unhinged gifts i want
As a society, we have reached peak gift guide. There are gift guides for your cousin’s brother-in-law’s aunt twice removed. Gift guides for the baby in your life whose interests you’re not yet able to divine, but you think they could be a music prodigy with the right kind of ambition. Gift guides for the acquaintance you don’t think you should have to buy a gift for but they bought you that cool mug for your birthday party and now you feel like you owe them.
But this gift guide…this one’s different. It borders on the surreal. I’m not giving away the punchline or anything, but all of these gifts could be either the most special thing you’ve ever given/received, or the most disturbing thing you’ve ever given/received, depending on the parties involved. And if that’s not perfectly brand-right for mixed feelings, I’m not sure what is.
Let it serve as a reminder to continue to stir shit up this season — every season. To be messy. To be abrasive. To experience limerence. (And love.) To cry big fat tears over things real and imagined. To laugh so hard that the only sound you expel is a wheeze.
Happy holidays from team mf and our beloved community.
Ice Spice Chia Pet. “This one is for the baddie trinket collectors (a.k.a. me). I’m such a fan of little knick-knacks and cute objects to put on my shelves, my nightstand — literally any spot in my house that has space. The nostalgia of a Chia Pet combined with the iconic modern-day Princess Diana, Ice Spice? Literally a match made in heaven. Whoever is on her PR team needs a raise! I honestly hope someone gets me this for Christmas this year! Hint!!” — Anya Tisdale, multidisciplinary artist + trinket connoisseur
Janie Korn Custom Human Portrait. “I’ve been obsessed with Janie Korn for many years now and I’ve also been collecting novelty candles for many years now. It feels so good that people are finally seeing the beauty in it. This piece is so perfect for anyone who loves themselves and loves candles. Janie is so good at interpreting already-present things in her own artistic aesthetic. It’s such a fun kooky gift that has the potential to make someone feel so special and maybe a little creeped out. And yes, I’m hinting to everyone in my life to get me a custom portrait candle.” — Ella Emhoff, knit wizard and creator of soft hands knit club
Lionel Messi Crocs “As a die-hard football fan (the Euro one) and supporter of FC Barcelona, but also in my *experimental* fashion era, I know these crocs would really bring the “unhinged” out of me. They’d also probably create a stir of comments in my workplace and personal life. To note: I just f*cking love Messi.” — Ali Farooqui, ice-cold shower proponent & social video producer at
Custom Pet Airbrush Shirts. “Honestly nothing about this gift is unhinged and I’ll say it with my full chest. My friend put me on to this Etsy seller a few years ago. All you need to do is send a photo of your pet and, pending your requested color scheme, you’ll receive a one-of-a-kind airbrushed t-shirt. It’s my favorite silly little shirt and an almost-guaranteed conversation starter.
Zoe Francis’ The Chopine. “I’ve been following Zoe Francis’ antique shop for a while and was super stoked when she launched her own shoe designs. She’s actually making me a custom pair of medieval poulaines, but the truly unhinged ones that I’m salivating over are the chopines she just posted last month. These beauties are inspired by the ridiculously tall shoes upper-class Venetian women wore in the 16th century to flaunt the wealth of their fathers or husbands. For a New Yorker without a car, the thought of stumbling down the subway staircase in a pair of these is horrifying, but the glamour would be worth it?” — Mina Le, costume party hostess & fashion and culture critic
Snorlax Piggybank. “I started Lexapro this year and my copay is a tight 47 cents. It has become a monthly ritual in which I dig into my sad box of coins and pull out exact change to give to my pharmacist. Oddly enough, it’s something that I look forward to. No credit cards, no tap to pay, just pushing my little coins across the counter for my guy to ring up. The ritual would be made even better if my coins weren’t housed in a decrepit vessel. So, I simply must level up with this Snorlax piggy bank, which I will delight in every time I reach into its cavernous belly for pennies, nickels, and dimes. — Mi-Anne Chan, needy bitch & founding editor at
Khaite Black 'The Marcy' Ballerina Flats. “I need an injection of glamor, a dose of the divine, get me 20 CCs of luxury — stat!! There's no reasonable case for ballerina flats, especially on New York City's nasty, broken-glass-everywhere streets. But if I were a different kind of woman (older, wiser, always access to a black car) living a different kind of life (on my second marriage, first one ended under mysterious circumstances involving a bad oyster) this would be my shoe du jour every, um, jour. They are svelte, slinky, luxurious. These shoes say I have everywhere to go and everyone is waiting on me, yet I cannot be governed by something as pedestrian as time. I'd wear them with colorful festive outfits, and regular all-black ensembles, too.” — Hunter Harris, Taylor Swift’s “Seven” stan and writer at
A Reading With A Clairvoyant. “As the patron saint of all things woo-woo, I offer you a session with my psychic Wendy. I have taken to gifting astrology, psychic, mediumship, and past life readings to my closest beloveds whether they believe or not. No reading comes close to my girl Wendy, who is also an Aquarius and would love for you to know she was also head cheerleader and very popular. After meeting her, you'll understand why. She doesn't need cards or bones or tea or information to see your truth. In fact, she will reprimand you for talking while she channels. She just meditates with you for a minute, "becomes" you ~ energetically ~ and tells you your life story. I would mention that she is also psychic to the stars — both Lizzo and SZA see her — but I found Wendy before those bitches and I need you to know that. If your friends aren't QUITE ready to have Wendy all up in your bidness, then might I suggest my very own oracle deck, The Realest Oracle.” — Kendra Austin, diviner, writer, model & content creator
Ear Wax Otoscope. “I wanted to choose something unhinged in a cool, I’m-so-niche-and-quirky way, but then I decided to be honest. Admittedly, this is something that I wanted so sincerely that I already bought it for myself last week on TikTok Shop. It’s an ear cleaning device with a super bright LED light and tiny camera attached to it. You sync it with your phone so that as you’re cleaning your ear, you can see deep into your ear canal. (You can also use it to take weird selfies, like the one I offer to you here.) The experience? Both exhilarating and oddly calming. It reminds me of the “Magic School Bus” episode where they go inside the bloodstream — which, actually, I think about a lot. It also reminds me of my mom <3, who used to clean my ears with a tiny wooden spoon when I was a kid. (Wake up, sheeple: Q-tips are bad for your ears!) If you truly care for someone, what could be more thoughtful than the gift of clean ears?” — Sarah Burke, editor-in-chief at Them
Mermaid Brackets. “The perfect gift for anyone on your list? 8-10 cast iron mermaid brackets. Imagine one long shelf spanning the length of an entire room… chic… Diane Keaton-esque…what’s that holding it up?? 8-10 cast iron mermaid brackets. They’re not like the other brackets because the patina changes over time, much like the ocean itself. Much like you.” — Sam Speedy, drill owner & social media manager at
GameBoy Color Sewing Machine. “I have a “real” sewing machine that I use occasionally but I’d rather refocus all my energy into this cursed mechanism. Around the year 2000, Nintendo made an accessory for the GameBoy Color that is a sewing machine that plugs into the GameBoy. The machine sews the patterns IRL that you create in the game. This eBay version goes for $1100. Original retail price? I have no idea. I just want to live in a world where I don’t need to utilize any of my skills other than playing video games.” — Logan Tsugita, TK & art director at
A Deep Cleaning Service. “As someone who’s been living in a depression room for an extended period of time, the thought of entertaining during the holiday season makes me extremely anxious. But going away for the holidays just to return to the disarray in the New Year doesn’t feel much better. Arranging for a service to deep clean my room, or even my whole apartment, would go a long way in helping me start off 2024 with a clean slate and hopefully an improved mental state. If it was coming from someone I didn’t know well it could come off as offensive, but it’s like when someone offers you a breath mint: you wonder if they’re offering just to be nice or if they’re trying to drop a hint but you take it regardless. This is on my wishlist but, honestly, I don’t know anyone who actually enjoys cleaning so consider this the White Elephant of unhinged gifts.” — Catherine Mhloyi, emotional hoarder, Shrek the Third apologist & social video producer at
A tiny ceramic avatar. “The unhinged in me would really like true love to come crashing into my timeline, but I realize we want to keep these (vaguely) within the realm of reality. So, instead, expanding on my essence of dumb-little-tchotchke-and-knick-knack-lover, I would like to present this tiny, customizable ceramic totem. Imagine swapping these with a loved one? A best friend? Getting one made of yourself and keeping it in your bag as a good luck charm? Getting one made of your sworn enemy and manifesting positivity with them? Subjecting the totem of your dreams to one-sided pillow talk on long, cold, lonely nights?? Just me?” — Amalie MacGowan, resident freak & editorial director at