December 2, 2005
Every year I find a few things that belong on every Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, or general holiday list. And every year I find a ton of things that should never have been invented in the first place, much less on anybody’s list. So, in the spirit of the season, here’s the bottom of the bottom:
Remember when you were a kid and would pile up one or two big walls of snow and call it a snow fort? Remember how about the time you were done building it you had to come in? Well, for the kid on your list who wants to have a snow fort without all that work or actually experience the joy of being out in the snow there’s the blue inflatable snow bunker. As the catalog describes it, the snow is "optional". So is the fun. The snow bunker comes with a flag that helpfully says, "Snow Bunker", since it could easily be mistaken for a mutant pool toy.
Available from Sensational Beginnings for $114.95.
For the grown-up kid on your list, there’s nothing like a little whisky or bourbon on a cold night to warm the cockles of whatever part of your body the "cockles" belong to. And for a little touch of appetizing whimsy, put your favorite adult beverage in a gasoline pump! It’s also a great gift for that friend of yours who got arrested for siphoning gas in the mall parking lot.
The Gas Pump Beverage Dispenser is available from Bed, Bath & Beyond for $29.95.
For the grown-up whose life just isn’t that interesting, there’s the Desperate Housewives glitter t-shirt. Don’t think about the fact that it’s made by some Cambodian kid who makes thirty-seven cents an hour. Don’t think about the fact that you could take any t-shirt out of your own drawer, get some glue and some glitter and make the same t-shirt yourself for about thirty-seven cents. Don’t think about the fact that you’re paying someone else to use your body as advertising space. Just ask yourself: who in their right mind would spend $37.95 for a t-shirt?
Available from ABCTVStore for $37.95. Or in ten years available on Ebay for $37,950.00.
If I said you could have your own framed, signed portrait of Larry Thomas, would you scratch your head and wonder who I was talking about? If I said, "No soup for you!" would you still wonder who I was talking about? I enjoy the show Seinfeld as much as the next guy–assuming the next guy isn’t someone who would hang an autographed photo of the infamous Soup Nazi on his wall. If you’re laughing and getting a craving for some crab bisque that you can’t eat standing up, good for you. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, don’t worry about it. Nothing is exactly what you’re missing.
The signed, framed photo of Larry Thomas is available from Wireless for $169.95. Just put your money on the counter and step to the right.
For that annoying person on your list who likes to pretend to be subversive but is really a trend-follower, there’s no better way to turn holiday tradition on its head than that Hammacher-Schlemmer upside-down Christmas tree. Maybe someone suggested this year turning holiday tradition on its head. What they should have turned on its head was the tradition of crass commercialism, but one look at the price tag on the pre-lit pull it out of the box, stand it in the corner then put it in the attic for the next 49 weeks holiday tree and you’ll know exactly where to tell Messr. Hammacher and Schlemmer where to stick it.
The upside-down Christmas tree is available from Hammacher-Schlemmer for $599.95. The base is an extra $65.00.
And finally, it’s who we are and not our material possessions that’s important. Maybe you have a Larry Thomas shrine in your basement, or you’re willing to spend two sawbucks because someone you love would really appreciate a t-shirt with the name of their favorite television show in glitter. Maybe your child will use his or her imagination with an inflatable snow bunker because you live in a place that doesn’t get snow. The important thing is that you care about your family and friends, and that you’re not the sort of person who would ever give…
Lottery tickets. The lottery board where I live has taken revenue from the sale of tickets and turned it into college scholarships. They’ve also plowed it into special holiday-themed games that they advertise as the ultimate holiday gift fourteen times an hour during prime time. What they don’t say is that lottery tickets are the ultimate holiday gift because giving them you give the gifts of surprise, wonder, shock, disappointment, and despair. They truly are the gift that keeps on giving. I wish I could say that warmed my cockles, but really it just enflames my duodenum.