The Handy Dandy Holiday Gift Decoder

Demystifying the mind-boggling presents you are about to receive

Sometime between now and New Year's Day, you are going to receive a gift. Whether you want it or not. The perplexing thing about holiday gifts is that they say more about how you are perceived than who you really are. I mean, who the hell thinks of themselves as a fruitcake, a box of sausages or an argyle sweater? Here, to demystify the mind-boggling presents you are about to receive, is a decoder that identifies what the gift giver really thinks about you.

Hickory Farms Cheese Box

The giver has put out a hit on you. These smelly cheeses have been recycled since 1974. They are toxic. Do not open. Leave them in a desolate wooded area.

Brown Sugar Body Scrub

Someone with a perverse interest in exfoliation is trying to lure you into their coven.

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Tin of Homemade Brownies

If the giver lives in Colorado, Alaska, Oregon or Washington, assume they love you and wish to share the joys of the season. Buy a gallon of milk and party on!

Monogrammed Bathrobe

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The giver questions your hygiene and, more importantly, wishes to discourage your habit of walking around nude in your own home. (Also see Digital Scale, below)


You are going on a long vacation. Far away from the person who bought you a zebra-patterned, carry-on suitcase.

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Santa Sweater

Unless it's from your grandmother, chances are the giver wishes you ill. Bury it in your yard or mail it to the 2016 presidential candidate who annoys you most.

Digital Scale

Wearing your shirt outside your pants isn't fooling anyone. Stay away from the Christmas cookies and join a gym.

Polar Fleece Socks

This is either from a bedmate who's tired of you warming your ice cold feet between their thighs or from a family member who thinks your toenail fungus is really out of hand.

Miley Cyrus Makeup Kit

Either your "natural" look isn't working for you or the next time you use your teenage daughter's cosmetics, she's going to come after you with a hot iron!

Mink Coat or 5 Carat Diamond Ring

The giver is sorry. Really, really sorry and he'll never do it again. So, please, call off Gloria Allred.

Adorable Puppy

The giver thinks you need to develop your nurturing skills by picking up warm dog poop every day for the next 15 years.

Courtside Tickets to the Lakers Game

The giver is either your best friend, your lover or owes you a tremendous amount of money which they have no intention of paying back. Not now. Not ever.

Picture Frame

Remember that office Christmas party when you gave the guys in accounting a lap dance? Someone has the negatives. You'll be hearing from them soon.

Dance Lessons

That thing you do with your elbows when they play "Happy" is pathetic. And that 1980s White Guy Lip Bite isn't working for you either. (Even Travolta took lessons.)


Not that your family doesn't appreciate your Spam Lima Bean Quiche, but they're hoping you'll take the hint and stick to Hungry-Man Frozen Dinners.

The Very Best of Celtic Thunder

The Irish side of your family is deeply concerned about the Jewish woman you've been seeing. Why doesn't she drink more? They're afraid she'll get dehydrated.

Stripper Pole

You said you wanted more "quality time together." Here it is!

Tags: friendship