I received many gifts this Christmas. A sweater, some chocolate, some scotch. But the best gift, the absolute best gift I received was a gift from three of my friends.
Three men, three of my buddies, all three of them got me nothing.
And I'm being sincere when I say I appreciate nothing. And the reason why is this;
Nothing necessitates nothing in return.
It reminds me of the scene in Donny Brasco where Al Pacino and Johnny Depp are exchaning gifts. Both work for the same mafia so they basically just give each other handfuls of cash. Never mind this is essentially what happens on Christmas anyway (except there is a loss of efficiency and utility when cash is traded via goods). What I'm talking about is they effectively gave each other nothing.
This is why nothing is the best gift. You are not compelled to get a gift in return. Not only does this save you the hassle and the money, it alleviates you of the guilt or the compunction to get somebody something because they're probably going to get something for you.
I looked at one of my buddies who got me nothing and I said, "hey, thanks for the nothing." And with a sincere face and retort he said, "Hey, no THANK YOU for getting me nothing."
Now in general girls have a hard time understanding this. They seem compelled to get SOMETHING for every one. Can be the most worthless freaking crap trinket on the face of the planet, but they still feel compelled to get their far-removed acquaintences something. And the reason why is they think that if they don't display some kind of action or show some kind of affection for their friends via buying them gifts, their friends are going to somehow think they don't like them anymore.
But men have this unspoken understanding that we basically don't like spending money and our true gift to our true friends is to make it so they don't have to spend money either.
Even on birthdays. I don't know when my dad's birthday is, and he knows mine is sometime in July, but he doesn't know the day. We don't exchange gifts either on birthdays or Christmas and we're fine with that. The true gift is the convenience of not having to worry about it, nor compelling one another to do something about it.
Ergo my fellow junior, deputy, aspiring and otherwise official economists, take it from the Captain. The best thing to give your fellow chum is nothing. Nothing is the greatest gift an economist can give. I wouldn't recommend giving "nothing" to a female loved one, but for the guys nothing is as good as it gets.