're about 20, so of course you got a MacBook Pro.
Be honest with yourself: The only constant in your life has been Apple products. Relationships come and go, pets die and time withers all, but you've never not had an iPhone.
What choice did you think you had?
Free Hug Coupons
It's the beginning of the end for your relationship.
The only proper response to receiving a free hug coupon is, “I think I'm going to stay at my mom's for a while.”
You've lived your whole life under the assumption hugs are free. If that's not the case, how much debt have you accrued over the years? When is your partner going to start collecting?
Not only are you in a broken relationship, you're freaking out because you can't afford to pay back all the stolen hugs of the past months.
Start packing, and leave tonight.
A Goddamned Grand Piano
Thousands will receive a piano for Christmas this year and 90 percent of them will learn “Rocket Man” and call it a day.
The remaining 10 percent will also learn the intro to “Clocks” and “The Final Countdown” and answer “Yes” to the question, “You play piano?”
But a piano is infinitely better than a guitar because it's always already there. You bring a guitar to a party and now you're the assh*le who brought a guitar to a party. But if people discover you can (kind of) play piano, you hop on that bench, whip out the intro to “Don't Stop Believing” (piano is all intros) and suddenly you just became the local bar hero.
A Seasonal Affective Disorder Therapy Lamp
Hopefully this gift wasn't a surprise.
Hopefully you asked for it, and hopefully someone cared enough to get it for you.
Otherwise Christmas just became the most passive aggressive time of the year.