- Dear Hipster:
- I almost always have a really hard time buying gifts for people. Birthdays are tough enough, but this time of year is all but impossible, seeing as how there are so many people on my shopping list. My wife and I have agreed to combine the majority of our shopping so that we can find a single gift that works for everybody. I was humblebragging about our clever plan the other day, and a few friends came down on me pretty hard over being “too lazy for Christmas.” I felt like the plan was sound, but now I’m in crisis. Is it cool of me to get a one-size-fits-all gift? Help me, Hipster Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope!
- — Luke (haha not really)
Well, well, well, it looks like somebody’s just a little too excited about The Force Awakens. I don’t think I can help with your biggest problem — that of you being an incurable fanboy — but if you’re looking for coolness absolution, then that is my early Christmas gift to you, sir.
Your friends were out of line in harshly judging your gift idea; in no small part because deciding what is and isn’t cool is my job, and I don’t take kindly to unqualified coolness judges marching all over my turf with their barefoot shoes and unwarranted high-fives. The best part of giving as you intend to is that you can indulge the time-honored hipster tradition of breaking with mainstream consumer culture by making your gifts into a work of artistic self-expression. If you’ve ever received any holiday gifts from your hipster friends, then surely you must know that hipsters seize on any opportunity to produce thoughtfully quirky handicrafts. Nothing says nondenominational hipster christmas (little c) gifts like jars of pickled eggs, some hand-infused cocktail bitters bearing a carefully antiqued label, ironically cheerless stockings decorated with iron-on patches for death-metal bands, homemade mustache wax (no, I will not give up my secret recipe...that is what “secret” means), or sepia-toned postcards depicting the gift-giver’s French bulldog getting up to hilarious holiday hijinks.
I hereby grant you permission to give whatever you please, especially if it’s something that puts your own spin on holiday cheer.
- Dear Hipster:
- I do not celebrate any of the mainstream winter holidays. Neither Christmas, nor Chanukah, nor New Age winter solstice deals appeal to me, yet I feel compelled to return people’s various “happy holiday” wishes in kind. How do I find a way to let people know I don’t want to wish them happy anything other than happiness for happiness’ sake?
- — Anonymous
As simultaneously zen and non-mainstream as your feelings are, I’d urge you to remember that there are two kinds of hipsters in this world. There are the annoying ones who make a point of telling everyone about their favorite obscure bands. Then, there are the ones who wait patiently for someone to request their musical opinions, at which point it’s open season on smug diatribes against all things mainstream. Actually, there are as many kinds of hipsters as there are magnificent glittering hues in a Squatty Potty unicorn’s ice cream poop... but I think you get the picture. You hate feeling pressured to show token respect for others’ holiday traditions, so don’t turn that around by awkwardly pressuring other people into observing yours. It’s a fine line. Tread it.