What The Holiday Gifts You Receive Say About You And Your Friends

The gifts you receive around the holidays say a lot about you and your friends. Learn from these subtle messages and plan your new year’s resolutions accordingly. Or, in some cases, just get better friends.


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.

A Dreidel

You are the only Jewish person that your friends know.

Macaroni Necklace

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!

Baby Clothes

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.

Concert Tickets

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.

Engagement Ring

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! TC mark

image – Andrew Buttita


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  • KateWithAnI

    yup. definitely got $10 Starbucks from a few students this year. And a GPS for my roomie who is late to FUCKING EVERYTHING!

  • http://twitter.com/kaimcn Kai

    The artwork thing was my greatest fear. I insisted that all my gifts be handmade this year (because I’m broke, not because I’m awesome). For the most part, my hand talents are collage and photography, but I dropped off 11 rolls of film mid-November that aren’t back yet. I wasn’t going to give collage because: a) they’re more journal than art; b) I don’t want to give them away; and c) giving art means someone has to hang it up or offend you.

    That said, a friend gave me a Lichtenstein reproduction that she had painted herself for my birthday this year and it is my most treasured piece of art now. But that really just shows that we’re as in tune as we thought we were, and that can be a gamble.

  • Adeline

    I am not a jewelry girl, more a book and music one with a rather persnickety taste.  My favorite gifts are Itunes and amazon cards. It is a win for all concerned. I am easy to shop for and I enjoy my gifts all year round.

  • Sesamesnaps

    Money is the gift of love.

    • http://www.facebook.com/grc15r Gregory Costa

      Money is the gift that says I was too lazy to get a gift. 

  • http://twitter.com/AlexMoschina Alex Moschina


    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.

  • Bealtaine

    We did christkindl in school today with a fiver limit. I gave a mix cd with cover art, Christmas pj’s and a disposable camera (because those are the kind that give the best photos no matter what  anyone else says!) with a illustrated card. I got the yummiest chocolate cake ever back…..this says we are students who care but have shit all money :p

    • beatrice

      damn, i want those gifts

    • SS

      where is this person buying pjs for under $5?!

  • http://www.twitter.com/mexifrida Frida

    i like books and music, or a well-thought out hand-made gift.  but a concert ticket would be the best.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mexifrida Frida

    sometimes i want to give a present to my teachers but i would probably end up feeling uncomfortable.

    • Rebecca

      I know right? Last week i took chocolate to my thesis adviser, as a gesture of  thanks for being a great prof, but i ended up feeling  like a crazy whore.

      • http://www.twitter.com/mexifrida Frida

        yes, i know what you mean! closeness in age or gender make it worse sometimes too.

      • Ellen

        I have a really amazing prof who came out in the cold and tutored me when I was living homeless for charity during the week he had set a midterm, and he wrote my recommendation for my year abroad that I’m on right now. But I did feel like a crazy whore when I gave him a Starbucks gift card (the man always has a Starbucks coffee in his hand) as a thank you before I left for my study abroad, especially because he is kind of handsome.

  • Rebecca

    This was funny! I lol’d.

  • http://www.nicholeexplainsitall.com EarthToNichole

    Bodywash=the gift giver doesn’t know you very well/is cheap.

  • Rishtopher

    I get why money is an awful gift, but I’d still rather the money. Best case scenario is I can pool all of the gift money to buy one awesome gift. Worst case scenario is I get a free drink. 

  • Whatssyouruse

    money can’t buy happiness but it definitely buys everything else! ;]

  • Jennifer

    I would definitely rather get an iTunes giftcard than a Starbucks gift card. $10 goes a lot futher on iTunes

    • Chelsea

      People still use iTunes?

  • http://twitter.com/tannnyaya Tanya Salyers

    love the booze paragraph

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