Money might not be able to buy you love, but it sure can buy a whole lot of other things, and at Christmas it's even more evident with all those shops crammed with glittering toys, expensive jewellery, big gifts, little gifts, silly gifts and gifts that you wouldn't wish on your mother-in-law.
But for those who have everything, Christmas is a nightmare1. What on earth can you get someone who has everything? Here's what our Researchers think.
If you have anything else to add, please post your thoughts below. And the first person to say 'No, you can't buy them that because they're already got everything' will get sent to the back of the class for being a smartarse. Nobody likes a smartarse, even at Christmas.
Anything that you've made yourself would make a good gift - after all, if you make your gift yourself then it's bound to be unique. One Researcher suggested that a particularly pleasant gift that you can make yourself would be children, which has the added advantage that it's a lot of fun making them. Just remember, though: a child isn't just for Christmas, it's for life.
Give them odd socks. If the people who have everything are anything like the rest of us, then they will no doubt have lost countless socks among their big piles of possessions, so buying them loads of odd socks will sort that particular laundry conundrum out pronto.
What should the person who has everything get? Why, burgled. That way you can then enjoy giving them everything again in the full confidence of knowing that they has no longer have it. Alternatively, you could give them a good insurance policy, but where's the fun in that?
This imaginary, hypothetical person may well have everything, but as we all know, some things last a lot longer than others (that queasy sinking feeling, for instance). So the thing is to give them something that they already have, but which will shortly expire, break or otherwise become useless - thus your gift will replace the spent thing that they already have. There's the logic, here are some possibles:
- Aerosol cheese
- Fake Rolex watches from Hong Kong
- Trendy clothes
- Teenage girlfriends
- Any computer equipment whatsoever
and so on. Or, following the same logic, you can get them something that goes well in pairs, or triplets, like swimming pools or Rolls Royces.
A t-shirt with 'I've got everything' written on it in nice big letters would go down a treat.
Give that special person the Sultan of Brunei's phone number. Imagine the conversation:
'Hey Sully, it's me. Have you got a bronzed brick? I have. Hahahhaha...'
'Hey Sully, it's me. Have you got Denise Richards2 giving you a foot massage? I have. Hahahaha...'
'Hey Sully, it's me. Have you got the Rosetta Stone made into a coffee table? I have. Hahahhaha...'
'Hey Sully, it's me. Have you got a photo signed by Elvis... yesterday? I have. Hahahhaha...'
'Hey Sully, it's me. Have you got anything better to do than make prank phone calls all day? I haven't. Hahahahahahha...'
Give them a box to keep it all in. A very big box.
Get an old shoebox, wrap it, and tell the person you're giving it to that it's full of love. After all, you can't have enough of it, it's the nicest thing to get, it doesn't cost anything and it's not available in the shops. Peace, man!
Give them Nothing. After all, if they have Everything, then they haven't got Nothing, have they? Ah, logic, the greatest excuse for giving appalling Christmas presents...
While the person who has everything is sleeping in their office, sneak in and take a plaster cast of their nose. Then you could get a bronze statue made in the shape of their nose, get a nice little inscription on the bottom, and present it to them. If you were really clever, you could make it into a door knocker.
A popular but different take on bronzing parts of the human body would be to bronze a pet. It could be done quickly and the owner would never notice, as long as you shampooed it well afterwards.
Just buy them something like... oh I don't know... a Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary book, and autograph it with your own name. They may have famous people's autographs, but do they have yours on a completely random gift? Nope: problem solved.
One Researcher wrote: 'I think we're all approaching this from the wrong angle. We all know it's better to give than to receive, so why not let the person with everything give you something, instead of making them feel guilty about receiving more stuff?'
Interesting approach, though not guaranteed to maintain your friendship.
And finally an anecdote from the family who found possibly the strangest present of them all.
'We searched and searched, through all the Spiegel catalogues, on every little hanger suspended from the shelves of every aisle in every hole-in-the-wall, all through the local petrol station... and at last our eyes fell on a little black box. It was rather small, only about a quarter of an inch thick, measuring about two by five inches, but on the top were the life saving words3 "For the man who has everything."
Gingerly, we opened the box, and resting inside was a tiny long-handled4 black brush, and a small card. On the card were the words "Belly Button Lint Brush" and inside were actually instructions on how to use it.'