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Christmas Gift Guide 2007

Every year since I began posting my scribblings online for the world to see (and make fun of) I have put together a Christmas Gift Guide. They are my favorite posts of the year and I have done them since well before I had a blog. I believe, in a society filled with wealth and discretionary spending, giving gifts should be an obsession.

Sadly though, people are really bad at giving gifts. Maybe I shouldn’t say that, since it’s only the people I know who are really bad at giving gifts, but every year we get a plethora of gift giving advice columns so maybe poor gift-giving is an epidemic.

There are normally two different kinds of gift guides this time of year. One of them is the “look at how funny/ridiculous/crazy these things are that people can actually buy” and the other type of gift guide is the “here are some thoughtful gifts for loved ones” which are designed to help people who don’t have any ideas. Both have their place but each leads to tired clichés like scented candles or fake poop.

My Christmas Gift Guides are supposed to be different. While many of my picks have a certain “silliness” factor my goal is not to re-hash old jokes about kangaroo scrotum change purses. I want people to shoot for “impact gifts.” When I give a gift, I want people to remember it for a long time.

When giving a gift you should want to be remembered. You don’t want to be lost in the sea of gifts people receive each year. There are different methods of picking a memorable “Impact Gift” and most will be explored here in this series. “For better or for worse,” that’s the caveat. People might not actually like or want the gifts you would give them, that’s not the goal. If people want something they should go buy it themselves. Gift giving produces dead weight loss so the only value to society Christmas Gifts have is sentimental value, so you have to shoot for “sentiment” (or any of a number of other human emotions).

A disclaimer, you probably won’t lose any friends by following my gift giving advice but you might have people question your sanity. That’s the cost of “impact”.

There are good ways to have people remember you and there are bad ways, in my gift giving guide I don’t discriminate between the two. If you’re going to give a gift, avoid becoming one of those people who just picks up whatever they happen to bump into at Wal-Mart. Follow my lead and be a thoughtful gift giver.

one more thing, there will be one change to the Gift Guides this year, I will be adding an “environmentally friendly” pick to each installment. Doing good to the environment is all the rage and I think I’ve found some interesting “impact” ways of helping the Earth do whatever it is it does.

You can peruse previous gift guides before the first installment appears the day after Thanksgiving.