“Oh, woooow, soooooocks!” The universal signal of gift disappointment: acknowledging a gift in basic terms with desperately feigned enthusiasm. When you were younger and you got something fantastic and genuinely unexpected (or even better, what you really wanted), you didn’t say “Oh, woooow, a Nintendo 64;” you were briefly catatonic, then didn’t speak for three days because you were playing Super Mario 64 until your eyes bled.
It’s 2014 and you’re subscribed to the Styleforum newsletter, so your current version of the N64 is probably a Liverano polo coat or a pair of Guidi boots. And I hate to break it to you, but your parents/cool uncle/Santa aren’t going to come through this time. You have a shot at getting what you really want, though: just follow one of these simple strategies.
1) Start dropping hints that you’re buying your significant other a grand Christmas gift. Leave a car-sized red ribbon bow “hidden” in the closet. Casually mention you stopped by a diamond dealer at lunch. Leave a Lonely Planet guide to an exotic locale on the back of the toilet. Your partner will be both excited and feel obligated to reciprocate with something in the four figure range. Bonus: you don’t even really have to deliver on your gift for them. Socks will do.
2) Bullshit Kickstarter. If my Facebook wall is any indication, the bar for badgering people for money through Kickstarter is quite low. I’d rather donate a few bucks to “Jasper needs a new pair of side zips” than my second cousin’s art school scholarship fund (sample reward: a performance art piece in which my cousin crashes on your couch for a month and eats all your cereal).
3) Give your family access to your Yoox dream box. Send out your username and password and they’ll see the Euro luxury goods you’ve been craving, but that admirable fiscal restraint has kept you from buying. Hm; this will also give them access to your Yoox purchase history and undermine your statement that your new LBM 1911 coat was “only like a hundred bucks.” Better to set up a phantom Yoox account and fresh dream box.
4) Return every gift you receive; spend proceeds on yourself. Depending on the generosity of your family and friends, this may or may not fund a bespoke jacket from Napoli Su Misura. Rendering all incoming gifts into fluid assets really makes it hard to properly value your kid’s gift: a pile of essentially worthless coupons for hugs and chores around the house.
5) Beg. Beg until they break. It worked for the N64. Some tactics are timeless.
6) Just buy it for yourself. The last refuge of a scoundrel. You deserve an Inis Meain cardigan after all your hard work this year, and how is it your fault that your family shops exclusively at the outlet mall? Indulge your deepest desires, like a lady in a diet dessert commercial.
Obviously, these are all meant to be sarcastic. The real way to get what you want for Christmas is to be good all year long, keep the spirit of the season in mind, and be born into unfathomable wealth.