The proper way to buy gifts for people you don’t like is to be subtle about it.
You want to be passive-aggressive in your gift giving so it LOOKS as if you actually like the person.
Striking the right balance can be tricky, so here’s a handy collection of gifts for people you don’t like.
Small Budget Gifts
Sometimes the best move is to give a gift to the child of someone you don’t like. If you put this thing in the hands of the right child, the child will be thrilled and the parent will likely not be thrilled. The toilet paper blaster shoots toilet paper balls up to 30 feet. It uses water, not spit, (allegedly) does not stain anything and (allegedly) is easy to clean-up, so it’s not a total jerk move to buy one of these, only a partial jerk move. Order one on Amazon
This is a fantastic book and it’s a great gift for co-workers or bosses. CAUTION: The trick here is to give this gift when you first start working with someone. If you wait until after the person has had a chance to schedule a meeting with you, you’ll look like a jerk. I suppose you can give it as a gift anytime you want if you have a good working relationship with the receiver. Or maybe it’s a great anonymous gift for the co-worker who is constantly wasting your time with meetings? In any case, here you go.
If someone handed you a plain wooden box, you’d open it, right? Me too. Give someone a thrill this year with the gift of a fake spider attack.
Outsource the terrorization of the people you don’t like by giving this gift to one of their kids. With any luck, you’ll create havoc and ongoing pranks well into the middle of next year. Imagine unleashing months worth of unwanted practical jokes in the households of your frenemies. Get one here.
Electricity is a fun addition to any game, right? Yes, especially when it will inflict some pain on the loser. This reminds me of the first scene in Ghostbusters where Bill Murray is playing “scientist.” Give the gift of pain to someone in your life this year.
If you’re not familiar with this game, you’re missing out! It’s messy and a hassle to clean after playing, making for a double bonus. Of course, anything messy like this is popular with the kids and will cause them to enlist the help of the adults in their life. Who wants to get smacked in the face with a bunch of whipped cream? People you don’t like, that’s who. Get one here.
Big Budget Gifts
A pasta maker is a great gift for someone you don’t like. First, it takes a lot of work to make pasta from scratch, even with the fancy pasta maker. Second, it occupies valuable real estate in the person’s kitchen (and kitchen storage space is probably limited, like in most kitchens). Third, it’s a hassle to clean it. Lastly, carbs will kill you. This one is from Italy, which is a place that knows a few things about pasta. Get one here.
A hand-crank ice cream maker is in the same nastiness category as a pasta maker (takes up space, hassle to use and clean, carbs will kill you). When I was in Boy Scouts as a kid, we used one of these to make ice cream and it was a giant pain in the a**. We worked awfully hard for the end result, which was underwhelming. You’re better off buying a pint of Ben & Jerry’s than going through the hassle of making your own ice cream, but this isn’t a gift for you–it’s another one of those great gifts for people you don’t like.
Dunk tanks are classic festival props, but the ones you usually see are prohibitively expensive. This one is a great alternative and it’s reasonably priced. It’s another one of those gifts for people you don’t like that has multiple angles–requires setup time and hassle, takes up space and will be the very favorite thing for the right child to request over and over and over until the parents agree to play the game. Get one here.
Have you ever tried to ride one of these things by yourself? It’s awful. Even with two people, it’s not so great. But guess what? You’re committing the person you don’t like to bike rides that they might prefer to avoid. Plus, there’s the bonus of it occupying valuable garage space. This one is highly rated.