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The 3rd Annual Holiday Shopping Guide: Recession Edition

December 19, 2008

I know what you’re thinking- some help this is. It’s already the 19th of December, I’ve already bought all my Christmas gifts! False. You’ve procrastinated like everyone else. The Saturday before Christmas is the busiest shopping day of the year, despite what retailers would have you believe about Black Friday.  So here are some tips for the budget-conscious (read: broke ass) shoppers who still have no idea what to get for friends or loved ones.  littlewhizzer_sm

I saw on the news that sales of cheap alcohol, like Bud Light, have gone up recently, while sales of more expensive liquor and champagne have fallen off.  Therefore it’d be reasonable to conclude that most people probably aren’t buying themselves a nice bottle of Jack, Jim, or Jose.  So why not  wrap one up and include a clever “beverage accessory” like this Little Whizzer Peeing Boy Liquor dispenser? “Based on the famous statue in Brussels…but Pisses Liquor!” Classy! Only $19.89.

I just got another email today from my tutoring employers letting us know about another pay decrease.  While it’s not completely necessary, I’ve started buying a lot of ramen.  Partially it’s that it takes 3 minutes to make and partially that it costs like twenty cents a serving.  I usually stay away from the seafood varieties. Somehow fake chicken flavors sounds do-able and fake seafood flavor sounds deadly. This ramen noodle spoon/fork would be great for anyone in college or who has lost a job. It says, “Hey, I’m sorry you’re poor now, but I’m realistic about your ability to afford real soup, and care about how worthless a regular spoon is for ramen because those noodles are unrealistically long.”  $12 at MOMA Store. (may be currently sold out cause it’s so awesome!)

Ok, so I know what you’re thinking. “Oh, fresh fruit! That’s a good idea! Oranges used to be a delicacy back in the day, and most people probably can’t afford fresh fruit anymore!” Nope. That’s an eraser. Like, oops I made a mistake with my pencil, let me get my banana eraser.  There’s apparently some crazy Japanese craze about erasers shaped like miniature things.


These are exactly the kind of thing that would have appealed to me as a ten year old. Miniature detailed items with little to no practical purpose. Ok, maybe it’s the kind of thing that appeals to me as a twenty three year old. $1-6 at

Courtesy of Chris, you could always go the tried and true route and get someone a funny t-shirt. Or better yet, get them a funny t-shirt with an obscure reference to a TV show that so few people watch, most people probably won’t get it. Like my “I had a spooky scary time at the werewolf bar mitzvah” shirt (on sale for $12!) or my “Electric Dream Machine” shirt. There’s a pretty good It’s Always Sunny-heavy selection at this site. ($18-23.) BustedTees is always a good bet, too. I’m particularly fond of this “Good bye Elliot” shirt, which makes me laugh like a lunatic.

Or you could always do what I’m doing: buy a few songs off iTunes and burn everyone mix CDs. Not only do you get to stick it to the man and his DRM, but it’s essentially killing 10 birds with one stone.

If you happen to be of the female persuasion and have a couple sisters or female friends you could easily put on a theater performance for your family. Practically free, and trust me, they’d eat it up. I briefly considered reenacting this Lawrence Welk song, before realizing I only have one sister, who was understandably creeped out by it.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. mike permalink
    December 27, 2008 2:30 pm

    The 12 dollars for a ramen fork could instead buy ~70 packs of ramen. Or 20 of the swankier “ramen in a cup”.

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