As a child, your absolute worst nightmare was that after spending the whole year looking forward to the holidays, all of that buildup would culminate in an utterly disappointing 1-8 nights of socks, coal, or, worst of all, chapter books.
But one of the surest signs of the slightly depressing transition into adulthood is that you start to embrace the things you once hated: Socks? Yes, please! Coal? Sure; let’s save some money on that gas bill this month! Books?! Well…you still don’t have a ton of time to spend reading novels…I mean, Serial just released a new season.
This year, we’ve put together a semi-sensible list of 12 things that every adult and/or large child masquerading as an adult should add to their wishlist. Of course, we still encourage you to ask for more frivolous things, like a 24-karat-gold-plated truffle slicer, or whatever Gwyneth Paltrow is toting this year. But if your friends and family need a late-Hanukkah push in the right direction, or your out-of-touch aunt drew your name for the gift exchange, and you’re scared of what kind of terrible poncho she might knit up for you, feel free to slide a few of these reasonable suggestions their way, you grown-up, you.
- A miniature zen garden: Because miniature things are cute!!!!!!!! (And that might help you ignore the fact that you’re only pushing sand around in a tiny little box to distract yourself from realizing how much you hate your job!!)
- A hot steam humidifier: Asking for a humidifier as a gift is straight-up painful. It really and truly requires you to admit to yourself, your friends, and your family that you have left your childhood in the dust (literally) and are fully ready to embrace middle age. Yuck. However…THIS HUMIDIFIER WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE AND YOU SHOULD TOTALLY ASK FOR ONE.
- Etched Globe Whiskey Glasses: If you have to become an adult, you should be the Ron Swanson-type of adult as often as possible. Imagine: someday, you’ll be sitting in front of a fire and sipping Lagavulin out of these babies, fondly reminiscing upon your years of world traveling…until then, throwing back watered-down Wild Turkey while trying not to think about your bank account will suffice.
- Drinkwel “Life of the Party” Vitamin Pack: In case you forget that your body no longer handles that Wild Turkey like it used to.
- Shower speakers: The day that you move into your own apartment and officially stop sharing a living space with rando roommates curated from Craigslist is a BIG one in any young adult’s life. Celebrate moving out this year by really stepping up your singing-in-the-shower game—you deserve it (and frankly, your take on Whitney’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” could probably use some accompaniment).
- 1 Page at a Time: A Daily Creative Companion: Sometimes being an adult means temporarily working at a soul-sucking corporate job to pay your rent. That’s fine, but keep exercising your creative brain (and retaining your sanity) by working on this book’s fun prompts and activities after-hours.
- An “I Remembered My Grocery Bag!” Tote: The ultimate sign of adulthood used to be keeping a plastic grocery bag full of plastic grocery bags under your sink; these days, it’s more about being eco-friendly and celebrating the small victories in life, and this Emily McDowell tote does both simultaneously…assuming that you remember it.
- A classy pair of pajamas: Nothing makes you feel like you have your life together quite like spending your Sunday mornings drinking coffee and lounging around in your crisp, piped, unisex pajama set. Who knows where that new, fatherly confidence will lead to next? A subscription to The Wall Street Journal?!
- A space heater: Why am I too cheap to pay for heat? Why are my hands and feet always cold these days? Am I turning into my mother??? All of these questions, and more, can be resolved with your own personal space heater.
- A cordless vacuum: If you’re not yet enough of an adult to not eat cookies in bed, but you are enough of an adult to later feel super self-conscious and weird about the crumbs, keep one of these on-hand.
- A donation to a nonprofit/charity you care about: Because selflessness is the true sign of maturity.
- And a plane ticket home for the holidays, because this year, you actually miss your family—holiday-related drama and all. Aghh, being an adult is so weird.