Wacky Wednesday: The Best Gag Gifts for 2017

I know that for many of us, December is all about Christmas and showing our loved ones how much we care by surprising them with the perfect gift. It's about shopping and Santa and twinkle lights and holiday baking; it's candy and decorations and all the excitement we can stand.

For others, there's very little Christmas involved and the focus is more on the remembrance and celebration of Christ. or other religious beliefs. And sure, gifts are probably still involved, but the fun fancy festivity isn't the major focus.

But for those of us for whom the gift-giving is one of the most joyous parts of the Christmas season, here's a few of my favorite ways to squeeze just a little extra oomph out of your gifts this year.

Make 'Em Hunt For It.
One of my favorite ways to amp up a Christmas gift, whether I'm trying to buy a little more time and draw out the process or I'm trying to raise the bar on what I'm afraid might be a gifting dud, my go-to answer is always a gift hunt. I love doing them with my daughters, especially, because after I've spent weeks (or months) agonizing over the right things to get, the most magical way to deliver them, who's getting credit for what, where I'm gonna hide it all, how I'm gonna wrap it all ... well, let's just say the last thing I want is for my efforts to literally go up in smoke as my kids RIP through their gifts in five minutes flat and then spend the rest of the day telling me how bored they are.

Now, granted, they don't actually usually do that because I actually have pretty chill kids for the most part, but still ...

One year, Joey was really into money saving and shopping with her own money and stuff like that. So I got her a little electronic ATM penny bank for Christmas as her "big gift" that year - but even though I was pretty sure she would love it, I wasn't entirely positive she wouldn't be disappointed that it wasn't an American Girl doll or whatever other expensive toy I couldn't afford that year. So I tried to beef up the excitement factor by turning it into a hunt. Before I went to bed on Christmas Eve night, I hid the gift in the bathtub behind the shower curtain knowing that she was highly unlikely to discover it before it was time, and then I hid about 6 or 8 little hints all around the house, each one leading to the next. The first was hidden in a Christmas ball on the tree, and the hints took her to various places in our apartment - the bottom of the fish tank (accessible through the storage cabinet the tank was sitting on), the silverware drawer in the kitchen, even the mailbox outside. Ultimately, the gift was a hit - but would it have been as much of a hit if there hadn't been so much pomp and circumstance?

Who knows. I plan to keep doing hunts now and then though, just to be sure.

Box 'Em Up - In Multiples.
Got a small gift that might lose some impact (or be too obviously what it is?) in it's original packaging? I mean really, a ring box can only be a ring box after all, right?

So how about getting creative this Christmas and leaving the guesswork intact for your gift recipient? What about wrapping your ring box and putting it into a slightly bigger box? What about also wrapping that second box too? What about putting the ring into a balloon, adding that balloon to a box full of other balloons, and letting your gift recipient pop all the balloons to find the gift?

Not only does this amp up the element of surprise, but it also makes your gift something memorable and special - not only for the awesomeness of the gift itself, but also for the memory now permanently attached to it.

Disguise It.
I've talked a little here about my maternal Grandmother, and how it breaks my heart to know that Alzheimer's will be the monster that takes her out of this life. I've talked about how strong she always seemed to be to me when I was growing up, and I've talked just a little about what a survivor she was throughout her life. But what I haven't talked a lot about is the way she took such a huge role in my childhood - in many ways, she was the one constant, the one safe place, the one haven of strength and predictability that existed in my life.

But she was such a prankster. I remember one year when my mom's health was still in the beginning stages of the painfully slow failure our family has been forced to watch over the last 20 years, and we were living with my Grandmother and my cousins in her little duplex in Deland. That year, we had Christmas together in that little living room, filled with the furniture she still owned twenty years later when she finally entered a nursing home to be cared for as Alzheimer's took hold over her mind.

That year, my cousins and I received magazines we would never possibly have been interested in, plastic fruit, and other such ridiculous gifts. But inside those magazines were CDs we had desperately wanted, and inside those fruits were beautiful necklaces. Dana and I still laugh about that year, and I don't think I'll ever forget the way I fell in love with my Grandmother's mischievous side under that little tabletop Christmas tree.

I wish Alzheimer's had a cure. She's not even gone yet, but I miss who she was terribly, and I wish I had been a better, more connected Granddaughter to her. It hurts me to know I wasn't as appreciative as she deserved me to be, and that it's too late to change it now.

Give 'Em A Gag Gift.
There's nothing like a good gag gift to make Christmas morning extra merry, and if you want to take it further than disguising a necklace in a plastic banana, there are tons of hilarious items on the market to choose from, such as this prank coffee mug or this bag of unicorn farts - and if your gift-giving tastes run a little more on the naughty side, then perhaps you'd laugh a little harder waiting for your best friend or favorite neighbor to open this butt face soap. Unless you think they're more in need of the weener cleener - but I'll leave that up to you.

But I know it's pretty close to the holiday already, and even if you're willing to go broke on the cost of expedited shipping there's still a good chance that your gag packages won't arrive in time for the big day. But that's alright, you still have time to put together any number of great ideas for awesome DIY gag gifts for Christmas.

Here are some of my favorites this year:
  • Vampire Teabags - if your gift recipient is obsessed with Twilight and has a great sense of humor.
  • "Gift Not Included" - for toy-loving gift recipients of all ages.
  • Merry KISSmas Whisk - great for a neighbor, or to leave in the mailbox for your delivery person to find. Also good for your kids's teachers, etc.
  • Turtle Dicks - perfect for an older brother or friend who knows the Ninja Turtles. You may need some skills to make this one happen though.
  • Earthquake Detection Kit - for the "DUH!" lover in your life. This one actually made me laugh out loud when I saw it.
  • Life Decision Kit - for the indecisive person in your life.

There are so many great ways to inject a little extra magic into the Christmas season, and I love that gag gifts are one of those ways. Have you ever gotten a gag gift before? Have you ever given one? What was it? Let me know your thoughts on gag gifts in the comments! I'd love for you to share this post too, but before you go, take a second to subscribe to this blog by filling out the "subscribe by email" form in the sidebar - it's a great way to make sure you never miss a post!

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