Please. Stop your whining.
There is plenty of time to find something for everyone on your list. At Suburban Kamikaze we have already done the hard part for you. Okay, maybe not the hardest part, but we do want to help.
We spent the weekend drinking wine and scouting retail outlets with our very good friend and Suburban Kamikaze board member, Dr. Liz - an honest to god mental health expert here to certify that the best gift you can give your loved ones at Christmas is the gift of good mental health - your own.
With that in mind, we offer the following sanity-preservation tips and gift ideas.
Tip #1: Limit the amount of time you spend worrying about gifts for your family. Pace yourself. Have your nails done. Have a glass of wine. Buy yourself an overpriced accessory. Now you are ready to shop for your mother-in-law.
It's easy. Because who doesn't love a mango? From Williams-Sonoma comes the perfect mango splitter. She will wonder how she ever got along without one. $13
Tip #2: Nothing wastes more time than second-guessing your selections for appropriateness. They're not your kids are they? The teenagers on your list (your brother's kids maybe?) will think you are the coolest when they open their cell phone flask. $16.95
Tip #3: Don't try too hard. Sometimes the best gift is the one that says WTF? "Monkey Portraits" by Jill Greenberg is about as good as it gets in the ambiguous message gift department. $16.49
Tip#4: Search out seasonal bargains. We found this styrofoam Halloween morgue sign reduced 70 percent. Think of how much they will appreciate your thoughtfulness when the price shoots up to $5.95 ten months from now!
Tip #5: Give in to your impulses. Put too much thought into it and you will miss out on one-of-a-kind objets d'art like this lifelike (it even sheds) replica of a common backyard pest. We could not pass it up. $2.99
Likewise, how many $16.95 motion-activated fake parakeets do you think they would sell if everyone went around putting thought into their Christmas purchases? Nobody needs a fake parakeet. Nobody ever asks for one. But somebody has to buy them, if for no other reason than to encourage the kind of out-of-the-box thinking that led someone, somewhere to conclude that a walking, dinosaur-shaped pencil sharpener was a good idea. $7.95
Still, there are limits. Crate&Barrel is a good example of what can happen when people give their impulses too much rein. Which brings us to Tip #6: Never, ever spend $14.95 on a collection of sticks and leaves. Just. Walk. Away.
Tip #7: Nothing says Happy Holidays quite like an intervention. There is no better time to let someone know that their social skills could use a little ... well, skill. Nothing we've found delivers the message like a set of "Table Topics" conversation starters. Table Topics provides a box of Post-It sized slips with promising topics like "Why Do You Think People Try to Kill Themselves at Your Dinner Parties?" $24.95
At $14 "The Complete Manual of Things that Might Kill You" is a conversation starter in itself. You have no idea how many fatal conditions that nagging little mole/cough/ache could signify.
Our favorite self-help gift this season is a slim little volume of wisdom called "How to Traumatize Your Children." With sections on "Setting Your Child Up for Failure" and "Killing Self Esteem," this book contains proven, practical advice for parents determined to do it properly. $9.95
But enough with the children. Tip #8: Nothing says Christmas like sex toys. Surely, there is someone on your list who would appreciate a box of Christmas ornaments shaped like tiny penises? $3.99 Tip #9: Not everyone appreciates a tiny penis joke.
Or, "maybe you're looking for something under the heading of non-toxic?" That is the kind of come-on only a seasoned, professional copywriter can produce. The pitch is for EdenFantasys' museum quality "Hera," a piece of glass attractive enough to leave out on your coffee table. $89.99
Tip #10: Nobody likes a toxic sex toy.