They say it’s better to give than receive, but not if you’re in Hollywood where the yuletide swagfest can be a minefield. One year we gave away tie-in books to our shows: Disco Bloodbath by James St. James, Pornography: the Secret History of Civilization, and The Adam and Joe Show. Generous of us (since, while we got a discount, we still had to pay for the books). But we were excoriated for trying to pass off self-promotional freebies.
And sometimes no gift is better than too small a gift: Last year we made the faux pas of giving out those cute philosophy gingerbread houses – not insignificant at $35 a piece – but this elicited such thanks as “cheap” and “tacky” from over-moisturized executives.
This year, after being warned by one executive, “no body lotions,” our elves are hard at work wrapping top-secret gifts. One clue: They aren’t iPods.
– Fenton Bailey