Oh, There’s Nothing Like (Blank) For the Holidays

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In the interest of giving all you techies a break from career advice, soft-skills scolding and other certification-related information, I’ve come up with four non-techie gag gifts that you can give to friends or as departmental Secret Santas that are guaranteed to get a laugh, or at least a grimace of disgust; and one present that seems cheap, but is merely non-creative, exceedingly useful and doubles very discreetly as a weapon.



  1. A romance novel. Go to Borders to the romance section and find one of the thick historical novels by Harlequin, preferably one with a beautiful, well-endowed man and woman on the cover complete with strategically missing bits of clothing. Be sure to check the spine of the book for creases later and look in the inside pages for chocolate stains and underlined pen marks to see if it’s been read. If it has been read or even opened, make strategically clever and sarcastic comments about it wherever it’s most embarrassing. Meetings are good.
  2. A holiday sweater. The sweater should be a size too small and depict either Frosty, Rudolph, Santa Claus or his elves on the front. The sweater should be wool, thus itchy, and if it has hanks of fabric or other materials (plastic balls, for instance) hanging off for the nose, bells or some other body or reindeer part, so much the better.
  3. A coupon to Aveda or Kiehls or some other cosmetically inclined store. At best, the person will laugh in scorn and show up the next week with smaller pores, shinier hair or a matte glow to the face—thus opening themselves up to a good natured holiday ribbing. At worst, the person will give the gift card to someone else and that person will have smaller pores, shinier hair or a matte glow on their face.
  4. A small basket full of odd smelly foods or vitamins from the health food store. Your gift should at least get a scornful groan and or a revolted grunt, but this only works well if the recipient favors Cheetos over natural corn chips and Mountain Dew Code Red over, say, aloe vera juice.
  5. A stocking full of batteries. Most Secret Santa gifts are $20 or less. So you can easily and quickly buy $20 worth of Duracell batteries, and if the person makes too loud of a stink or makes fun of your eminently practical gift, you can use the batteries to black their eye.


Happy Holidays!

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