Written by Sarah Morgan

Lifestyle

Charity Begins At Ho-Ho-Ho

Struggling for present ideas for those ‘difficult’ relatives? Sarah Morgan has a solution that is so elegantly evil, it’s basically Cruella De Vil in tinsel knickers.

Is there someone who gets your goat? You know what to do. Photo: Oxfam.

Is there someone who gets your goat? You know what to do. Photo: Oxfam.

Before I start, let me say this.

I bloody love Christmas. I love charity. I am better at charity shops (‘chazzers’) than you will ever be.

I thrill to receive Oxfam Goats, those adorable square-pupiled, tin-can-eating goofballs. Comic Relief’s Dubble chocolate is genuinely lush. It is a near-sexual thrill to go on Facebook and see a friend has put, “Erk, no time to buy cards, so I’ve hurled the stamps money at a Refuge Christmas dinner, shall we all do the same?” Yes, yes, oh God yes.

I buy charity gifts for people I like ALL THE TIME. Nice people like charity gifts, BECAUSE THEY’RE NICE PEOPLE. My auntie-in-law is still sponsoring the donkey we got her a few years ago, and we’re all delighted to get updates about Timmy from the farm. He’s family now.

Got it? Right.

OK, so.

That said.

There is a perennial problem at Christmas, which is what presents to get for those awkward relatives: people who are, for wont of euphemism, dicks to buy for. Usually this coincides with them being on the opposite end of your political/moral spectrum, because you’re great and they are Hitlers (especially after a few mint Baileys).

As this whore of a year finally dies unloved, in a gutter, Christmas dinner 2016 is going to be the tensest yet. As a microcosm of our divided world, the dinner table is going to be a bloody warzone. But we all have to make nice. Get presents. Be the bigger person. Be the change you want to be. Because no one wants to find their mum crying in the kitchen because you and pissed Uncle Kevin were too busy debating Theresa May’s trousers or Louise Mensch’s Question Time appearance to notice how nicely she’d done the yule log, you pricks.

So this year, my friends, I am calling an end to the madness. Fight aggression… with passive aggression. I have a solution. And the solution is pass-agg charity gifts. (#passagcharityxmas)

“If the recipient does even a micro-flicker of ‘that face they do’, you are legally within your rights to call them “Scrooge McFuckface” for the rest of dinner, and make up a withering song about how they hate humanity, preferably to the Duck Tales theme tune.”

We’ve all got relatives or secret-Santa workmates we have to get presents for that we’d rather punch in the tits. Rather than the usual solution of hastily considered bath bombs (“but my weeping eczema!”) a book about Internet Cats, or a mug from the pound shop that announces the owner ‘hearts’ sex, why not spend your money on something useful, and sponsor something or make a charity donation on their behalf?

Because the brilliant, evil, and brilliantly evil thing about charity presents is, you’re not allowed to bitch about them. You’ve taken that Christmas joy away from them. Even the twattiest twat knows that the only appropriate response to an Oxfam Goat is “awww!” while LOATHING you to their very core – and if that doesn’t give you a giant twin-feels, fizzy-knickered, hurray-for-humanity festive wide-on, you are a less emotional woman than I.

(Plus, if the recipient does even a micro-flicker of ‘that face they do’, you are legally within your rights to call them “Scrooge McFuckface” for the rest of dinner, and make up a withering song about how they hate humanity, preferably to the Duck Tales theme tune. Everyone wins. (Ehhhh, NEARLY everyone wins.))

And as a Brucie Bonus, remember, like pairing wine to meat, you can pair the awkward recipient to the chazzer gift that will most get on their tits. Oh you gorgeous monster.

Par example:

One of Hopeful Traders' Christmas cards.

That’s either a really small robin…

• Your toilet-opinioned Meninist uncle who says things like, “All homeless people are millionaires; I saw that woman begging at the end of the road getting into a limo”? Give him this beautiful tasteful Christmas card with a robin sitting on, oh whhhaat a tampon, which helps Streets Kitchen provide homeless women with sanitary products on the streets.

• The auntie who always buys you an Alan Carr DVD but doesn’t know why “the gays” made such a fuss about getting married: “I think they just like being dramatic, don’t they?” Buy her a safe bed for an LGBTQ runaway at the Albert Kennedy Trust.

• Your Clarkson-worshipping brother-in-law who thinks climate change was invented by The Levellers? A life-changing well for the third world from Oxfam Unwrapped. (Double bubble: at time of writing, Oxfam Gifts are HALF PRICE, so you look twice as generous while having your donation matched by an anonymous wonderful donor.)

• The bitchy stepsister who “hates reading” and wears too much green correctional foundation? Adopt her The Wizard of Oz from the British Library.

The world is full of terrible things, and terrible people to buy presents for. So spend your money wisely.

But don’t just listen to me, listen to famouses. Loads of lovely funny ladies are getting on board the chazzer-gift train:
Aisling Bea recently tweeted: “Instead of buying loved ones something useless like a banana hanger, shower gel and ‘101 useless gifts’ book, buy something from the Refuge Xmas list?”

Gráinne Maguire wrote: “It’s Christmas and we show people we love them by buying them crap they don’t need. Why not show the civilians trapped in Aleppo that we love them by donating the price of a present to the White Helmets?”

Mock the Week’s Ellie Taylor is asking her Twitter followers to send beauty products to The Care Leavers Association, for their vital Christmas parties for vulnerable people who are leaving the care system.

And remember, you can give nice people charity presents too.

@sarahlmorgan

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Written by Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan is a comedy writer for TV, radio and magazines. Surprisingly terrible at writing her own bios. Call your mother.