Ah, the festive mug, holiday staple of office “Secret Santas,” relatives you see but once a year, and teenagers who have a budget of $7. We’ve all spent many holiday seasons attempting to summon the correct facial expression that conveys that nothing in Aladdin’s Cave of Wonders could have possibly made us happier than this bulbous snowman mug, and then, in our own hypocrisy, we’ve quickly swiveled to check for the exact same response from Cousin Lydia, to whom we’ve gifted a pink polka dot teacup.
Well, enough, I say. Enough lies meant to disguise the fact that the only thing we know for sure about our friends and family is that they consume liquid. The holidays are a time for brutal honesty, and that’s why you need to know why no one, and I mean no one, wants any of these seasonal mugs from you.
The Face Eater
Listen, nobody has ever settled down on a chilly winter’s eve and thought “You know what I need? Three quarts of hot cocoa and a marshmallow the size of my liver.” Comically oversized seasonal mugs are irresponsible on every level. They encourage people to drink enough caffeine to get a camel high, and when full, they weigh as much as a newborn baby Jesus. Since you’re too feeble with mittens to pick them up, you get the unique holiday experience of burning your forehead when you lean over the cup to slurp out of it. STOP GIVING THEM TO PEOPLE.
The Christmas Peacock
An important word about how time works in this broken world: Due to rampant consumerism, the Christmas season begins on August 15. For the next five months, we are positively bombarded with tidings of comfort and joy. We will spend hours in lines at malls, humming “The Carol Of The Bells” at an ever more frantic pace, and replacing at least two of our three daily meals with gingerbread, all leading toward the inevitable climactic orgy of gift giving to commemorate a family who lived on a donkey.
By 7:00 PM on that most Holy of Days, we are all sick of the holidays. We never want to see a candy cane again in our lives, or at least until August 15. Therefore, when you give someone an ultra-Christmasy mug on December 25, they should rightly throw it directly through the window just behind your head. No one wants to see a Santa face on December 26. No one.
The Alien Material
The mug is a versatile drinking gourd, meant to be sturdy and ready for work. Instead, you are choosing to give people a chalice made out of glass, a material so fragile that it took a fairy godmother to turn it into shoes. The festive glass mug will look ethereal and graceful for approximately 19 seconds, at which point the recipient will put it down as they would a normal mug, converting it into a shrapnel bomb of mulled wine and shards. This is not an appropriate holiday gift. It is terrorist plot.
The Behatted Lady
What do you give someone who is too good for a regular crappy seasonal mug? Why, a mug with a hat on it, of course. It’s a regular mug, but worse! Mugs who go through the haberdashery might seem fancy, but they’re really just useless. “But you can keep your tea warm!” you might insist. My dear, the average human attention span is now approximately check the beginning of the sentence because you’ve already gotten distracted, haven’t you?
In our exhausting world, we are lucky to remember not to pour coffee directly down our throats. Asking anyone to keep track of a mug accessory is asking too much. By February, I promise you, the recipient of a hat-cup will find the topper abandoned in the back of a cupboard and vaguely think “What does this go to? Oh! That mug I broke on New Year’s.”