One Question Quiz
Children decorating senior man with Christmas decorations in yard

SocietyDecember 17, 2018

Gift ideas for your terrible relative that aren’t another box of sampler biscuits

Children decorating senior man with Christmas decorations in yard

What do you get your drunk uncle for Christmas? What about your aunty who believes in conspiracy theories? Or your cousin’s wife who is super racist? Emily Writes has your back.

Buying Christmas presents is heaps of fun when you like the people you’re buying presents for. But what if you get the family dickhead in the Secret Santa? And what do you do when you realise you’ve given your grandfather a Griffins Sampler Box of biscuits for the last 12 years?

Well, fear not. I have exactly the gift guide that you need. Here’s a complete list of how to buy for the family members who make you wonder if you’re adopted.

Your drunk uncle 

Your drunk uncle is awfully handsy when he gives you a hug. He thinks the #metoo movement is just out of control. Everything is too PC these days. How is he even meant to talk to a woman if they get so offended so easily? While he’s taking a break from telling a woman in the Stuff comments section that women are always asking for it, make a donation to Wellington Rape Crisis in his name. This year Wellington Rape Crisis marked its 40th year supporting survivors in the capital. You could also consider a donation to Rape Prevention Education. These incredible folks work to prevent sexual violence through the delivery of education and health promotion and prevention activities.

Your aunty who thinks vaccines cause autism

Cut off your aunty who thinks Big Pharma invented HPV and polio doesn’t exist with the gift of a vaccine! Since 1980, UNICEF has helped quadruple immunisation rates for children worldwide, saving an estimated 2 million to 3 million young lives a year. Despite their progress, 15,000 children around the world are still dying from vaccine-preventable diseases every day. That’s 1.5 million children every year. Donate to Unicef’s immunisation efforts in the name of your idiot aunty.

Your cousin’s girlfriend who keeps insisting she’s “not racist” but won’t shut the fuck up about tearayomarry

So many options! You can donate to Maori Language Net to keep their resources going. You can buy her copies of Maori Made Easy: For Everyday Learners of the Maori Language by Scotty Morrison. Or you can donate to your local kōhanga reo! Te Kōhanga Reo is a Māori development initiative, aimed at maintaining and strengthening Māori language and philosophies within a cultural framework inspired by kaumātua in 1982. There are currently over 460 Kōhanga Reo throughout Aotearoa.

The transphobic girlfriend of your aunty, who is otherwise a good person

Why is your aunty with this horrible woman? You’ll never know. But you can make a donation to Gender Minorities Aotearoa in her name to combat some of her horrible bigotry. Gender Minorities Aotearoa has a vision is for all takatāpui, transgender, and intersex people to be empowered by a full range of choices across all aspects of their lives, and to be able to participate fully in society. While she’s fizzing at her present, take your aunty aside and see if you can offer her a spare room or something.

Your nephew who has somehow turned into a libertarian who listens to Joe Rogan podcasts

Give him a copy of the DVD The Mask You Live In. This documentary looks at how toxic masculinity is hurting men. It also looks at what we can all do to support all of our sons, brothers, husbands, and fathers to reject sexism and negotiate narrow definition of masculinity. He can also take the pledge to use his voice to challenge society’s limiting representations of gender. Also, subscribe him to the On The Rag podcast.

Your grandmother who keeps saying that letting your son wear a dress will make him confused

Buy her Boys Will be Boys by Clementine Ford and make her read it. Then buy your son a tutu.

Your brother-in-law who thinks there’s no poverty in New Zealand 

Sponsor a child in New Zealand in his name through Variety. Every day, more than 1 in 4 of our kids go without the basics that most of us take for granted. For $45 a month you can give a child what they need and get updates on how they’re doing from Variety. As a sponsor, your self-absorbed brother-in-law will provide a disadvantaged Kiwi kid with basic essentials like bedding, a school uniform and shoes — and access to important life opportunities like going to school camp and getting swimming lessons

Your stepbrother who thinks you can cure depression by taking a walk and eating leafy vegetables

Donate to Lifeline in their name. Lifeline doesn’t just provide phone counselling, they have resources and Specialist Counselling to parents with dependent children. In response to New Zealand’s appalling suicide rate, Lifeline are working on a Zero Suicide Workplace initiative that includes on-the-job training for employers.

Your mother who has been married four times but has a huge amount of advice for you about your relationship

If you go to any online bookstore there are about one hundred books about being happy alone. The Art of Living Alone And Loving It, How To Be Happy Alone etc. Or give her that Cheryl Strayed book everyone loves. The gift of a passive aggressive gift is really a gift to you. Nobody has the right to judge you for your relationship status.

Your brother who hasn’t changed a nappy in his life despite having three kids but needs to tell you that your kids will sleep if you just get a sleep trainer like they did

Can you punch your brother? If not, may I suggest my book Is it Bedtime Yet which shows all the different experiences people have with parenting. It’s guaranteed* to usually make people not be such dickheads after reading it.

*It’s not. But it’s good I reckon.


More Christmas gift and charity giving guides

Kirihimete gift guide: how to support Māori businesses and makers this Christmas

The gaming gift guide for non-gamers this Christmas

How to give ethically this Christmas (without giving someone a goat)

Christmas giving: what local charities really want you to donate

Here’s how you can best support charities this Christmas



Keep going!