Xmas Espionage

And eight other tactics to surviving the holidays in style

Sorry, gents, I had to go dark for a while. It’s been a few months since my last column. I’ve been working on a secret squirrel assignment that will blow your $30 Paul Smith socks off, once the mission is complete. But more about that later.

As we reconvene, my biggest fear is losing the proverbial ground we captured during 2010. Why you ask? Because, guys, we aren’t in charge of anything as soon as the Christmas tree goes vertical and your normally sweet girl goes festivity crazy.

Men, this year we covered much in the way of owning your style and wearing the clothes versus the clothes wearing you. I encouraged you to make rational choices based upon time-tested fashion ideals and classic influences. Essentially, the order was to become dapper gentleman with a clear sense of self and the wardrobe to match.

Too often that sensibility goes out the window right around the moment holiday tunes start pumping out of the stereo. Around the same time your girl is figuring out if your dog is going to be dressed as an elf or as Rudolph “the no self-respect having” Reindeer; your dumb, unsuspecting self is also being eyeballed and mentally fitted for a few ridiculous holiday outfits as well as some pretty horrendous gift ideas (think Santa-themed ties and snowflake sweaters). And women know they can get away with this because you have to be extra nice during Christmas—otherwise, they cry and you have to go buy bigger, better gifts for them. You just got mind-fucked again, same time every year.

So in keeping with the spirit of “the best way to survive an ambush is not to be in one,” I’m providing a how-to guide instead of a typical men’s gift-buying guide. A how-to-what guide? you ask. My suggestions (to the right) are on how to effectively wage the same sort of psychological warfare women have been waging on us for years.

Fellas, all this might not be enough. The last-ditch effort to get exactly what you want is what I like to call Xmas Espionage. You have to switch the gifts on Christmas Eve with the ones you want (same wrapping paper, bows, box size, the works), but this only works if you’re opening them in front of other people (preferably her family) and sell this charade so hard. What is she going to do? Admit to every female in her family she got duped by an amateur? Not a chance. Maybe Santa does exist. One shot, one kill gents. Ho ho ho.

Tactics to Getting What You Want for Christmas

  1. Proper planning. Once you’re in the holiday season, it’s too late.
  2. Spread disinformation. Make it 90 percent fact, 10 percent fib. “Honey, our bonuses are now based on performance and appearance, and our general manager only wears Gucci.”
  3. Fear mongering. It makes everyone mistake prone. “Babe, the last four guys who got promoted all wore custom suits! I’m never going to be able to buy you Cartier if I don’t get promoted.”
  4. Hearts and minds. Well-placed propaganda is the key to invading the subconscious.
  5. Speed and surprise. The fact you even try this should be enough the first time; it’s game-on next year.
  6. Mirror her actions. She cries, you cry. That should buy you some time to come up with Plan B.
  7. Political maneuvers. Use her friends and family against her.
  8. The sting. Use role players and elaborate scheming to confuse. “If you haven’t seen The Sting, then accept the fact you’re out of your league.”
  9. Infiltration. Get behind enemy lines to gather intel but don’t get captured. Torture may ensue.