The 2019 Rift Ride

Generosity through the lens of psychological warfare.

BY  Joe Rosenthal
Pizza Hut Pan Pizza in a Helen Levi bowl.
Photo: Joe Rosenthal
Kids' Polo Bear Cotton Sweater by Ralph Lauren Boys 8–20
Ralph Lauren Boys 8–20
Kids' Polo Bear Cotton Sweater
$145
Buy it for that guy who isn't quite worth the price of men's clothing.
Deluxe Emergency 30-Day Food Supply), Net Weight 20 lbs. 7 oz. by Augason Farms
Augason Farms
Deluxe Emergency 30-Day Food Supply), Net Weight 20 lbs. 7 oz.
$78.67
Need to shed a friend that just won't take a hint? Set them up with with a proper doomsday prepper lifestyle, and they'll probably never want to deal with you again. Or they'll get sucked into the whole thing; they'll make prepper friends, and they'll be too busy fortifying their home and collecting resources to bother you ever again. Especially effective for friends in apartments. Stick with the pail and multiples thereof—I don't know what the packs are precisely, and no one answering the questions on Amazon seems sensible.
Candy Canes 1000 Piece Puzzle by Go! Games
Go! Games
Candy Canes 1000 Piece Puzzle
$19.95
Great for puzzle enthusiasts. No one has completed this puzzle, and no one ever will.
Mattress by Loom and Leaf
Loom and Leaf
Mattress
$849–1,799
This is a very nice and extremely heavy mattress—the queen-sized is 184 pounds. For the small apartment-dweller, you can go the route of buying a mattress that's a size larger than the current one owned by the recipient (and possibly repeat this the next year). Or there's the riskier option of going one size smaller than the recipient's current mattress, and you emphasize how incredible the mattress is. If you end up getting someone to transition to a twin-sized mattress, you're a monster, but please let me know.
Toilet Paper, 27 Count by Scott
Scott
Toilet Paper, 27 Count
$19.99
Buy as much as you can afford and undermine their bathroom experience for a lifetime with what some say is the most uncomfortable toilet paper that you can buy. The value proposition of this large supply of toilet paper may pit partners against each other and destroy lives—use with caution. And if you need convincing, read this review.
Gift Card by Netflix
Netflix
Gift Card
$107.88
Buy the gift card, use it to create a Netflix account for them on the Basic Streaming Plan and give them the account information. You should have enough on the card to cover a year. The Basic plan isn't high-definition, so they'll be stuck watching garbage-looking low-resolution videos for a year.
Pixel 4 by Google
Google
Pixel 4
$799 (Pixel 4), $899 (Pixel 4 XL)
For the person you desperately need out of a group chat. Or, if not, direct the ire of the group chat toward them once the chat balloons become irreparably green.
Wii U Console 8GB Basic Set - White (Renewed) by Nintendo
Nintendo
Wii U Console 8GB Basic Set - White (Renewed)
$241.49
This is not the latest Nintendo console—this is an old one. It will not play the new Pokémon game. And this will be pretty frustrating when you combine it with a gift of Pokémon Sword or Shield that they won't be able to play (or maybe just include the suggestion that the recipient can now play those games).
Red 2 4K Blu-ray by Summit Entertainment
Summit Entertainment
Red 2 4K Blu-ray
$17.98
Include the note from the box, 'even better than the original,' which is great if they've never seen the original Red. Even better if they don't have a Blu-ray player. Get everyone their own copy if you're dealing with a group—everyone must own a copy.
Sammie Voice-Activated Spider Pet; Ages 5 up by Yellies!
Yellies!
Sammie Voice-Activated Spider Pet; Ages 5 up
$12.41
“The louder you yell, the faster they go.” The child of your nemesis will love it.
Wood Box Signs with Inspirational Saying by SANY DAYO HOME
SANY DAYO HOME
Wood Box Signs with Inspirational Saying
$9.99
There's probably someone who will love this, and you won't upset them by giving them this gift, but you'll contribute to the mediocrity of their home decor, and you can relish in that fact, I guess.
#10 Can Alta Cucina "Naturale" Style Plum Tomatoes - 6/Case by Stanislaus
Stanislaus
#10 Can Alta Cucina "Naturale" Style Plum Tomatoes - 6/Case
$24.30/Case
Perfect for those in small apartments who like to make pizza. Be sure to leverage the volume discount for three cases or more to get them over 100 pounds of tomato. It will likely have to become a chair in their living room. Throw in a bag or two of flour to go with it.
UltraFine 4K Display by LG
LG
UltraFine 4K Display
$699.95
This is a truly excellent monitor for photographers and others who need great color reproduction. But it's really built for Mac (and to a lesser extent, the iPad), that is to say, there isn't a single button to control the monitor, and all functionality is controlled through MacOS or iPadOS. So get it for the Windows-using photographer in your life. They'll eventually probably be able to use this, but it'll never be quite right.
Gift Card by Pizzeria Beddia (Philadelphia)
Pizzeria Beddia (Philadelphia)
Gift Card
$250
Include a note ‘Enjoy the Hoagie Room with six of your friends. Call to make a reservation.’ They won't be thrilled when they learn that the Pizzeria Beddia Hoagie Room costs $75 per person for six people, plus the cost of drinks, tax, and tip. This gift card doesn't really cut it. Bonus points if they're not in the Philadelphia area.
Signature Semi-Gloss Latex Tintable Paint, 5-Gallon by Valspar
Valspar
Signature Semi-Gloss Latex Tintable Paint, 5-Gallon
$161
Great for those in a new home in need of interior painting. This is great quality paint. Get this paint in a dark color, and see if they paint a room with it. If you notice that they've used the paint, follow up with a discordant color for the next holiday or birthday, and see if they continue to paint. If so, you should assume that the recipient will paint ad infimum, and you should proceed with caution, but probably also with more paint gifts.
Gift Card by Marathon
Marathon
Gift Card
$5-500
OK, so don't run out and buy a Marathon gas card thinking you're going to cause distress for someone—you won't necessarily. What you need to do is get a gas gift card for a gas station in the area in which Christmas is taking place, for a person that flew to that area. So get a Marathon gas gift card for the person from California that flew into northeast Ohio. Or a Stewart's gas gift card for the person from Ohio that flew into upstate NY.
Toilet Paper Blasters Sheet Storm by TP Blaster
TP Blaster
Toilet Paper Blasters Sheet Storm
$34.99
Must have for the kids of someone you deeply dislike. It's like Nerf, except it shoots toilet paper instead. Probably pairs really well with the Scott toilet paper in this Rift Ride, but note that the Toilet Paper Blaster suggests double ply toilet paper. I don't know exactly what will happen with single-ply paper, but I'd imagine it'll be a mess.
Kids' Polo Bear Cotton Sweater by Ralph Lauren Boys 8–20
Ralph Lauren Boys 8–20
Kids' Polo Bear Cotton Sweater
$145
Buy it for that guy who isn't quite worth the price of men's clothing.
Pixel 4 by Google
Google
Pixel 4
$799 (Pixel 4), $899 (Pixel 4 XL)
For the person you desperately need out of a group chat. Or, if not, direct the ire of the group chat toward them once the chat balloons become irreparably green.
UltraFine 4K Display by LG
LG
UltraFine 4K Display
$699.95
This is a truly excellent monitor for photographers and others who need great color reproduction. But it's really built for Mac (and to a lesser extent, the iPad), that is to say, there isn't a single button to control the monitor, and all functionality is controlled through MacOS or iPadOS. So get it for the Windows-using photographer in your life. They'll eventually probably be able to use this, but it'll never be quite right.
Deluxe Emergency 30-Day Food Supply), Net Weight 20 lbs. 7 oz. by Augason Farms
Augason Farms
Deluxe Emergency 30-Day Food Supply), Net Weight 20 lbs. 7 oz.
$78.67
Need to shed a friend that just won't take a hint? Set them up with with a proper doomsday prepper lifestyle, and they'll probably never want to deal with you again. Or they'll get sucked into the whole thing; they'll make prepper friends, and they'll be too busy fortifying their home and collecting resources to bother you ever again. Especially effective for friends in apartments. Stick with the pail and multiples thereof—I don't know what the packs are precisely, and no one answering the questions on Amazon seems sensible.
Wii U Console 8GB Basic Set - White (Renewed) by Nintendo
Nintendo
Wii U Console 8GB Basic Set - White (Renewed)
$241.49
This is not the latest Nintendo console—this is an old one. It will not play the new Pokémon game. And this will be pretty frustrating when you combine it with a gift of Pokémon Sword or Shield that they won't be able to play (or maybe just include the suggestion that the recipient can now play those games).
Gift Card by Pizzeria Beddia (Philadelphia)
Pizzeria Beddia (Philadelphia)
Gift Card
$250
Include a note ‘Enjoy the Hoagie Room with six of your friends. Call to make a reservation.’ They won't be thrilled when they learn that the Pizzeria Beddia Hoagie Room costs $75 per person for six people, plus the cost of drinks, tax, and tip. This gift card doesn't really cut it. Bonus points if they're not in the Philadelphia area.
Candy Canes 1000 Piece Puzzle by Go! Games
Go! Games
Candy Canes 1000 Piece Puzzle
$19.95
Great for puzzle enthusiasts. No one has completed this puzzle, and no one ever will.
Red 2 4K Blu-ray by Summit Entertainment
Summit Entertainment
Red 2 4K Blu-ray
$17.98
Include the note from the box, 'even better than the original,' which is great if they've never seen the original Red. Even better if they don't have a Blu-ray player. Get everyone their own copy if you're dealing with a group—everyone must own a copy.
Signature Semi-Gloss Latex Tintable Paint, 5-Gallon by Valspar
Valspar
Signature Semi-Gloss Latex Tintable Paint, 5-Gallon
$161
Great for those in a new home in need of interior painting. This is great quality paint. Get this paint in a dark color, and see if they paint a room with it. If you notice that they've used the paint, follow up with a discordant color for the next holiday or birthday, and see if they continue to paint. If so, you should assume that the recipient will paint ad infimum, and you should proceed with caution, but probably also with more paint gifts.
Mattress by Loom and Leaf
Loom and Leaf
Mattress
$849–1,799
This is a very nice and extremely heavy mattress—the queen-sized is 184 pounds. For the small apartment-dweller, you can go the route of buying a mattress that's a size larger than the current one owned by the recipient (and possibly repeat this the next year). Or there's the riskier option of going one size smaller than the recipient's current mattress, and you emphasize how incredible the mattress is. If you end up getting someone to transition to a twin-sized mattress, you're a monster, but please let me know.
Sammie Voice-Activated Spider Pet; Ages 5 up by Yellies!
Yellies!
Sammie Voice-Activated Spider Pet; Ages 5 up
$12.41
“The louder you yell, the faster they go.” The child of your nemesis will love it.
Gift Card by Marathon
Marathon
Gift Card
$5-500
OK, so don't run out and buy a Marathon gas card thinking you're going to cause distress for someone—you won't necessarily. What you need to do is get a gas gift card for a gas station in the area in which Christmas is taking place, for a person that flew to that area. So get a Marathon gas gift card for the person from California that flew into northeast Ohio. Or a Stewart's gas gift card for the person from Ohio that flew into upstate NY.
Toilet Paper, 27 Count by Scott
Scott
Toilet Paper, 27 Count
$19.99
Buy as much as you can afford and undermine their bathroom experience for a lifetime with what some say is the most uncomfortable toilet paper that you can buy. The value proposition of this large supply of toilet paper may pit partners against each other and destroy lives—use with caution. And if you need convincing, read this review.
Wood Box Signs with Inspirational Saying by SANY DAYO HOME
SANY DAYO HOME
Wood Box Signs with Inspirational Saying
$9.99
There's probably someone who will love this, and you won't upset them by giving them this gift, but you'll contribute to the mediocrity of their home decor, and you can relish in that fact, I guess.
Toilet Paper Blasters Sheet Storm by TP Blaster
TP Blaster
Toilet Paper Blasters Sheet Storm
$34.99
Must have for the kids of someone you deeply dislike. It's like Nerf, except it shoots toilet paper instead. Probably pairs really well with the Scott toilet paper in this Rift Ride, but note that the Toilet Paper Blaster suggests double ply toilet paper. I don't know exactly what will happen with single-ply paper, but I'd imagine it'll be a mess.
Gift Card by Netflix
Netflix
Gift Card
$107.88
Buy the gift card, use it to create a Netflix account for them on the Basic Streaming Plan and give them the account information. You should have enough on the card to cover a year. The Basic plan isn't high-definition, so they'll be stuck watching garbage-looking low-resolution videos for a year.
#10 Can Alta Cucina "Naturale" Style Plum Tomatoes - 6/Case by Stanislaus
Stanislaus
#10 Can Alta Cucina "Naturale" Style Plum Tomatoes - 6/Case
$24.30/Case
Perfect for those in small apartments who like to make pizza. Be sure to leverage the volume discount for three cases or more to get them over 100 pounds of tomato. It will likely have to become a chair in their living room. Throw in a bag or two of flour to go with it.