The hostile gifts guide originated as a list of gifts to baffle, annoy, and perplex the recipient. As with many of our cherished traditions, it has evolved with our political era. The stakes are too high to simply talk about Dreamsicles.
1. The gift of great journalism
A subscription to The Guardian or The Atlantic
For the Fox News watchers that are somehow still on your list, a subscription to a trusted print magazine will ensure a dose of fact-checked reality gets delivered right to their doorstep monthly with The Atlantic or weekly with The Guardian.
(The Guardian, $36 or The Atlantic, $34.50)
2. For the person that doesn’t really like anything
A set of not particularly decorative towels
Every family’s got their chief arbiter of shade. In my case, it’s my aunt. Every Christmas is a master class with gifts ranging from what a girl my age ‘should’ wear or what makeup I must have misplaced because surely I wouldn’t walk out of the house like that intentionally. After years of outright aggressive gift-giving she finally declared that she had given up and just gave me a set of towels in a bag. Funnily enough, it’s the only gift of hers I actually still use.
3. For everyone still bemoaning the “witch hunt” of #MeToo
A book on research methodology written by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford
A “simple introduction for non-statisticians to power analysis and sample size determination,” this is sure to be a cozy read for the folks on your list who “just didn’t find Dr. Ford’s testimony credible” and can’t imagine anything more unfair than Brett Kavanaugh having to answer a couple of questions about beer at a hearing. Given that the main focus of the book is hypothesis testing, this is a gift that will hopefully pay off for years to come.
(Barnes and Noble, $30.09)
4. For the “go back where you came from” crowd.
Books about immigration and the immigrant experience, for toddlers
Whether it’s the wall supporter that’s too deep in their denial to realize that a wall has already existed at the border for more than three decades or the person at the table you can always count on to bring up how “the Irish were treated worse, but they’ve assimilated,” these picture books will give them the perfect entry point to some good old basic empathy. From Haitian folklore in Mama’s Nightingale by the legendary Edwidge Danticat to the true story of a border crossing in La Frontera: El Viaje Con Papá, the illustrated books written for toddlers on this list are sure to meet them where they’re at.
(Social Justice Books, Various Prices)
5. For everyone who still thinks “make me a sandwich” jokes are funny
Some handy tips for making your own damn lunch
This is one of those gifts that may or may not register as immediately hostile, depending on your gift recipient’s sense of irony. If Cook Like A Man’s cover doesn’t give you away (because what’s manlier than a burger with a giant steak knife stabbed through the center?) perhaps a look at the two Amazon reviews will do the trick. Our favorite: “I want to love it, but the recipes need work.”
(Barnes and Noble, $11.81)
6. For that friend who just can’t keep anything alive
Crochet cacti that were never alive in the first place
While it might be a little hostile to give a gift that essentially tells someone to give up and stop trying to take up a futile hobby, these potted crochet cacti are so damn cute your gift recipient may not even notice!
7. For the climate change denier
An outdoor thermometer
Passive aggressiveness is a personal thing, so we wanted to give you a few options here. Choose between this bear-themed outdoor thermometer to remind your giftee of the dying polar bears in the Arctic or spring for the coral reef wall thermometer to remind them of the dying coral reefs!