Guaranteed Gifting
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Guaranteed Gifting

Again this week we're exploring the Urban Man Signature Holiday Catalog, now online and cleverly designed to take the guesswork out of gifting.

Having trouble shopping for a loved one this holiday season? Worried your gift won't have an impact, or worse, won't be remembered a month later? A day later? Six minutes later? Worried your carefully-chosen item will get stuffed in a drawer, slipped under a bed, or otherwise forgotten...just like last season?

Even though, you know, you generally spring for the deluxe version? Even though you hoped the attention you gave the process this year would overcome the troubling uncertainty in your relationship?

Do not despair. Again this year I've solved this problem. Once again my catalog guarantees the exact duration of each glad moment, and this year, for the first time, I'm offering perpetual memory services.

In fact, we've scientifically broken down the gift-giving experience into two distinct phases. Phase I is the "initial glow of affection." Phase II covers "long-term happy recollection."

Take the $230 leather messenger bag, hand-stitched by Italian peasants while sipping Chianti in a small Tuscan Village. On my website it states clearly that delivering this highly-embossed item will spark no less than 3.7 minutes of true affection. In fact, his overall positive feelings will be extended to a full seven minutes if you get him to read the accompanying booklet, complete with photos of the peasants and a scratch-and-sniff card with the smell of Chianti.

Too expensive? Spend $79 on a foot massager for 80 seconds of unalloyed appreciation. Buy the $59 scented candle set and I guarantee 40 seconds of conscious joy.

Doesn't sound like much? Just remember your last gift-giving experience.

But now, phase II kicks in. For the first time this year, every gift in my catalog includes a social media interface. Let me explain. Purchase the $675 Louis Vuitton handbag, and our server will automatically post a reminder on your loved one's Facebook wall every 30 days with a message like: "Hey, remember that handbag? Peter gave you that bag. He really does care. Here's a photo link." We'll also send out regular tweets, like: "Just thinking about that genuine Vuitton handbag I got Sally eight months ago."

Or three years ago. Or twenty.

Choose the almost unbearably cute Austrian Music Box and the outgoing message will include an mp3 of "Climb Every Mountain" set to play each time she opens her iPhone. A text will ask, "Say, remember that music box? Why don't you move it out from the back of your closet to your coffee table? Click to see Peter as he bought that music box. He's emotionally present through that music box." All clicks are recorded on a tracking website.

In this way, the normally brief expansion of personal affection derived from the gifting experience can be extended to a lifetime, even past a lifetime to designated heirs for an additional $6.95 a year. If she updates her spam filter, the program will switch to a reminder that looks like her bank statement or a message from the IRS. So even if she accidentally drops the actual Music Box in the bathtub or throws it from a 12-story building, the emotional after-burn will follow her forever.

Okay, I know what you're thinking: "Sure I want to make an impact, but maybe the gifting glow, like human affection itself, was meant to be frail and fleeting. Maybe, like my relationships, it wasn't meant to go on indefinitely." But that's where you're wrong. Thanks to modern science, you can now accomplish what you always dreamed to accomplish with your gift-giving dollar, and what the experts claimed could only be accomplished with a lifetime of commitment and affection. Surely your loved ones deserve no less.

Oh, and please...don't forget to enter the 3-digit security code on the back of your card.

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