The Best Christmas Present Ever

It's here. That most special time of the year. You know—when people judge you by the presents you give them. In the 5 seconds it takes them to tear away the gift wrapping, all their apprehensions about your character are raised to the surface, and then suddenly revealed to be correct, or not. In other words, finding the perfect gift is extremely stressful, as well as terrifying.

As my 3rd-grade teacher often noted, procrastination is the thief of time. However, when it comes to gifting, procrastination is also a smart strategy. It gives you time to get the lay of the land, to consider options, and do a quick preemptive gift return if necessary. I assume, therefore, that you have not yet purchased any gifts. That is good. You have time to read this, and discover The Best Christmas Present Ever.

However, please note that, by my reckoning, there are only 120 hours left until Christmas morning. So, don't screw around too much longer. If your family opens their presents on Christmas Eve, then time is even shorter and I have no sympathy for you because what you are doing is just wrong.

First, with regards to young children, you can get anything at all. It doesn't matter. They don't know the difference between a good gift and a terrible one and in any case they'll end up ignoring the toy and playing with the cardboard box anyway. As a former child myself, I can attest to this. In fact, give them something utterly cheap, and put the rest of the money in a college fund for them.

Second, with regards to adults, you can also get them anything at all. It also doesn't matter. Frankly, they already formed their irrevocable opinion of you at that disastrous 4th of July BBQ, and even if you buy them a relatively nice present like the Taj Mahal, they will still won't like you.

Of course, that leaves the all-important middle group comprised, most importantly, of Millennials. Their opinion of you is not fully formed because fortunately they were too busy checking their Facebook pages during the BBQ. So, you still have a chance to make a good impression, which, of course, is the whole point of gifting. So, what present do you give a Millennial? Sons or daughters, nephews or nieces—what do you buy?

Should you get them a smartphone? No. Smartwatch? Definitely not. Self-lacing sneakers? Maybe. Clothing. Are you kidding me? Headphones? No, but you are getting warmer. Okay, I know the suspense is killing you. Let's just skip right to it:

The Best Christmas Present Ever is. . . a turntable. That's right. A turntable. In an instant, they will rightly understand that you are cool, hip, worldly and wise. You are so far behind the curve that you are way ahead of the curve. You are the world's most interesting man. And, as a corollary, in the best possible way, you will introduce them to the love of audio, in its purest form. My good man, your work here is done. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah.

Or else fire-retardant hats for the next 4th of July BBQ. That would be good too.