I was originally going to call this feature The Getting Blanked Guide To Giving Last Minute Gifts, but I made two assumptions that precluded it: 1) The majority of visitors to this website are dudes; and 2) The majority of dudes haven’t started their holiday shopping yet.  Hooray for holiday generalizations!

T’is the season to once again use effeminate words like t’is.  It’s also the the time of year that you’re supposed to drop massive amounts of fliff on people who won’t be giving you half as good of a gift as you’re giving them.  Why’s that?  Because you’re reading the Getting Blanked Gift Guide, and as popular as this blog is, they’re probably not.

So, until the entire world decides to accept my proposal that every person on earth (or at least the important countries) just spend $1,000 on themselves and we’ll call it Christmas, we’re stuck with the format we’ve got and we might as well make the most of it.

Like everything in life, there are several rules that dictate the proper methods for giving gifts.  Also like everything in life, I know them all.  So, here.  Without further ado, The Getting Blanked Guide To Giving Gifts:

Rule #1: A gift should say as much about you as it does about them.

Remember when you were kid, and you used to get presents for your mom in the hope that she wouldn’t want it and end up giving it to you?  ”Hey mom, here you go.  It’s a Batman action figure.”  Then, when we turn into adults it was all, “Here’s a board that you can serve cheeses on.”  Well, there’s a happy medium between these two strategies that makes for a perfect gift.

Example:  If I was a Yankees fan, I would totally give my alcoholic uncle Carl a beer stein:

Alternatively, if I was a long haul truck driver, I could give my California douche bag brother this ballcap:

Or if I was a Texas Rangers fan I could give my sister, who enjoys cooking, this set:

Rule #2: When gifting a dude, a small bit of tease is acceptable.

Most women don’t really understand this but men tend to show appreciation for one another through a merciless psychological attack that reduces one to a blubbering puddle of tears at the end of every day.

Example:  Buy this purse and you can check off the White Sox fan on your list while simultaneously questioning his masculinity.  For the extra mile, fill it with makeup and add a written reminder about his inability to please his girlfriend sexually.

Or for your friend who cheers for the Cardinals, buy him some underwear that even the smallest of second belly buttons wouldn’t fit into.

Rule #3: Sentimentality is always a winner.

Nothing brings us closer than shared memories and nothing will bring you closer to being included in your friend’s last will and testament than a gift that reminds him of those shared memories.

Example:  1992 and 1993 were the greatest years in every Blue Jays fans life.  Let your buddy let everyone else know how he feels.

Rule #4:  Be practical.

I once had a girlfriend who made me a miniature garden and planted paper flowers with all the reasons she “loved” me written on them.  It was in the trash by Boxing Day.  Abstract belongs in an art gallery, not under the Christmas tree.

Example:  These socks will keep a loved one warm, and allow them to celebrate another underwhelming Atlanta Braves season in secret (as long as they’re wearing shoes and pants).

Additionally, we’re all going to be as brain dead as Neal Huntington one day.  Might as well be prepared.

Or to help someone keep running from the Grim Reaper, a pair of sneakers would be very suitable.

And while it may not be the most exciting, wall to wall carpeting is always a practical, yet popular gift.

Hard hats can save lives:

Rule #5:  Let your gift say what you can’t.

While it’s important to be practical, giving also offers you the opportunity to be somewhat symbolic in your gift choice.

Example:  If a house guest has overstayed their welcome, buy them some Montreal Expos merchandise that says, “It was fun while it lasted, but you need to get out now because you’re not drawing big enough crowds to pay your bills.”  I recommend anything Youppi related, including figurines.

If you’re in the early stages of a relationship, but you think there’s a lot of potential even though you might be in a rough patch, think Washington Nationals.  In fact, a skanky Washington Nationals outfit might get another point across as well.

But really, if you want to go with pure symbolism, nothing beats a Cleveland Indians floor mat.

Or maybe there is one thing that beats it:

Rule #6:  Don’t be afraid to get sexy.

A good gift will always be received with gratitude.  Point that gratitude in the right direction with something that will set the mood.

Example:  No material says “tres romantique” quite like satin:

And nothing says “risky” like introducing an inflatable friend into the bedroom:

Even if you’re into playing it safe, the Seattle Mariners are there for you.

Rule #7:  Religious artifacts are fine.

Christmas is the only time of year when we Westerners get to shove our ridiculous superstitions and stories about a space daddy sending his alien son to earth so that he can be born in a barn down everyone’s throats.

Example:  Remind the the godless San Diego fan on your list exactly whom he should be thanking for all of his team’s success.

Generally speaking, I’m not one for false idols, but when they’re this gosh darned cute, how can you not be?

You can’t go wrong with a place to store your leftover communion wine that’s easily accessible all day on Sunday.

Rule #8:  Educational gifts are best for children.

Buying kung fu weaponry for children may make the kids happy, but their parents aren’t likely to invite you to their next dinner party.  It’s almost always safer to lean toward educational over violent when it comes to buying gifts for kids.

Example:  Teaching a kid chess can lead to the quick development of critical thinking skills.

A Jim Eisenreich jersey could make for a valuable lesson on turrets syndrome.

Just as a dart board can improve children’s math skills.

You could also give a gift that teaches kids about American foreign policy:

Rule #9: Kitsch is cool.

Remember one thing this holiday season: Gifts that make people laugh > Gifts that make people cry.

Example:  A Tampa Bay Rays lamp is far better than the lamp you made you grandma from the wood that your grandpa cut just before he died last Christmas.  And it has a better chance of working too.

Ditto for all neon lights:

And much like the classic Colorado Rockies analog clock:

Rule #10: When in doubt, always give a miniature Houston Astros van.

Just in case there’s any doubt as to how awesome gifts of MLB merchandise are, take a look at my friends from New York.  Aren’t they just the coolest?