Holiday Gifts

In the collective imagination during the holidays—at least as defined by the nonstop reruns of A Christmas Story—mouthing off gets you exactly one thing: a bar of soap between the chompers. But for Ralphie and the rest of us, unsavory consequences don’t reliably keep us on the straight and narrow. As the classic line (attributed to Mae West and others) goes, “Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.” There’s just too much living to do, and if that means proverbial coal in the stocking, it will be well earned.

What defines naughty and nice anyhow? At a time when cannabis is booming business and brands tout sex-positive values, ours is not a clear-cut world of sinners and saints, punishments and rewards. Still, a playful riff on the theme has a way of livening up any gift exchange, whether you’re shopping for the good, the bad, or the friend who has everything.

Khristina Jireh Gonzales