GIVING DANGEROUSLY

A few Secret Santa gift ideas you might want to reconsider

1. A partially stamped Subway “Sub Club” card

2. A litter of feral cats

3. A postcard that reads, “On vacation in Bahamas. Will send gift from airport.”

4. A replica lightsaber, “Because I saw how you were eyeing mine.”

5. One free oboe lesson

6. That beige cardigan the receptionist used to wear before she died

7. $500 cash in a paper sack

8. A Google Earth shot of the recipient’s childhood home

9. A soap dispenser, freshly ripped from the men’s room wall

10. A book of solved New York Times crossword puzzles, with the answers whited out

11. A pack of gold paper plates that reads, “It’s Joshua’s bar mitzvah!”

12. A nacho cheese–scented candle

13. Thong panties stamped with your corporate logo

14. “Most Enthusiastic Archer, Camp Seagull 1983” trophy

15. A framed black-and-white photo of your father and his ’Nam buddies, posing with a dead Charlie

16. A video of you playing air guitar to “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”

17. A firm handshake and a sincere “Happy holidays”

18. A tank top with the word “wench” written in puffy paint across the front

19. A detailed map of local bomb shelters

20. A $100 donation, in the recipient’s name, to your daughter’s college fund

21. A Swiss Miss cocoa packet you’ve stuffed with marshmallows picked from other Swiss Miss cocoa packets

22. Your old bedspread from college

23. The key chain floatie that came with your Nautica jacket

24. A Christmas wreath fashioned out of Equal packets

25. A jarful of sand from your recent Jersey Shore vacation

26. A “Diversity Training Day ’03” mouse pad

27. A hardcover edition of We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories From Rwanda, by Philip Gourevitch, with the inscription: “Just as long as they kill the in-laws too, right?! Have a great Christmas!”

33. A 1991 Nissan Stanza with 216,000 miles and no tires

34. An answering machine message from Andy Rooney condemning microwave ovens

35. “Absolutely nothing, since I worked for what I have and believe others should, too.”

36. A tab of herbal ecstasy

37. Deployment orders to Iraq

38. Footloose on LaserDisc

39. A handwritten coupon: “Good for one free erotic back rub!!!”

40. An autographed picture of Lee Iacocca

41. A charcoal sketch of you doing aerobics

42. A “World‘s Horniest Human Resources Director” mug

43. A $1 gift card to the Dollar Store

44. Jose Cuervo sweatpants

45. A handmade coupon entitling the bearer to “Unlimited forgiveness upon accepting Christ as personal savior”

46. A paperback copy of The Da Vinci Code with the cover ripped off

47. One hamster, two tiny reindeer horns

48. A stack of Soldier of Fortune back issues

49. A bottle of Old Grand-Dad Whiskey with the note, “For when you fall off the wagon!”

50. Whatever’s available in the vending machine