Picture this: You're sitting there on Christmas morning. Your stomach is chock full of leftover booze and three cups of high-octane caffeine—all on about four hours of sleep. The only thing keeping you awake? PRESENTS. You tear into the next item with your name on it, only to unwrap a talking remote meat thermometer from Brookstone and a gift card from Bed Bath & Beyond. Dismayed, discouraged and outraged, it's all you can do to keep from pooping on the box in protest. We know times are tough, but come on.
Crap. Gifts. Suck. Unfortunately, it's a way of life; American law requires there be at least three crap gift-givers per extended family, and they like to keep 10 back issues of SkyMall under their pillow. Take a stand. Return that crap—if you can—and buy this stuff for yourself instead.
OK, buying a pair of $2.50 earrings from a frighteningly jam-packed jewelry store for tweens isn't in and of itself a bad thing. It's just…a gift like this screams, "I don't give a frog's fat ass about you, bitch." Instead, hit Frank James on East Burnside Street. The well-edited selection in this boutique is sublime—like this burnished-brass cuff.Saucier Jewelry cuff, $80. Frank James. 729 E Burnside St., 239-3959, frankjamesclothing.
Oh, hell no. Puppies are fallen angels from the burning pits of hell. Those evil little a-holes come equipped with a set of teeth sharper than a scalpel. While you are sleeping, puppies will attempt to rip off your toes, and when you wake up, will look happier than George Bush at Hooters. Like nothing happened at all. Don't accept this gift in the first place—go get a fish. Betta fish, $5.99-$12.99. Pets on Broadway, 2762 NE Broadway, 282-5824.
People who collect stuffed animals are…strange. One step away from plushies, if you catch our drift. If you're gonna collect "toys," get your Tokyo on and pick up something by Kidrobot. The Smorkin' Labbits series, created by artist Frank Kozik, all come in different patterns—but you never know which you'll get until you unwrap 'em. Yeah, the bunny's smoking. Jealous? Smorkin' Labbit toy, $5. Missing Link. 3562 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 235-0032.
Come on. Vampires aren't real. Unfortunately, teenage vamp romance novels are. Graphic novels are the way to go. Sell Twilight back to Powell's and pick this up instead. Watchmen special-edition hardcover, $39.99. Excalibur Books & Comics, 2444 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 231-7351, excaliburcomics.net.
Unlike other crap gifts, we understand the sock phenomenon. Socks are important. But, must they be so lame? For such an important item, socks get screwed in the cuteness department. That is, until Sock Dreams came along. These people understand. They really do. Super Hero Socks, $7. Sock Dreams. 725 SE Powell Blvd., 234-0885, sockdreams.com.