Saturday, December 23, 2023

2023 Last-Minute Online Holiday Gift Guide!


Thank goodness you found this post: if you forgot to shop for Christmas and need a surefire gift idea (and fast!), you’ve come to the right place. If you can order something featured here in the next hour or so, you’ll be fine (though you may need to get Santa to deliver it for you). Now, if you’re reading this even a day or two after I posted it, obviously you’re too late, but you know what? Maybe you should start thinking about next year! Plan ahead for once in your life!

I would like to point out that I have not received any free products or other remuneration for showcasing these gifts. Also, I haven’t seen, tried, tasted, or tested them. Caveat emptor! (That’s Klingon for “Don’t let these items hit you in the ass on the way out.”)

Heated hammock - $250

Winter is tough, innit? Perhaps the hardest part is that you’re stuck indoors with your husband 24x7 and, because he’s restless and over-caffeinated, you have to listen to him chatter away and/or mansplain stuff to you whenever there’s no game on. You miss the days of summer when he’d go pass out in his hammock in the backyard. Well, help is on the way with this electrically heated hammock! Just charge the battery, hang it up, and send him packing, no matter the weather!

Best of all, it has three different temperature zones (head, middle, feet) and at least one of them is bound to short out, giving him something to troubleshoot. It’s a win-win!

Handholding mittens - $38

Who among us hasn’t had that insufferable friend or sibling who was so happily in love he threw it in everyone’s faces, with blatant displays of affection, snogging in public like it was going out of style and talking incessantly about how happy he is? And then that vaunted relationship crashed and burned, and you had to hear your friend moan and groan incessantly about being heartbroken? Well, this is the ultimate revenge gift: couples handholding mittens.

There are two ways to enjoy this gift. One, you give it to your spouse/other and the two of you parade around wearing these goofy mittens in front of the fool-for-love, and even suggest that the three of you go for a walk or hike together in the brisk air. Speak at length about how warm that hand is, even (size permitting) making a big show of switching the mittens around so one hand doesn’t “get jealous” of the other, etc. Payback’s a bitch, eh? The other option is that if your annoying friend is still single, give him or her the gift and say, “Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll find someone soon, and then you’ll be ready!” You might even suggest he mention the handholding mittens on his online dating profile. Your friend will hate you! It’s brilliant!

My Life Story: So Far - $35

I have to admit, at first I didn’t see the point of this item. At first blush, it’s a journal with various prompts to write your memoirs; kind of like an extension of those baby books that well-meaning new parents dutifully fill out for the first day or two of their newborn’s life. But this journal goes all the way through adulthood, like a template for an entire autobiography. Kind of pointless, right? I mean, if you’re gonna tell your life story, you already know the important bits, right?

But then I looked at some of the sample pages, and suddenly grasped the real point:

It turns out this is for an old person who realizes he or she is starting to become senile. This journal is really more like a cheat sheet, but a socially acceptable one. Imagine if you just used post-its or something to jot down notes of, like, your kids’ names … how mortifying it would be if someone were to find those? Instead, you give your spouse this journal and encourage him or her to fill it out … he or she is just feeding you the answers to embarrassing questions you’re afraid to ask, like “What’s your name again?”

Shower Affirmation Set - $28

This shower affirmation set is another gift idea that initially had me scratching my head. It’s just a set of little cards with encouraging platitudes like, “I am creating a life of passion and purpose,” and “I live in a universe where I am loved and supported.” What makes this gift unique is that these cards are waterproof and stick to the wall of your shower.

I couldn’t understand their purpose, since the world is replete with such messaging and a novel format didn’t seem necessary. And then it hit me: the affirmation isn’t the point, the shower is the point. This is just a ruse to get your slovenly teenager to shower once in awhile! All that praise will actually lure him or her to do a little self-care … brilliant!

Food indecision dice - $14

These dining dice help an indecisive couple decide what to make (or order) for dinner. One die covers the ethnicity, the other the food. I know this sounds pretty boring at first, with predictable outcomes like Mexican fast food and seafood…

But it’s when you get the weirder combos like Chinese pizza, Italian sushi, and Indian steak that this gift shines … you and your partner are going to become true innovators in the kitchen, taking fusion to new heights. Get this right and you might become celebrity chefs!

Bathtime essentials wine holder - $38

If you have a friend or loved one with a drinking problem, the last thing they want on Christmas is your judgment and condemnation. Why not just give them the gift that says, “I love you and I want you to be happy, even if that means drinking in the shower”? Sure, you’re technically being an enabler here, but what the hell, it’s the holidays.

This item would pair nicely with the shower affirmation set, wouldn’t it? Maybe you could even get some custom printed cards, like “It’s okay, Winston Churchill drank, too” and “Hey, you’re just taking the edge off.” Now, if you’re still hung up on that whole alcoholic-complicity thing, consider that eventually the plastic wine glass will get lost (over the edge of the back deck, or deep within the sofa cushions), and then your loved one will use a real glass, and once it shatters on the floor of the shower where shards are sure to draw blood, perhaps this person will realize he or she has finally hit rock bottom. Thanks, bathtime essentials wine holder!

Personalized rubber spatula set - $40

Let’s suppose rubber spatulas, or “splaulas” as you call them, are a really big deal in your family. Suppose when your daughter went off to college you bought her like six beautiful wooden-handled rubber splaulas, and she was so happy to have a bit of home there with her, and then her ridiculous roommates threw them all out without asking, because the splaulas “didn’t match the décor” of the apartment (which is a joke because it  was a fricking dive to begin with). Now it’s time to replace those splaulas … so why not with these?

Very nicely made, super attractive. And the best part is, these splaulas can be personalized, so buy three of them with engraving as follows:

  • [Name]’s personal property
  • Mess with these &
  • I will fucking kill you

Your daughter can tell her roommates, “You might think that’s a joke but my dad is literally a psycho. And he’s visiting over MLK weekend.”

Faceless portrait - $13

You know what’s really romantic? A portrait of you and your significant other. But you know what ruins it? When one or both of you just isn’t that attractive. This can be particularly bad if only one of you “has a face for radio.” Ugliness can kind of ruin the whole look of whatever room you hang the picture in. Well, faceless portrait to the rescue!

It’s stylized! It’s idealized! Squinty eyes, weak chin, huge nose? Gone! And even if somebody declares the portrait is totally creepy, you can plausibly deny it’s even of you! Problem solved … and on the cheap!

Evening primrose soap - $23

Gift giving is hard. How many times have you found the perfect item for someone, only to learn that he or she already bought it? Or that there’s some valid reason they don’t already own it? Often the best gift is the incredibly unusual item they never knew existed. I think this evening primrose soap would check that box for just about anybody.

I showed this to my younger daughter and she said, “Oh my god, that is so Humboldt. It’s just so … Earth goddess lesbian / psychedelic woodsy.” I’m not sure I’m qualified to confirm or deny that assessment, but there’s no question this thing is compelling. It’s both provocatively shapely and … a warty toadstool. What will it look like after it’s been used in the shower for a week? Will the curvaceous buttocks part be totally worn down, and the toadstool end practically untouched? Well, your lucky recipient is about to find out … am I right?

Beer shotgun funnel - $20

Do you have a friend with all the telltale signs of arrested development? Like, he thinks video gaming is still a good way for a 50-something to spend his time, and still has a miniature basketball hoop suction-cupped to his fridge, and still thinks parties should be called “ragers” and that everyone should play drinking games? Has he failed in particular to scale back his drinking in accordance with responsible adult behavior? Well, you can’t exactly give somebody an intervention as a Christmas gift, and that never works anyway, so you might as well roll with it. Won’t he be delighted by this gift, which says “Of course it makes perfect sense for you to be shotgunning beers but you should be doing it more safely”?

This thing just makes sense. I mean, when you’ve already been drinking, so your motor skills are shot, and then you puncture a beer can with a screwdriver or a key, and then put your mouth up to that ragged aperture—all of this with extreme haste because everyone around you is chanting, “CHUG … CHUG … CHUG!”—you’re likely at risk of cutting your mouth. (At least, I should think so … I’ve never actually tried this and only just learned the process via this charming YouTube video which my wife overheard and seemed skeptical about until I told her, “I’m doing research, for my blog!”)

Now, as with the bathtime essentials wine holder, you might feel morally conflicted about seeming to endorse this chugalug activity—even to point of modernizing it with a purpose-built accoutrement. Well, get off your high horse … shouldn’t we give our loved ones something they want, vs. what we think they need? Besides, your friend will surely put this on his keychain and eventually it’ll make a hole in his pocket and he’ll lose his keys and have to retrace his pub crawl steps, growing ever more frantic at each stop, and when he gets to telling his woeful lost-keys story for the fourth time, to the fourth barmaid, whose pity is plain to see, perhaps he’ll realize he’s hit rock-bottom and it’s time to make a change … and you’ll have helped him get there!

Author clock - $199

A couple of years back, my albertnet gift guide described the Albert clock that gives you a math problem to solve instead of just telling you the time. I’m not a fan of the concept, which is why I declared it the perfect revenge gift. Well, this year I stumbled across another clock, this one, that beats around the bush; this time, it quotes a passage from literature that happens to include the time:

Damn it all, I wish I could figure out something snarky to say about this Author Clock, but the more I look at it the more I think this thing is actually pretty cool. Granted, I like to look at big hands on a wall clock, or little hands on my wristwatch, but I also love books and reading and why does this thing have to be so freaking expensive?

Electric salt & pepper shakers - $36

It’s kind of the curse of middle age: we’ve finally developed sophisticated tastes—for example, we’ll no longer settle for pre-ground pepper or even pre-ground salt—and yet we’re starting to develop repetitive stress injuries from traditional peppermills and really need to take care of ourselves. Well, your friends and/or siblings are in luck: check out this ingenious product!

Now, it’s not your friends’ first rodeo so you can expect a furrowed brow as they unpackage these bad boys. “Don’t worry,” you’re (ideally) there to tell them, “the manufacturer has relocated the battery compartment to the top, so you won’t get the salt powder corrosion your last set had. And they’ve switched to lighter weight AAA batteries so you won’t hurt yourself hefting them.” Now your friend is starting to get excited … but you haven’t even told him the best part. “Each has a built-in flashlight,” you declare triumphantly, “so you can totally use them camping!” Now your friend is grinning from ear to ear. It won’t even occur to him that these should logically be designed to sync with an app on his smartphone, and really ought to have built-in Bluetooth speakers. So you’re all set for Version 3.0, which will surely be available by this time next year!

Something for the blogger?

With all this talk of gifts, I’ll bet you’re already thinking about what to get me, the tireless blogger who has tried all year to amuse and enlighten you. Normally I would assure you I don’t need anything, or would suggest you perform, on my behalf, an interpretive dance on TikTok that will make this blog go viral. But this year I’m shifting gears: would somebody please buy me that Author Clock? Click here for shipping details.

Other albertnet holiday posts

Email me here. For a complete index of albertnet posts, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment