Picture you: sweating and frazzled at the mall, running from store to store, trying to get your last-minute Christmas shopping done. You’re struggling to find your wallet while the cashier asks you if you have a loyalty card at the same time your sister starts calling to see when you’ll be home for dinner.
You’re on the verge of losing it.
But to your right is me, relaxed, with an array of colourful socks I’m buying for the people on my shopping list this holiday season.
“Will that be all?” the cashier asks me.
Of course that will be all. Why would I buy anything else other than the perfect gift you can give during the holidays (or really, anytime you’re buying gifts for people).
Listen, if you’re scrambling to find a last-minute gift, stop wasting your time. Unless you’re buying for some spoiled brat who doesn’t appreciate the value of a good, clean pair of socks, put down that crystal wine set you’re holding at Winners and go to the sock aisle right now.
Let’s take some time to go over the many reasons socks make the best gift (for brevity’s sake, I’m going to keep it to five here).
The great thing about socks is you don’t even need to know someone’s specific shoe size — socks are so generous they’ll say things like FITS ANYONE FROM A SIZE 7 to 15. And if you’re not sure about someone’s style, you can just get them a variety pack. What other gift offers you a variety pack?
Socks also make for a pleasant unwrapping experience. They’re not some unwieldy box that you hand to a person awkwardly hoping they don’t accidentally drop it and shatter the delicate china set inside. Nope, you can just toss your wrapped socks to whoever you’re gifting them to. (“HEY, GOT YOU SOMETHING — CATCH”).
I love being handed a present and feeling the soft fabric underneath the crinkling paper and immediately knowing: these are socks.
Socks are also a gift that you know a person will need. There’s never any doubt. People are always having to replace socks either because their favourite pair has holes in them or because they mysteriously lose them in the wash, leaving them with a mismatched pair of argyles.
Also, socks aren’t even just a good gift to give to friends or family. You can literally change the world giving someone a pair of socks. Take the homeless, for instance. Socks 4 Souls Canada, a registered charity in Toronto, points out that socks are among the least donated items to homeless shelters, but the most needed.
About one-in-five medical problems the homeless encounter are related to foot health. And you know what helps solve that? Socks.
Maybe you’re reading this too late to make a difference this year. You’ve already bought your family neck massagers from Amazon and you're looking at them with regret as they occupy way too much space under the tree (another point for socks: they're compact).
But that’s OK. It’s never too late to turn your life around for the better next year and start gifting people things they actually need. Which, in case you missed the point of this column, the things people actually need are socks.