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The 3rd Annual Holiday Shopping Guide

December 4, 2008

Dear Readers, it is that time of the year again. Or rather, it has been that time of the year for two or three weeks already. Beverly Hills had their Christmas decorations out ages ago.  Now that the mad rush of the Black Friday of Death and the made-up Cyber Monday (you can buy shit online ALL the TIME) have passed, it’s time to get serious about shopping. I hope you’re excited because I’ve been doing research for this for literally hours.  You can find the 2nd edition from last year here. And if you don’t know where to find the 1st edition, well, I can’t help you. First editions are usually pretty rare.

Of course, we begin with SkyMall, that beacon of capitalism and extravagant waste that lives in the skies.

King Tutankhamen’s Egyptian Throne Chair. Ok first off, you should ask yourself, is this really Tutankhamen’s Egyptian Throne Chair, or just some chair they painted gold, put some hieroglyphics on and proclaimed it to be authentic? Did King Tut even have a throne chair? What if it was more like a throne love seat?  Chances are if you’re buying this chair questions like these probably don’t matter to you. So let’s think about more important things, like, Does this match my current decor? If the answer to that question is any of the following, “Yes, definitely. I collect thrones.”  “Kind of. Everything else I own is gold plated.” “No, but I think it will go well next to the barcalounger in the den.”,  then you need to get those guys from Top Design to your place stat. Stat means now. $895.

I will never cease to be amazed at the ridiculous things people do to/with/for their pets.  This is an indoor potty for your dog. They reason that it’s for dog owners who live in high rises or for when there’s inclement weather and they can’t make it outside. In regards to the second point- it’s a dog. It has a fur coat. I think that maybe it could survive 30 seconds in the snow or rain. But to the bigger point, this teaches your dog it’s OK to pee inside. And pee quite a lot too – it holds up to two gallons of liquid. Which unfortunately isn’t disposed of automatically, but rather cleaned up, by you. (It just occurred to me- what stops your dog from taking a dump on it too?) I particularly like the review of this Male, 31-35 years: “so i paid 150 for this, when i opened the box i was like what this worth 30 bucks at most its jsut a peice of 5 dolor plastic grass and a 5 dolor plasit pan u can get at any hardwear store. lame, and my dog didnt even use it had it 2 months enver used it and few days ago she had a axodent on floor few feet from it.”  On second thought, if you understand that, this is the product for you. $149.95

Last year I featured the Yeti garden sculpture. It must have been a big hit with you readers, because SkyMall’s collection of garden sculptures has grown exponentially. I was going to talk about the lion, or the meer cats, or the T-Rex, but I think I would be remiss not to talk about the Risen Jesus Sculpture. The great thing about this one is that it’s nearly five feet tall. Now I’m not really up on my Jesus details, and maybe it’s possible he really was like 4’10” tall. Life-like. Besides that, I think this is a really great reminder of what Christmas is about. And then you can remind people about it all year long too, because it’s most likely too heavy to move. You probably want to follow SkyMall’s advice and put it in a ‘quite place of contemplation’, instead of say, on your front lawn next to that Chevy Impala that’s been on blocks since ’93. I don’t know how Jesus feels about diminutive statues of himself in people’s yards, but I’d say don’t push it. $650

Moving on from SkyMall, we have something that I would truly consider buying if I had any kind of bay window in which to feature it. It’s the leg lamp from A Christmas Story! It’s a Major Award! You can even order it with a real wooden crate that says “fra-gil-ay” on it. Currently on sale for $99 at http://www.redriderleglamps.com. Wooden crate is an extra $169. Just don’t let your Mom “dust” it.

This is a genuine sable Russian Hat. I not even sure what a sable is. Is it like a fox?  Wikipedia claims they only live in Russia and other Asian countries. Pretty wicked hat, but you probably need to ask yourself a couple of questions about your gift recipient. 1) Does this person live in Siberia? 2) It is 1895? If the answer to either is yes, go for it. $1,875.00 at Neiman Marcus.

I don’t even know how I found out about this, but it continues the theme of pets and ridiculousness. That isn’t just some fancy collar around that dog’s neck. It’s a cell phone for dogs. It’s voice activated, and it also features a GPS, allowing you to track every movement your dog makes, in case your every minute away from your dog is so consumed with uncertainty and jealousy about what your dog is doing without you that you can barely refrain from driving home at lunch every day to stare into each other’s eyes and laugh about that crazy guy at work who drives you nuts. Not only that but it’s Skype compatible, so you don’t have to worry about Fido making lots of expensive long distance calls.  It also picks up automatically when whenever you call Fido, so you know he doesn’t have the option of pressing ‘ignore’ when you call and claiming he never heard the phone ring. Unfortunately this item still seems to be “available soon”. No word yet on price, but it’s worth the cost, trust me.

This is probably the best item of all the items. It’s a portable bar! Assembles in under five minutes! I’ve been trying to think of reasons why you need a portable bar, and not just one that stays put in your home. Possibly because it’s too hard to make drinks inside, then carry them outside? Maybe you can’t stand going to parties where all the liquor and alcohol is kept in coolers and they never have the proper paraphernalia for mixed drinks? Maybe the best way to decide whether or not this would be a good gift is to take a look at this gentleman, carrying the portable bar. Does your gift recipient also wear a sweatsuit and athletic shoes that say, “I drink too much to hold down a job that requires pants,”  and have bleached tips as if it were still 1999? Bingo. Perfect gift! $1499 at kegworks.com.

Ok, I know what you’re thinking. You can’t possibly afford to drop two grand on an animal fur hat. I mean, maybe $600 on a beaver hat. But never fear, I feel your economic woes. Stay tuned for a 3rd Annual Holiday Shopping Guide: Recession Edition in which your will get tons of great gift ideas that convey what an excellent person you are, even though it also says, “I only care about you $20 worth.”

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