10 great gift ideas for people you don't like

WITH only four shopping days left until Christmas, you need to hurry if you’re going to get a cursory present for people you don’t care about or actively dislike. Here are some suggestions.


Coasters are… a thing. They protect certain surfaces and… er… maybe you can have fun tidying them away in their little rack? Basically if you get excited by coasters there’s something wrong with you.

A keyring

Has the recipient been struggling with key storage and retention issues? Probably not. Ideally it should have some forgettable item attached, eg. a small enamel Union Jack, to make it fractionally less uninteresting.

An unflattering age-related mug

Know someone in their 40s who’s not where they they want to be in life? Get them a ‘This is what middle age looks like’ mug or similar. It’ll remind them of their abandoned dreams and inexorable physical decline. And they’ll be forced to laugh or they’ll look bitter and twisted.

Shit TV spin-off book 

Nothing says ‘Literally no thought has gone into this gift’ like a thrown-together cash-in book based on a very obvious TV series, eg. The Grand Tour A-Z of the Car. Want to know what an arrester bed is? No. No one does.

Shit comedy book 

Every Christmas there are more of these than f**king snowflakes. Definitely get someone you despise Things To Do While You Poo On The Loo. The only danger is they’re such a twat they’ll find it hilarious.

Celebrations (carton pack)

Edible but low-end chocolates costing an unflattering £3. No one hates them, but no one loves them. You may as well tell the recipient: ‘You are a personality-free void.’

Rank fortified wine

Decent sherry to sip at or ginger wine is a seasonal pleasure. Don’t buy that. Get the fruit-flavoured shit that chav teens like to barf up, eg. MD 20/20, a sickly brew that tastes like undiluted cordial. As the gift victim stares in disbelief, say you ‘thought it looked nice’.

Jacob Rees-Mogg calendar

A novelty item, naturally, but it just serves to remind you of Rees-Mogg’s existence and loathsome actual personality (not the 19th century gent twattery) which is a lying, verbose, arrogant, dissembling, right-wing, patronising, smug bastard. Just what you don’t want on your wall.

Pizza wheel 

These seem like a good idea, but are rarely needed or work effectively. You can jazz it up and get one in the shape of a motorbike or whatever, but the message is the same: ‘I couldn’t care less if you live or die.’

A film you like

Not only are ‘classic’ films cheap on DVD, a total lack of empathy or consideration makes choosing one easy. Perhaps a female acquaintance loves frothy rom-coms? You like the brutal 70s crime thriller Get Carter, so she’s getting that. You’re broadening her horizons, not that you care.

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Pretend you're a born again Christian: How to fend off a chatty shop assistant

THERE’S nothing worse than minding your own business in a shop and an assistant having the audacity to engage with you. Here’s how to deter them effectively.

Ask questions back

Freak them out by really involving them in your purchase. Ask what they think your friend would like for her 40th, which car vacuum would suit your husband’s character, how they feel about you braving a thigh-high boot. If they’re British and naturally awkward enough, they should soon remember some made-up task they need to do ‘out the back’.

Pretend you don’t speak English

Channel your GCSE French and tell them ‘Je ne comprends pas’. Then pray to the gods of garlic, berets and lazy stereotypes that they don’t start chatting back to you in flawless Français. If they do, just react how you did in your oral exams at school and say ‘J’ai 15 ans’ on repeat until they conclude you must be unhinged and scuttle off to the far side of the shop.

Preemptively wear headphones

Preferably massive over-the-head ones that will make them think twice before approaching you, but earbuds will work if put in or readjusted ostentatiously enough. If the shop assistant is mad enough to overlook your flagrant rudeness and still try to chat, fake an intimate phone call eg. with a sexual health clinic. The more gruesome gynaecological details the better.

Pretend you’re a born again Christian

Nothing is a guaranteed person-repellent like the words, ‘Can I talk to you about Jesus?’ However dedicated a shop assistant is to their job, when you start spouting nonsense like ‘You take your car for an MOT, but have you ever had an MOT for your soul?’ they’ll definitely excuse themselves, probably while reconsidering a customer-facing role.

Be overfamiliar and possibly insane

Take them by surprise by pretending you know them. Usually an overexcited ‘How are you doing?’ will be enough, but if you’ve got the stomach for it, give them a hug, a peck on the cheek, a passionate snog. They’ll be too busy trying to piece together who you are and what the hell just happened to interrupt any further as you enjoy a peaceful browse.