Struggling to find the right birthday present for your monastic little rascal whose core belief system hinges on the denial of material satisfaction? We’ve got you covered! Here are five pleasureless gifts that will make your ascetic 9-year-old almost smile beneath his composed, perpetually neutral veneer.
1. A mortar and pestle
If you have the kind of kid who rises before dawn every day to silently walk back and forth over a carpet of scattered Legos to see how much pain they can stand before collapsing in agony, then he or she will no doubt feel deep gratitude upon receiving a traditional mortar and pestle as a birthday gift. Now, when your special, massively underweight child finally cracks after 72 hours of self-imposed fasting and shamefully asks for a small meal, he will have the simple tools he needs to grind up the Lucky Charms you desperately offer him so that they are not “too stimulating” or “needlessly enjoyable.” As a bonus, you may actually be able to use this gift to convince him to eat his own birthday cake this year instead of having his friends waft the scent over to him while he watches with his hands tied to a chair like he usually does.
2. A white pool noodle
Your mini masochist has probably been dropping nonstop hints that he’d like something that could “raise welts” this holiday season. A white pool noodle is a great compromise that is safe but still lets your child practice self-flagellation in the backyard as a means of focusing his soul. Within days, the little tyke will be bragging to his friends at lunch about how each noodle-lashing brings him “further clarity about his purpose,” and how his red, irritated skin is merely a “trophy of my incredible piety.”
3. One of those shirts that has a cartoon shirtless body on it
How many times has the school called you to tell you that your child is experiencing mild hypothermia after stripping off all of their clothes to “live free of material trappings” in the middle of class? Probably one too many times. With this shirt that looks like a bare torso, your self-disciplined martyr is free to pretend that he has stripped off his clothing as a sign of penance, but now he won’t actually freeze every single recess while he sits under the big slide and meditates on the concept of his own inevitable death.
4. A megaphone for his shitty little brother
Odds are, your ascetic 9-year old is looking for opportunities to practice restraint and patience in order to achieve an enlightened state of calm, and nothing will test that resolve more than the shrill, distorted sound of their little brother screaming “I don’t want to have spaghetti for dinner anymore” over and over and over again through a megaphone. The sound of your youngest child will torment you 9-year-old ascetic to no end and allow him to achieve spiritual clarity as he listens to his insufferable sibling screaming at all hours of the day and night.
5. Emergency gravel
A MUST for any kid practicing a life of self-denial—an industrial size bag of gravel is the perfect remedy to your fourth grader’s biggest fear: Accidentally indulging in the earthly pleasures of life. Now, when it seems like something good is about to happen to your child, such as suddenly getting to watch a video in class, or if one of their friends brings a Nintendo Switch to school, your child always has the option of shoving coarse, sharp gravel down their pants, or in their hair, or smashing it in their eyes, or putting it directly in their mouth, immediately sacrificing whatever enjoyment they were feeling in the moment and preserving their selfless life of austerity through the magic of excruciating gravel-related pain. If your child is desperate to avoid any form of joy, a bag of emergency gravel is the best gift you can give them!