Let's be honest, not everyone gets the red carpet gift treatment. Time is money and money is just something to throw at a problem rather than spending the time solving it. Picking out an individualized gift that someone would A) appreciate and B) actually use is, like, so hard. We all know it’s much easier to go to Amazon, blindly click on any item under $20 in the “Stocking Stuffers for All” section, and order some garbage.

Sure, you can’t think of any uses for a “3-Piece Stacking Set of Decorative Bowls” but hey, that’s their job. Now all that’s left for you to do is employ one (or more!) of the effective gift wrapping methods listed below to create the festive facade that you actually spent time thinking of what gift to buy.

Use Double-Sided Tape

A great way to spruce up that spruce whittled figurine of a spruce tree. This slightly more expensive version of pedestrian tape can be used to invisibly attach loose ends of wrapping paper, as well as invisibly attach loose ends in your relationship.

Make Strategic Rips and Tears in the Packaging

Claim that the present must have gotten damaged in transit due to it being shipped from a far-away exotic place, like Hartford. (Insert your own far-away exotic place depending on where you are in the world. For me, it’s Hartford, Connecticut.) Make sure to mention something like, “This Family Circus day calendar has traveled a long way to get to you.”

Put It Inside of a Box Inside of a Bag Inside of a Box Inside of a Bag

Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt? The time and anticipation involved in unwrapping your Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport snowglobe will completely overshadow the fact that it’s the 1st night of Hanukkah, not a white elephant gift exchange.

Write a Third Grade–Level 5-7-5 Haiku on the Card

This gift is special
Not really but let’s pretend
You are worth the time

Poke Air Holes in the Top as if It Were a Live Animal

Sure, a $15 Safeway gift card doesn’t need to breathe but this beats some lame envelope. Before they open it, the giftee will exclaim, “I’ve always wanted a chinchilla!” And you’ll say, “Perfect, this can buy you one week’s worth of birdseed.” And they’ll wonder, “do chinchillas eat birdseed?”

Wrap the Present in Newspaper

A great way to make a personal pocket breathalyzer seem more personal. Make a point to point out the date of the newspaper and then invent a reason for why that date is pertinent to your relationship with the person. “See, November 12th, 2020, that the day I decided you were a drunk and white lies were going to be the foundation of our relationship.”

Shred Your Old Tax Returns and Use as Package Filler

A true display of how much you value their friendship. While the contents of the package (a dreamcatcher made by your six-year-old nephew) may be worthless, the packaging is worth your entire income and identity (the two “I”s). The shredded-ness is the subtext for the consistency of your friendship. It’s all about subtext, baby.

Cover It in Marinara

Can someone say novelty! So what if you’re giving them the “Best Hits of John Cougar Mellencamp” CD you found next to the cash register at Barnes and Noble? Everyone loves marinara! The hilarity that will ensure upon handing someone a red mess, dripping in chunky sauce, will completely overshadow the insincere melodic tones of JCM.