Holiday gift giving – the good, the bad and the ugly

Online shopping is a virtual world-wide mall – with free shipping! Oh what fun it is to sit in my kimono robe at midnight, sipping wine, with every store at my finger tips. If given the choice between a shopping mall at Christmas time or a stick in the eye? Pass the stick! Why would anyone willingly subject themselves to the hassle and insanity of going to a mall at this time of year, when online shopping is so easy? Plus, the internet is full of surprises!

For weeks I combed cyberspace for gift ideas. I found most of what I was looking for….and then some.

Thanks, but no thanks

I have to mention three items that appear to be pretty whacko. Or is it just me?

1) Face Slimmer $35

Many people who hope to achieve a more youthful and toned face use facial yoga, electrical impulse machines, and various appliances. One of those appliances is The Face Slimmer which makes quite an impression. The manufacturer of this mouthpiece suggests using it three minutes a day while bathing? Go tell it on the mountain, because I’m not buying it.

2) Neck traction $17

Deck the halls and your doorway with the Christmas disaster on a rope. This contraption has been around for years, and has quackery written all over it. If that neck pain isn’t killing you, this item just might get the job done.

3) Eyeball massager $80-$200

Do you see what I see? Corneal abrasion, conjunctivitis or sub-conjunctival hemorrhage? Take your pick – yikes! Eyeball and temple massagers are popular recently, but they look like a medieval torture device. All I can think of is Tina Turner and the needle sarcophagus in the movie Tommy.

Must haves

Rising above the piles of stupid: product development genius!

1) Advanced Roller Guard $10

Don’t let the Grinch steal your personal info. Protect your privacy while the recyclers, scavengers and freegans sift through trash bins. This is a CIA document-censor’s dream tool. Easily outshines the sharpie for blacking out whatever you want to keep private. Envelopes, magazine covers, even laminated glossy medication bottles. Eat your heart out Joe McCarthy!

2) Pill popper pill dispenser $10

Harry Houdini couldn’t get Sudafed out of some of the bubble packs I’ve encountered. Joy to the World –  it’s the pill popper! Save your strength, your sanity and your manicure. The name “pill-popper” is so Valley of the Dolls….which by the way is one of my favorite holiday movies.

3) The Reliever $20

Are aches and pains making this a blue Christmas? Performing acupressure on yourself is as useless as tickling your own feet. Somewhere between a clothes pin and a vice grip is The Reliever. The company has an informative website as well as an instructional video to show how easy it is to properly use the product for optimal pain relief. User friendly alternative medicine…I couldn’t be more pleased, even if it came with a cup of green tea and wind chimes.


4) Intelligent Toilet  $6,100

Toto is more than an awesome 70’s band, they make amazing toilets too! Intelligent even! On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me: a fancy Japanese toilet that measures weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and performs a urinalysis. Time to put all that bathroom time to good use. The data can be downloaded via wifi. Talk about multitasking!

They say it’s the thought that counts – well, I think gift-giving should be fun, and thankfully my online shopping spree was just about as thrilling as dashing though the snow in a one horse open sleigh. Ho Ho Ho!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, but no one other than Mister S. Claus is comin’ to town, so when I finished my shopping I dropped my packages off with the elves at UPS for two day chimney delivery. My list was checked twice and it seems like I got everyone taken care of. Although I must confess, I am still not sure who was naughty or nice – I’ll leave the rest up to Santa. So be good for goodness sake!

It’s a wonderful life – have a happy healthy holiday and new year!

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