Hostile Gifts 2016 Edition

Who’s not ready to shut the door on 2016? Who’s not felt a little rise in hostile feelings over the last month or so? These feelings have the real potential to be compounded during the holiday season, so this list is for readers who seek guidance in dealing with family members, co-workers, “friends”, and whoever else you might feel compelled to buy a gift for despite the fact that they never give you gifts; their gifts make you feel like they don’t care about or know you at all; or, simply that this year, you wish they didn’t exist by virtue of how they participated or didn’t participate in the 2016 presidential election. A hostile gift is not merely a bad gift or an insulting gift. Rather, a hostile gift is meant to intentionally inspire perplexity, confusion, and apoplexy in the recipient. This year, it’s a fine line.


1)  Apocalypse Survival Gifts: What better way to say “thank-you” and “I appreciate you” to someone who didn’t vote for HRC than with a Solar charger or a collection of heirloom seeds?

2. Donation to Political Research Associates: Couple the above with a gift in their honor, to Political Research Associates and your point should be clear. PRA has been monitoring right-wing movements in US for 30 years. They published ‘Trumping’ Democracy: Right-Wing Populism, Fascism, and the Case for Action” in December of 2015. 

3. Fruits & Vegetables: A hostile gift need not be political and this may be a good year to save money on hostile gifts. A gift of a lemon or apple, beautifully wrapped of course, can be truly perplexing. Especially if you decorate it with a face. Or couple it with a potato. Googly eyes can be transformational.

4. All the Single Ladies: Any smugly coupled folks on your list in need of a hostile gift? Consider Rebecca Traister’s terrific book and enjoy hearing your recipient’s internal monologue, “What? Why? I am MARRIED. You came to my wedding?! You remember?!  You flew 1500 miles and used four days of vacation time?”

5. Men Explain Things to Me: Along the same lines, support the great Rebecca Solnit by giving her book as gift. In fact, buy a whole stack and hand them out all year long and imagine the response. “Is this book for a man or a lady? Of course, I explain things. I’m a man. Allow me to elaborate…”



by Julie Falk
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Julie Falk has been the Executive Director of Bitch Media since 2009.

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