You are a lady receiving a gift from someone who is out of ideas. Or you are a guy whose apartment smells worse than the dumpster behind a taqueria.
There are a few options with this one. Number one, you have a relative with a lot of money and minimal time to invest in personal interactions. Probably this person works in finance or technology. The other option is that someone in your life screwed up real bad. Like, real bad. Forgot to pick you up at the hospital after you gave birth to their child bad. Burned down your house with a hair straightener bad. They need to make amends, and all the flowers in the world won’t do. Final option, someone wants to have sexual intercourse with you very much but doesn’t have social skills.
You are the only Jewish person that your friends know.
You are the parent of an elementary school student, or you date someone awful. There is no middle ground.
Your borderline alcoholism is well-documented. Your friends realize this issue but refuse to acknowledge it outright. Here’s how to tell whether you should seek help for your problem: If more than one person gets you the same type of liquor as a gift, it means you have defined taste. If everyone gets you different kinds of alcohol, you are known as an indiscriminate lush who will chug down just about anything. If your gift comes in a plastic gallon jug, check yourself into rehab immediately.
Different clothing items mean different things:
Team Apparel — You like sports more than looking good!
Handmade Hat or Scarf — Someone spent time on you! You are loved!
Semiformal Wear — You need to dress better!
Ugly Sweater — If you wear this, you seriously need to dress better!
Socks — You have a mom!
You have an infant! Congratulations! What a lovely addition to your family! Also, you will never get gifts for yourself again. Those days are long gone like a full night’s sleep.
A book says one of two things: “Enjoy these words, nerd!” or “Smarten up, dummy!” If it’s the former, that’s very thoughtful. If you’re the kind of person who is getting books as gifts, you probably enjoy books. Don’t get offended that you’re not getting something more “fun” like a sequined unitard or a jet ski. What would you even do with those? Have an asthma attack, that’s what.
Fancy Body Wash
You often smell like tropical fruit. Your friends assume you would like to continue smelling like tropical fruit.
You know someone who is willing to share in one of your favorite experiences. A concert is an investment of time, money, and interest. Receiving tickets to a show you really want to see means that someone knows you and wants to spend time doing something you like. That said, if you receive concert tickets to see a band you don’t like, you have a friend who got you a present for himself (or herself).
You are late to everything. Someone wanted to remedy that.
Your friends think you have bad taste! Or, at the very least, someone you know thinks that they have great taste. Artwork is a very high-risk gift to give, because if the recipient doesn’t like it, you’ll know it when they never put it up for people to see. There’s none of that: “Hey, do you ever wear that sweater I got you?” Artwork says you know someone confident enough that they are sure you’ll love that picture of birds on a power line that they bought you. You are probably the type to defer to someone else’s opinion and assume they got you something tasteful.
You are about to get married to the kind of person who wanted to save a tiny bit of money by getting you an engagement ring over the holidays to avoid getting you a different gift as well.
Starbucks Gift Card
You drink coffee, right? Everyone does? No? Tea? You like donuts? Let’s just cut to the chase. Someone wanted to spend ten dollars getting you a gift but didn’t want to look like a jerk. Here you are. (If you get upwards of five Starbucks gift cards, you are probably a teacher.)
iTunes Gift Card
You are an afterthought. Sorry.
You are difficult to shop for. Someone has thrown up their hands and decided to buy you off rather than risk upsetting you with an unacceptable gift. You win!