This Week in Internet Advice: Thought Catalog Helps With Christmas Shopping

If you’re new to this feature here’s the gist of it: we have gone to the Internet for advice for so many years now that recently it has been providing us with unsolicited advice in the form of lists and random self-help articles concerning problems that we didn’t realize existed.

Rather than serving practical purposes, the result of said articles is more often than not unintentional humor. So every week I select one of those articles and break it down for you.

So far we have covered articles published in Yahoo!, the Huffington Post and Buzzfeed. Now it’s time for Thought Catalog. 

This millennial go-to for generational woes published this article titled “10 Not-So-Awkward Gifts For Those ‘Friends’ You Barely Know.” This extremely specific piece was written to help with gift ideas for those very casual friends that are hard to shop for. Here were the suggestions:

10.) Personal Popcorn Popper.

This picture was included:


So let me get this straight, you’re telling me handing someone I barely know a gift that looks like the above photo and saying “Merry Christmas” won’t be awkward? 

That’s funny because it sounds incredibly awkward. 

2.) An Amazon Gift Card

The description suggests a $50 gift card. FIFTY DOLLARS? I thought I barely knew this person. How nice of a guy do you think I am, Thought Catalog? 

Also, is that how much you guys pay for your personal popcorn poppers? Because if so, you are getting ripped off.

3.) A Fountain Pen.

The description starts with three one-word sentences: “Classy. Sophisticated. Daring.”

I’m going to give you a few little catch phrases I just made up and you tell me which one you think would get rejected by an advertising agency.

Classy. Sophisticated. Daring….Jaguar.

Classy. Sophisticated. Daring….Wild Turkey Bourbon.

Classy. Sophisticated. Daring…Fountain Pen. 

4.) Bonzi Tree


Well, Thought Catalog, what if this casual friend happens to be Asian? Should I still give him/her a Bonzi tree for Christmas? Are you sure? Because I’m not a huge fan of my casual friends thinking I’m a racist. 

5.) Coffee Table Book.

I got my sister (who I’m pretty close with) a coffee table book for Christmas a couple years ago, but thanks for making me feel like a bad gift giver/shitty brother. Maybe if I was casual friends with you guys I could afford to get her something nicer with all the $50 Amazon cards I’d have by now.

6. Cards Against Humanity

Cards Against Humanity

The last time I played Cards Against Humanity the following phrase was played: “Having trouble with black people? Try AIDS” So I’m going to go ahead and say this isn’t the safest gift for someone you barely know.

7.) Apples To Apples

I appreciate the compromise down from Cards Against Humanity, but since most of my causal friends are older than 12 years old I’ll probably pass on this one too. 

8.) Swiss Army Knife

“Gee Whiz, thanks dad!!! You think maybe we can take this and go camping later?”

“Sure we can, but I’m not your dad I’m just your casual friend who got you this strangely paternal Christmas gift. Take care of it, your grandpa gave that to me when I was about your age.”

9.) Nalgene Bottle

Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth BPA-Free Water Bottle

Nothing says ‘I know nothing about you’ like giving someone a gift that implies, “So I noticed you require water. Here is a container to hold that water.”

10. I Am Not a Paper Cup


An environmentally-conscious reusable coffee cup? Great idea. This way, if you ever see that friend drinking coffee out of an actual paper cup then you’ll know he/she hates you and doesn’t care about your feelings. A real two birds with one stone gift.

Thanks Thought Catalog, you saved Christmas. 

To read why the Internet says you should travel alone, click here.

To read about the Internet criticizing your elliptical use, click here.

To read why the Internet says you shouldn’t feed your dog batteries, click here.

Jonny Auping

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