Avoid giving triggering “presents”
If you care at all about sensitive sensitivities, then cross these gift ideas off your last-minute gift list:
Anything from “Twelve Days of Christmas”
Starting with maids a-milking, which is too misogynist to unpack here.
Also troubling: The partridge, turtle doves, French hens, calling birds, geese, and swans. (Why so many birds, like in Hitchcock’s “The Birds”?)
Should we be buying, giving and owning birds? PETA says, “In a perfect world, all animals would be free from human interference and free to live their lives the way nature intended.”
Hickory Farms® Meat & Cheese Gift Baskets
Similar problem — bad for animals, including humans, albeit much less so.
If you don’t care about the longevity of your loved ones, why not just show up for holiday gatherings unmasked and unvaccinated?
Also, a vegan might be home from Sarah Lawrence College who’s so traumatized by the Hickory Farms® Signature Beef Summer Sausage® they threaten not to move back home after college.
This would traumatize their loving mother who misses them every day and also cooking for them, making their bed, and doing their laundry.
Christmas Classics CD
The old standards are a deadly minefield of insensitivity.
Start with the Harvey Weinstein predatory “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” (e.g., “Say, what’s in this drink?”) and any Frank Sinatra greats because he was horrible.
Also concerning is “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” Hearing it could be damaging for children. Especially children who worry their parents might divorce because mom has a big jolly friend with a David Letterman beard who listens to her and makes her laugh like dad used to.
Don’t get me started on interrogating “White Christmas.”
4. Thoughtful selections from U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert’s Patriotic QAnon Christian Family Holiday Fun Gun® Gift Catalogue
“Chekhov’s Gun” theory says that in theater, when a firearm shows up, someone is likely to be shot. Same is true in life.
Guns are bad gifts if you’re pro-life. Or if you hate being in the national news for giving a gun to a friend or family member who used it to kill.
5. Pop guns, pampoogas, pantookas and drums, checkerboards, bizilbigs, popcorn and plums
Anything from the Whoville Gift Collection® is verboten because “Doctor” Theodore Seuss Geisel taught racist and insensitive stereotypes to children.
Geisel was also an animal abuser. Witness how Grinch treated his dog Max.
6. Anything from the official White Lives Matter® Store, including gifts, apparel and accessories
It’s tempting to gift your Trumpy uncle with an “All Lives Matter” coffee mug, “Critical Hate Theory” tee-shirt, or “Where’s My White Privilege?” car magnet, just to gaslight him.
Warning: You might trigger his outrage addiction leading to his beet-faced shouting, EMTs arriving for him, and waiting for a hospital bed because they’re all taken by vaccine resistors like him.
On the latter note, perhaps also don’t give him a gift certificate for a pair of BioNTech Pfizer Covid shots and a booster. Gift it to someone in his name who needs and wants it, and cares about other people and stopping the new surge.
A DVD of the classic holiday film, “Tucker Carlson’s When the Libs Stole Christmas”
When your Trumpy cousin puts America’s answer to Joseph Goebbels on the home theater and says, “gather ‘round, snowflakes!” it’s guaranteed to incite insurrection and possibly cancelling Christmas family gathering forever. Win-win-win-win-win.
Beware: The athleisure wear might have been made by sweatshop children from petroleum-based polyester and nylon, helping to melt the polar ice caps causing all manner of Sturm und Drang.
Worse, gifting clothing is basically telling giftees how you think they want to look, or how you want them to look. This is not only lookist — it’s imposing your sensibilities and ignoring their agency.
Also, if it doesn’t fit right, you’re essentially body-shaming the giftee if you bought a petite but they needed a small.
Anything at all
Holiday gifting is costly crass capitalist materialist commercialism that’s destroying our planet, society and souls.
You can save big money, reduce your holiday stress, and signal your godlike virtue — even if you’re an atheist — by refusing to gift any stuff.
Give love — it’s free, fits perfectly, won’t harm or trigger anyone, and it’s all we really need. Best of all: It’s renewable.
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.