According to behavioral economists, the best gift you can bestow upon a person is cold hard cash. This might be the most efficient way to minimize the "deadweight loss" of the holidays (their term, not ours), but at this time of year, surely only Ebenezer Scrooge dreams of tearing the paper eagerly from an envelope, however bedazzled it may be.
At The Atlantic, our requests this year range from modest (chain-store socks) to practical (cooking classes) to whimsical (a t-shirt gatling gun) to perhaps unrealistic (an extra 100 square feet in a tiny New York City apartment isn't the easiest thing to purchase, let alone wrap). The cheapest present on the list costs less than five bucks; the most expensive comes in around $850,000. Some might inspire gifts for your own loved ones; others are simply insane. But all, for better or worse, are more creative than a bundle of Benjamins wrapped in a bow.
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