When you’re ejected out of the back-end of winter finals week, still jittery from caffeine, sugar and mind-blitzingly few hours of sleep, your parents and family usually worry. And no, the worry isn’t that you’ve just written the equivalent of two doctoral theses, or that your gums are still bleeding from not drinking enough water while out of your mind in Connecticut Hall, nor is it that you’ve somehow managed to lose an obscene amount of weight or that your skin is gray. It’s really something worse: You obviously haven’t been Christmas shopping. Your bags are fully of greasy clothes, not shiny new gifts crafted by nifty elves.

“It’s the 23rd of December, for christsakes,” they say.

“150 pages … poststructuralist … orgo … four-hour final,” you mumble, clenching your hands to get the circulation back to the fingertips after 65 hours of solid typing.

“I don’t care if you’ve been at a post-structuralist orgy, your sister has bought you a present and your brother has bought you a present and your grandpa has bought you a present, not to mention us,” they reply.

So, on your behalf and in the interest of Yalies’ sleep post-finals, scene scoured the Internet for good gift ideas and found a few — to say the least. But don’t just take it from us: We’ve included happy shoppers’ online responses.


Top pick: Argos Value Juice Extractor, £6.00 from


A small, cheap and functional juicer — perfect for the overwrought mom who’s just discovered the juicing craze.

Alan from Essex, who would recommend this product to a friend wrote: “The price is good, used it three times but it does leak out of the bottom, not much.

It is easy to clean, it does the job that I want it to do and as I said the price right why pay more?” [sic]


Top pick: MANGROOMER Essential Nose and Ear Hair Trimmer, $12.95

Does dad’s Confucius-length nostril hair embarrass you in front of friends and significant others? Then this gift is perfect for him. More expensive versions of this neat toy, lit in different and exciting ways, often adorn the cover of “The Sharper Image” catalog and are at the top of the Web site, which begs the question: How much nostril hair is there in the world?

J.Silvia from Denver, CO recommends it: “Overall I’m pleased with this purchase. As men age we grow hair in places where we don’t need it. I say trim that hair away.”


Top pick: “Snow Blow” legal cocaine alternative, $13.18 a gram from elegalhighs.com

This white powder may not be exactly what John or Jane was looking for, but users have, on the whole, been pleased.

Joshua wrote: “it definatly [sic] keeps you up! good work! i got this product as a freebee and will certinly [sic] be a returning customer”


Top pick: BAKUGAN BakuSOLAR B3 Blue Atmos Falcon w/ largest wings, $19.99 from Ebay.com

The young’uns will LOVE this faddish Asian toy. Not sure what it is, but the tagline speaks for itself: “Unreleased!!! It has the largest wings of any Bakugan!!” Also, the seller claims it is incredibly rare, has never been played with (hence no customer reviews) and that he ensures “100 percent customer satisfaction.”


Top pick: Kindle: $259.00, amazon.com

Okay, it’s more than a little pricier than the rest of the gifts on this list, but when have your grandparents ever given you a present that has sucked? Never — grandparents always give magical presents that are freakishly useful/books that are wondrously good/totems that may or may not have an evil demon working on your behalf hidden within them. So splash out on the Kindle and give your grandparents the magic of reading, combined with the magic of technology and the magic of the written word bundled into a sleek gray casing.

Says Jeison: “it is what it is and it does what it says it will do. what else do you need to know?”


Worst pick: Bromo-dragonFLY, gray area psychedelic, $80.00 a half gram from your local dealer

When reviews of a drug on trip report site erowid.org start with the words “Given the fact that I am still alive today, I feel it my responsibility to report on the hell that has been the past few days,” (‘Joan Miro,’ Oct. 12, 2009), and continuing with “For the next hour I was in a nearly catatonic state, unable and not wanting to move,” you’d better leave it alone.