By Iliza Shlesinger
Dec 19, 2017 @ 4:15 pm
Deborah Feingold Photography

Iliza Shlesinger is a comedian and author. Her new book, Girl Logic: The Genius and the Absurdity, is out now. Here, she shares her anti-holiday gift guide picks, from star registries to sex toys.

Ah, the holidays. A time for putting a Snapchat filter on your grandma and Instagramming old pictures of your parents when they looked (and were) stoned. While the season has become much more self-aware for our generation, one thing that has never changed is our expectation that, without telling anyone what we want, someone will gift us the perfect present.

As someone who has spent a lifetime grinning her way through “thoughtful” yet terrible gifts (oh, cool, this sweatshirt with my own face on it and fringe? Thaaank you…), I thought I might impart some sage wisdom on the topic of what NOT to gift. Not that I didn’t love the Despacito CD from my cousin, it’s just … where am I gonna play that? Anyway, I’m here to help you with your presents because, after all, it’s the thought that counts, especially when you think your gift is terrible.

BATH KITS

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While many girls love baths, most don't love the compilation of products in these all-inclusive, SLS-laden chemical baskets. No one wants a basket of ALL ROSE-SCENTED lotion, body wash, bath salts, scrub, and body spray. What gets me is how they package it to look like the whole product line has come from a centuries-old royal English soap company with a faux Anglo name like “Toadsburry and Swine.” It came from CVS, it came shrink-wrapped, and it’s been on their shelf for years. Don’t put that stuff on your body.

ANYTHING EMBOSSED REFERENCING YOUR DEPENDENCY TO COFFEE

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“Don’t talk to me before I’ve had my coffee.” “No coffee, no talk-y.” We get it—you’re a monster that can’t afford to be decent until you’ve had a stimulant in the morning. But you’re part of a society and a community, and you really should do your best to not attack loved ones and coworkers because you haven’t had your liquid drugs. Don’t be so proud of your addiction. It’s not cute. Show some restraint and try to not advertise your inability to be a person in the mornings.

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A TREE PLANTED IN YOUR NAME

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Call me a skeptic, but I don’t believe that they are actually planting them. Also, the certificate is printed on paper, which was maybe someone else’s tree at one point?

A VAGUE DONATION MADE IN YOUR NAME

How dare someone go around giving out money with your name on it, assuming they know which charities you want to support without checking. When you run for president, the opposition is gonna dig deep and see that in 2017 your name was used to donate $15 to the DMDF (Dolphins Must Die Foundation, obviously), and that is going to kill you in the primaries.

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A STAR REGISTRY

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Humans don’t have domain over space. This just feeds into the male ego. You are paying for an idea, not a summer home. If anything, I’d prefer a faraway planet. Because if you have to evacuate Earth, you can’t, like, go to your star, even in theory. Also, good luck ever looking it up. “Your star is located in the Control Alt Delete Urasawa Crab Rangoon Nebula Lambda RA20h11m42.76s D66deg48m5.66s.” Just type it in on Waze, you’ll find it.

ANY CANDLE YOU DIDNT SPECIFICALLY ASK FOR

Obviously a regift.

PANTS

Don’t be a weirdo.

WINE YOU CAN FIND AT THE GROCERY STORE FOR UNDER $15

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I know you got this for me at the grocery store on the way over. If you’re presenting this as your holiday “gift,” just get me the shrink-wrapped bath kit instead.

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ROŚE ALL DAY/CHARDONNAY AND SLAY/FEMINIST WITH A TO-DO LIST

It’s on glasses, handbags, cups, shirts ... Chardonnay and slay? So, drink wine and kill someone? Doesn’t feel stable. It’s cool to display your opinions, but don’t think that wearing the “feminist" on a glitter tote makes you woke. Sure, I would love to see more men carrying duffels that say, “STRONG MAN TAKING CARE OF HIS FAMILY AND LISTENING WHEN HIS WIFE SPEAKS.” But truthfully, I prefer to just vote and be outspoken about my opinions at holiday parties.

AN ORCHID

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An orchid, in my opinion, is like a curse. They are fickle yet resilient. And, unlike many gifted flowers, just because the bloom has died, doesn’t mean the orchid is dead. Instead of throwing it out and getting new flowers, you’re left waiting on a pot of green leaves and a stem and you can’t throw it out BECAUSE IT’S STILL ALIVE! It’s an unbloomed burden, and every time you pick it up to throw it away, you hear a Monty Python British accent go, “I’m not dead.”

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A SEX TOY

Back off, Matt Lauer, you’re my boss.