Guys, Christmas time really is so exciting. Family, stories, songs, merriment, it’s all wonderful. And really, one of the best parts of Christmas is gifts. They just make the holiday that much more fun. And while the saying “it’s better to give than receive” may not hold true every time, it is fairly accurate, because giving the right gift to the right person makes everyone involved feel the warm Christmas fuzzies.
But there’s the thing: giving the right gift to the right person. What the right gift fis or you is not the right one for me. And the right one for you now is certainly not the right one for you 15 years ago, let alone 20 years from now. So how do you know what to get?
Fortunately for you, I’m here once again to help you with gifts to give the people in your life, regardless of age or gender. By using the handy guide below, you’ll know what gift to buy at each stage in life.
When you’re 8: On rare occurrences will this be a good gift for a child. If you already know they like to read, it’s fine, but know that if they don’t, their response will be stunned silence followed by a forced thanks.
When you’re 27: Probably better odds. At this age people are once interested in expanding their knowledge after having that desire beaten out of them during college. Bonus points if you give a book related to a topic they’re interested in.
When you’re 82: Maybe not the best gift idea. Chances are their eyesight is poor, and they don’t really need one more thing to lose around their house. Plus, they don’t have much time left! I’m sure their bucket list doesn’t include “Read all the Twilight books.”
When You’re Me: Always the best gift. Always.
Socks and Underwear
When you’re 3: Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo! There is nothing worse to receive at this age! All you want are toys, and all you want is toys, toys and more toys! It’s enough to make each and every child strongly consider finding the way to Neverland, where socks and underwear most likely do not exist.*
When you’re 30: Chances are you’ve not only gladly received these items, but asked for them as well. What a practical and well-meaning gift!
When you’re 55: Who in your life is getting you socks and underwear? If it’s a spouse or a child, I’d worry either you were just regifted, or they don’t really care about you.
When you’re a 12 year old boy: Best. Gift. Ever.
When you’re a woman over the age of 14: What the heck is all of this?
When you’re 45: If the gift was in jest, it’s fine. If it’s in seriousness, it’s time to question choices made in your life.
When you’re 8: It is a weird piece of paper that my parents are excited about but doesn’t even come in a cool box that I can play with.
When you’re 24: Wow, someone cares enough not only about me, but about my future. Thanks so much.
When you’re 45: Good gifts to give AND receive!
When you’re 5: Do not give a kid an ipad.
When you’re 16: Unless it’s a car, you probably shouldn’t be giving them any other kind of gift.
When you’re 32: Hopefully they have everything they need, but a Kindle-type gift is never a bad idea.
When you’re 12: What are these?!
When you’re 29: I remember these!
When you’re 64: What did you do to my record collection?
So there you have it. Some gifts won’t work for all ages, but all gifts work at some point. And who knows, if you want to make a good story that will last ages, give the wrong gift to the wrong age group.
Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!
* A story that still echoes through my family lore involves my aunt giving my brother Superman underwear, thinking it would make him excited about being potty trained. My brother opened the package, looked at the gift, put his head down, and started to cry. Then my aunt started to cry. Then I think my mom started to cry. This story is repeated every Christmas.