Normally I like to take time and craft a gift idea to be uniquely suited to its recipient. I wrap it carefully or creatively then I sit back smugly and watch as they marvel at what a wonderful person I am to have known that this one gift would make their lives better.
But some times, for some friends, I just want to be weird.
Having crazy gift ideas is fun. Giving crazy gifts is even more fun: preparing for this article I asked people at work (the Day Job) what the craziest gift they’d ever given or received was and overwhelmingly they told me about the crazy gifts they had given.
(As an aside this was a completely different side of my coworkers than I usually see. One guy bragged about ‘wrapping’ a gift card in dog poop. ewwww)
With a little thought I am convinced that crazy presents can be as fun to receive as to give, though. They key, as always, is to put enough thought into selecting the gift and matching it to the recipient: it just happens that some people have a crazy sense of humor….
Since the definition of ‘crazy’ differs from person to person I am going to do this gift guide a little differently. I am just going to hit the highlights of an approach for a sentence or two and move on. Hopefully you will find some inspiration here.
Crazy Gifts for Special Days
- Crazy Christmas Gifts: Christmas is always more fun for kids than it is for adults so why not get in on the action? Something that would be a perfectly reasonable gift for a ten year old is a crazy Christmas present for an adult. Get that man a set of Hot Wheels, get that girl a Barbie, and extra karma points for you if you dig up some backstory to find out what they wanted as a kid but never got and get them that. Obviously the way that they play with their gift will be different as an adult than as a kid, but don’t overlook the simple truth that toys are fun.
- Crazy Birthday Gifts: ‘Over the hill’ gifts might have been funny and a little crazy back in the mists of time before Spencers, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, but they are just too common now. Go with something a little more off the wall, like a boyfriend pillow that says, “Yes, I understand that I could get you a gift certificate to Macy’s, but insted isn’t this awesome?!“ Another idea, which is roughly equivalent in content is a gift certificate to go do an activity out of the blue. Go go-kart racing with your grandmother for her 75th or make your nephews decade by taking him skeet shooting for his fifteenth. I like to see both a little bit of excitement when they open the envelope with the gift certificate and a little bit of puzzlement.
- Crazy Valentines Day Gifts:
Serenade her with ‘O Sole Mio’ yourself or arrange to have a band serenade you at a restaurant that doesn’t ordinarily have such entertainment. Instead of getting her a dozen roses get her a thousand lillies. Yes, a thousand. If there was ever a night for flagrantly romantic gestures it’s Valentine’s…. or you could always just propose, which leads us into:
- Crazy Wedding Gifts: Stay away from a crazy wedding gift if you are the bride of groom. Seriously, you get one shot at doing this right. If someone else is getting married, though…. I would still can the crazy gifts just this one time and put the energy into writing a better toast. I am a big fan of fun gifts, but I’ve seen brides melt down over way less than a tackily-chosen wedding present and she will remember that forever.
- Crazy Groomsmen Gifts: Since these are gifts given from guys to guys to celebrate a crazy time in his life you would think that all groomsmen gifts would be crazy but you would be wrong. It’s all cufflinks and cigar cutters, yawn. Why not give the men boxes of ammunition, nerf swords, or glow in the dark golf balls? Crazy groomsmen gift ideas are easy to come up with if you just think about your relationship with these guys rather than being unduly influenced by what is traditional.
Gifts for Crazy People
- Crazy Gifts for Guys: There is an easy rule of thumb for picking crazy gifts for men – think of something that you would find in a guy’s college dorm room and get it. Lava lamp? Stolen bathroom sign? 25 empty pizza boxes as decor? Yes, yes, a hundred times yes. If he is younger than college age he will aspire to it. If he’s older it can be funny to watch him negotiate with the wife as to where the stuffed boar’s head is going to live. Either way you come across like a true friend and he gets to play with something he probably wouldn’t buy himself… unless he’s in college in which case this gift might not be so surprising.
- Crazy Gifts for Women: I am going to take a stab at this, but if you are or have ever been a woman you might have better ideas in this category. I would (will?) make a twist on the traditional and safe gift of beauty products and instead give a product that should never have been: Summer’s Eve (note that this is a 3-pack, that’s even better). Somehow escapted hearing about this product? Check this out: their ads as re-interpreted by Jeff Bridges.
- Crazy Cat Lady Gifts: This one is just too much fun to think about. Offer to install a cat ramp (set of wide shelves intended for cat use) or set Fluffy up with Cat diapers. Yes, cat diapers. I know what my mother-in-law is getting for Christmas this year.
Crazy Cool Gifts
- Crazy Funny Gifts: Remember if you are trying to give a gift that is both crazy and funny that it should be both of those things for your recipient as well. No fair getting something that is only funny for you. I think this is the perfect opportunity for a personalized gift. You are probably thinking crazy gift because the giftee has a weird sense of humor. Do you have any particular shared jokes? Any funny stories or inside information that makes them laugh? Get a blank t-shirt and have it printed with the punchline of your joke or a picture that will remind them of the story.
- Crazy Gift Baskets:
You are going to have to do this one yourself. Gift baskets are usually a soulless, bland affair. I would think about getting a gift basket of ridiculous hot sauce, but even in the name of a crazy gift I would be sure to check that they are fans of hot sauce before passing this one on. You could always fill a basket with random items from the dollar store, but that is more an odd form of gift wrapping which leads into our next item.
- Crazy Gift Wrapping Ideas: I discouraged you from wrapping a gift in feces earlier (again, eww) but I have to admit that I’ve done something similar. I pledged to a friend once that I would present her enemies entrails to her in homage (I don’t remember why, maybe we had just watched 300? This is kind of par for the course for this friendship, though). When her birthday came up I bought her a DVD and then wrapped it in a pound of pig intestines. Then I wrapped the whole package in gift wrap (and a plastic bag, don’t worry). It worked well because, of course, DVDs come shrink wrapped so once she removed the DVD from the wrapping (over the sink) the DVD inside was pig-free. She still talks about that wrapping job today.
What I love about crazy gifts is that more than even the best chosen thoughtful gifts people like to talk about the crazy presents that they’ve given or received. Please take a second and leave a quick comment telling us about your favorite crazy gift that you’ve ever given or received.