Thursday, November 20, 2008

Excuse me while I rant...

... about magazine gift guides.  Yeah, ok, I know they're print media, and not online, and that they don't really matter.   But I like to gather and then disseminate information, so I try to read all the magazine gift guides anyway.  And sometimes, like in the cases of Lucky and Domino, the guides aren't too bad.

However, this is a rant about crummy gift guides, and I have two examples to share.  The first, in Elle Decor, should be called the "Recession Denial" gift guide.  Yes, I know that Elle Decor is a snooty interior design mag (although it pales in comparison to Architectural Digest).  But, really, does anyone right now want to buy someone a $4,500 Kelly Wearstler brass box (although it makes the Ralph Lauren $2,895 boxes on the facing page look like a relative bargain).  And the boxes are understandably empty, since ostensibly you've blown your entire gift budget on the one item, and can't even afford a pack of gum to grace the inside.
Here's some more Decor craziness:
  • Four Ikat place mats for $270 (that look like you could've picked them up at Anthropologie)
  • Photo cases for $7,400 (empty as well)
  • A very furry and purple Hermes clutch for $2,450
  • A panoply of lower priced items so generic, they could be given to any number of strangers rather than your friends.
Some guides specialize in items that will offend no one but won't please anyone, either. InStyle's gift guide is stuffed full of 'em.  Check this out:
  • A bright pink travel backgammon set (that's some gaming)
  • $300 Victoria Beckham rainbow hued sunglasses for that Oleson twin reject look
  • Lots of (again) empty boxes
  • Crappy fake sparkly jewelry, suitable only for little girls but with big girl prices.
Is any of this stuff worth giving?  Does any of it match up with anyone you know?  It's so uncreative, so hopelessly spoon fed to lazy editors by rabid product pr specialists.  God, I'd rather just resort to the (god forbid) gift certificate route.

Thanks for humoring the rant.  I'll be back with the real gift ideas tomorrow.

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