Full disclosure: I fucking despise his and her gift lists. I thought you should know this from the outset, although you’ll discover it as soon as you start reading below. In fact, I can honestly say that in my 47 years on this planet I have never, ever, EVER bought anything that has appeared on a his and her gift list. That’s because I am an intelligent and sentient human with the ability to know horseshit when I see it. Don’t believe me? Well, here’s why I’d rather find my festive stocking splattered with the devil’s semen than near anything resembling one of these shopping tick boxes of doom…
Fancy a game of bullshit bingo? Go on, get your nearest high street his and her gift list and let me guess what’s on it. Right *puts on thinking face*… the gifts for women include candles, perfume, jewellery, pyjamas and any imaginable product that can have the words ‘love’ or ‘prosecco’ scratched onto its surface by underpaid kids in a foreign sweatshop. On the other hand, the gifts for men include socks aftershave, wallets, keyfobs, gadgets and anything that has the faint whiff of vintage tractor about it. What’s that you say? I have a full house? No shit.
I can’t be arsed to explain exactly why they are sexist towards men (because there are plenty of gammon who are willing to do that for me). Instead I’ll tell you why his and her gift lists are sexist towards women: they assume that every woman wants to be twatted on gin while stroking fluffy socks and running a hot bath deep enough to drown a tyrannosaurus rex. You know, because women are hysterical and are therefore in perpetual need of being calmed. Ever see a gift list for ‘her’ that included marathon running accessories, go-getting business journals, political activism tips and encouragement to get the fuck out of the kitchen/ bathroom/ bedroom? No, I didn’t think so. I rest my case.
Here’s the deal: if I knew anyone who’d be thrilled with the offerings of his and her gift lists I’d unfriend them. Only, that is, after I’d found them a counsellor and the kind of boot camp shouty man who would scream the bland out of them. If high street his and her gift lists are anything to go by, the people who love them are also probably the people who corner you at parties to tell you all about their rubber band collections. Dull? Christ, they make energy efficient 40 watt bulbs looks like the explosion of cosmic suns.
You’d be better off stumbling around the local Spar at 4.59pm on Christmas Eve rather than buying anything on a his and her gift list. Look, I know it’s hard to be inspired. I’ve done my own headbutting of t’web in desperation to find a gift that wasn’t just a fistful of Yorkie bars. But this much I know: his and her gift lists aren’t going to hep you. They’ll inspire you to do lot of things, such as rum amok through Debenhams with a flamethrower, but they won’t inspire you to buy anything that draws a happy gasp on Crimbo morn. If it’s inspiration you want, the insistence of the John Lewis Crimbo catalogue that your bloke is desperate for bamboo cotton bed socks is about as useful as Santa with a garrotted reindeer.
No, they’re not. They’re for the people who are flogging them. How else is M&S going to prettily present a jumper, a bra, face cream and a bag of truffles in one photo without convincing you that your mother will die if she doesn’t get exactly these this year? These his and her gift lists are really for the marketers, the manufacturers, the picture editors, the copy writers, the editors, the printers, the photographers… but they aren’t for you. Not unless you know the guy at the party mentioned above, in which case Godspeed! Did you know those bamboo socks also come in beige?
Look, don’t go getting me wrong. I love a gift list. They can be helpful. So helpful, in fact, that I’ve written here about the type of gifts you can pick up from Kraken Kreations. I’ve also written this blog post where I take every one of your gifting headaches and solve them. It’s just that I hate gift lists that pigeonhole women and men so ludicrously that, I swear, the people they are aimed at now only exist in the 18th century.
So if you come across a his and her gift list this year, don’t look into its eyes. Unless it is deeply unconventional, it’ll be the distillation of patriarchal turdage, broken dreams and regret. Think social infection, except of the kind so virulent that even a festive Coca-Cola lorry full of the strongest antibiotics couldn’t fix it.
Instead, check out the gift lists that genuinely give a shit about being unusual, inspirational and the antithesis of what your parents would have wanted in 1956. In fact, check out my gifts lists for a taste of how they should really look. (Oh, I mentioned my gift lists already? Really? I did?). Liberate yourself, Kraken lovers. You’re better than the bland. And the bamboo bed socks.