In a time when money is tight for most people, you may wonder why you should spend additional money on a humorous gag gift that the gift receiver probably won’t use or enjoy anyway. Well, there are several reasons why it can be fun to give a gag gift, and it can be inexpensive or even free.
If you’re shopping for someone who has a good sense of humor and doesn’t really need anything, why not save a few bucks and have some fun by giving them something silly? Here is a list of my favorite gag gifts.
Christmas Gag Gift: The Puffy Shirt
If you were a fan of Seinfeld, you may remember the puffy shirt. I learned it’s not only a Seinfeld thing, but actually a game that’s been played in my husband’s family for years. The game is played with the male members of the family. Each Christmas, the previous year’s owner of the puffy shirt wraps the shirt up nicely like a real present. Toward the end of the gift opening, someone announces that “so and so missed one of his gifts – he has one left to open.” Whomever the box is given to opens the gag gift, of course laughs, and tries it on for all to see and make fun of.
The game works even better when a new member is added to the family. Last year, one of my husband’s cousins got married. Her new (unsuspecting) husband was given the puffy shirt. Of course, since he didn’t realize it was a gag, he had to act pleased with the gift (while the rest of us choked in our laughter). He was a good sport. Check out his puffy shirt in the picture.
When my husband was little, the puffy shirt could end up being the only gift given to that person that Christmas. Of course, the little kids didn’t like that since they wanted real gifts, but it’s certainly entertaining. You can give the puffy shirt to someone as his/her only gift or just as something humorous to add along with the other gift(s).
Christmas Gag Gift: Leg Lamp
The infamous leg lamp from A Christmas Story. But be careful, it’s “fra-gee-lay” (fragile). You could actually buy the full-sized lamp, but for something humorous and less expensive, check out the new The Unforgettable Leg Lamp Hallmark Christmas ornament.
Christmas Gag Gift: Jelly of the Month Club Enrollment
Ok, you don’t really have to spend money on a jelly club membership. You could just print off a little certificate that says, “You’ve been enrolled in a one year membership to the “Jelly of the Month Club.” Anyone who has seen Christmas Vacation will immediately start quoting Cousin Eddie lines, like “That’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year, Clark.”
You can create a gag gift out of any club membership or other idea. Just type up and print out a certificate and hand it to the unsuspecting recipient. (If you want a real gift, there are memberships in jelly clubs, beer clubs, meat clubs, etc.)
Christmas Gag Gift: Toilet Paper
I won’t get in to the abundance of strange, crude, or inappropriate things you could write on the card as you present this gag gift. There’s just something about being given toilet paper that is unexpected and humorous. It’s also a functional gift, too. If you are interested, you can check out the websites that create specialized toilet paper. You can have the gift recipient’s name imprinted on the toilet paper or you can add images to your liking.
If you want the gift recipient to think of you when s/he looks at the gift you’ve given, you may want to go with something else! As a side note, specialized toilet paper can also be ordered as a wedding present for a newlywed couple and for political gag gifts (there is toilet paper with George W. Bush’s face on it).
Christmas Gag Gift: Fruit Cake
It seems like every store sells fruit cakes, though no one seems to like them. Overly sweetened, hardened candied fruit is just not all that tasty, but it’s certainly fun to give to someone as you quietly laugh about it on the sidelines.
Christmas Gag Gift: Opposing Team Gear
This idea came from my mother, and I think it’s a great one. If you have someone like me, who is a diehard fan of the University of Iowa Hawkeyes, you could buy me some Iowa State Cyclone socks, golf tees, or any other cheap little gift. This would work with any team and its rival. You can do intrastate rivals, conference rivals, any athletic rivalry will do.
Christmas Gag Gift: Fake Recipe
Have you ever tasted something so bad that you wondered if someone was actually just messing with you? Could they really serve you something so bad without knowing it? If you want to do something humorous, take a “fake” dish to a party or serve it to guests in your home. You can tell them that this recipe was handed down from generation to generation. Tell them it’s a super secret recipe and it’s near and dear to your heart. Add a strange and bad tasting ingredient to the dish without telling anyone. Everyone at the table will be too nice to tell you how bad it is, but you’ll sit there throughout the dinner, knowing that you’ve put them through an excruciating taste adventure and they don’t even know it. It’s up to you whether you want to tell them about your gag immediately after the dinner or if you want to wait until years later. This idea came from my sister (as you can see, our families enjoy fun).
Christmas Gag Gift: Fake Parking Tickets
You can print these on your own or you can order realistic looking fake parking tickets from sites like prankplace.com. Some of the driving offenses listed on PrankPlace are “Driving a Hunk of Crap,” “Inventing a Parking Space,” and “Parking While Under the Influence of Rap Music.” I have made my own fake parking tickets before just on regular paper. I wrote, “You have parked illegally. You are now officially placed under citizen’s arrest. You will not go to jail if you pay Jill $100.”