These are the rules. If you don't play by the rules, why bother? So, read the rules. If you feel overwhelmed, relax. Just read the rules and everything will be fine.
Bring a QUALITY monkey related gift. We say this every year. Inevitably, there will be some stooge that is unclear on the concept. Perhaps a definition of the word quality will help those with a feeble grasp on the term. We'll include the definitions that are pertinent to this particular situation, lest you be confused:
qual i ty ( kwä-luh-tē)
n. pl. qualitiesa. Superiority of kind: an intellect of unquestioned quality.
b. Degree or grade of excellence: yard goods of low quality.
Said gift should range in price from fifteen to twenty dollars. This does not mean that you should spend twenty dollars on a bag full of monkey trinkets and keychains. What you want to do is look for something that you would want to own yourself. Something that you might enjoy displaying in your home or office. It also helps to think of someone who will be attending. Purchase a monkey item that caters to their tastes. You will then know for certain that at least one person will be pleased with the gift that you have carefully chosen for the festivities.
That said, it is entirely acceptable for you to find something that looks as if you spent more money on it than you actually did. If you happen to find a set of monkey themed bookends that regularly retail for twenty bucks and are on sale for five, grab them and spend the money you save on liquor or whatever vice of your choosing.
USE YOUR HEAD!
The following items have been presented as quality gifts in Monkey Xmas' past. They are NOT quality gifts and are hardly appropriate. Someone spent good money on a monkey gift and in the end wound up with the following items. What a gyp, huh? Don't let this happen to you or any of your pals. Make sure that you and everyone else bring a QUALITY GIFT!
BANANAS: Hilarious! Monkeys love bananas! Monkeys might, but Monkey Xmas participants do not.
"MONKEY WRENCHES": No.
BAG OF CRAPPY TRINKETS: You suck.
STUFFED ANIMALS: Monkey Xmas participants are adults. They have no need for stuffed animals. Don't bring them.
ANY DVD OR BLU RAY MOVIE WITH A MONKEY THEME: Seriously, how many copies of Twelve Monkeys or Planet of the Apes does anyone need? Chances are, if a person is really into those movies they already own them. Leave them in the five dollar bin at Wal-Mart and think of something else.
GORILLAZ CD: Rolling Stone called the first Gorillaz CD a "playful piece of genre-squishing art pop." That's great. Buy it for yourself. We don't want it.
MOST ITEMS AVAILABLE FROM ACCOUTREMENTS: What the hell are accoutrements? They are wholesale suppliers to toy stores that cater to hipsters. Local Austin examples include Toy Joy and Monkey See Monkey Do. There are a few exceptions here and there available from the accoutrements lineup, but by and large no one wants to walk home with a set of "office monkeys." (We're looking at YOU, Joe Jerkins!)
MONKEY TOILET BOWL SCRUBBER: A plastic, monkey shaped toilet bowl scrubber. Great. Just great. If we got this from you, we'd want to use it to clean a toilet and then brush your teeth with it.
MONKEY BABY TOYS: We're not a babies. Judging from past events, it's a safe bet that Monkey Xmas attendees aren't either. We don't want a wind up bathtub monkey. We take showers. Like adults.
Again, USE YOUR HEAD!
Plan ahead! You know it's coming. It happens every December. Begin shopping now and you won't have to run around at the last minute fretting over the lack of Monkey related items because the stores have been cleaned out by the Monkey Xmas rush.
Examples of awesome items that are acceptable Monkey Xmas gifts:
The question that's probably rattling around your head right now is "where do I get this quality monkey related gift?" That's a good question. There really isn't a warehouse depository of kick ass monkey items. At least, not that we know of. If you find it, let us know and we'll spread the word. Otherwise, you would be wise to check out places like Steinmart, Ross or Hobby Lobby. Ebay is an excellent option, provided you think far enough ahead. Second hand stores can sometimes offer a source of excellent monkey themed gifts from years gone by. Plan ahead and you'll do just fine.
Exception to the quality rules:
Yipes! You have used every resource at your disposal and you just can NOT find a monkey gift that you feel comfortable with. What ARE you to do?
Here's the solution: Buy yourself a crappy monkey trinket or one of the very, very lame gifts listed above. Next, go to the liquor store and purchase a nice bottle of alcohol. Attach the stupid trinket to the liquor and voila! You have magically transformed a truly awful gift into something that nearly everyone wants. BOOZE!
Let's say you just don't want to bring a gift. You just want to hang out with friends and drink up. You're more than welcome to forgo the gift exchange. Don't bring anything and you won't walk away with anything. It's as easy as that. We respect the opt out guest far more than the person that brings the lame ass gift. If you're going to be lazy and/or stupid, at least be up front about it.
Lastly, the host and the Monkey Xmas crew reserve the right to ridicule any gift they deem unworthy. BRING something stupid and we'll be more than pleased to make you FEEL stupid!
Collier, Garibay and Harrison!