When you were first hired you assumed it was menopause, but now it’s four years later and you’ve resigned to the ugly truth that it’s just her personality. She manages to catch you mid-scroll every time you’re cruising through Charlotte Olympia’s new arrivals (she couldn’t have crept up behind you mid-spreadsheet, could she?). She makes Miranda Priestly look about as menacing as Bo Obama. You’ve yet to hear what her laugh sounds like—unless the occasional evil cackle counts—and you’re pretty sure that ulcer last summer was entirely her doing. And forget the side-eye—when she gives your outfit the up-and-down, it’s purposefully and not so subtly full frontal. That’s right, we’re talking about your bitchy boss.
Seeing as her demeanor doesn’t exactly scream “festive”, you’ve been sweating bullets on her Christmas gift since September and the best you’ve come up with is hard liquor (Plan A: Alcohol, always). Which you promptly tore out of its gift-wrapping and drank yourself in a moment of weakness following a particularly harrowing day at the office. On to Plan B—blankets, beauty products and Balenciaga.
More specifically, a Missoni throw for her never-been-frequented, just-for-show living room, a collection of YSL nail polishes (that she’ll take to her manicurist, of course—those impeccable talons are no DIY project), and a Balenciaga cuff in emerald green (still a designer token, but a fraction of damage that comes with Balenciaga-anything-else—she knows how much you make, after all).
If what she lacks in disposition she makes up in good taste, treat her to something small-yet-luxe—think a mini-set of Jo Malone perfumes to tuck in her desk, Tata Harper aromatic bedtime treatments to quell her perma-stress, or anything from the Kate Spade stationary line (sticky notes to pepper your iMac with must-dos and ASAPs? Or expletive paperclips to offset her love of the oral F-bomb, perhaps?).
And if she’s more of a Kelly Cutrone-type (read: all black everything and a propensity to hate most things), go simple. A classic Claire Vivier clutch (even dragon ladies need to tote a phone around), a bottle of Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer moisturizer or a SoulCycle gift card with a “not that you need it! xoxox” disclaimer. True, she’ll probably throw it out/forget about it. But we’ll just try not to think about that.
— Chelsey Burnside