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Christmas shopping craze

We all know about Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when the sales for Christmas shopping are supposed to be the best. I don’t know about you but, once I finally dared to try the stores on that fateful day, I found all practically empty. Where were the people?

Now I read that the biggie is Cyber Monday. We are all expected to take the day off to return to our computers and do the picking the “easy” way.

Quoting from “The Week” of December 13, 2019, “Deal-hungry consumers set another record with $9 billion in purchases on Cyber Monday, the online retail spend-a-thon. As Amazon’s sales surged, some shoppers actually mourned the loss of the frenzy that once spawned human stampedes, anxiety, and carnival-like atmospheres inside shopping malls.”

None of this is of particular interest to me for, by this time, I hope to have all my gifts wrapped and ready to ship. Honestly, I’m finding it easier and easier to pick from a catalogue and have it sent directly to the giftee. (I have boxes of gift wrap — birthdays too — but use so very little anymore.)

That said, I had the greatest time catalogue and ad browsing last year for gifts I can’t imagine too many people would get excited about.

Let’s start with the Indoor Flameless Marshmallow Roaster ($69.95). It’s a small (about as big as a hand) stainless plug-in that conveniently includes trays around the edges for marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolates. One, according to the illustration, is expected to hold the treat over the unseen flame. Trouble, as I see it, is that any marshmellowy drips go right into the same holes the heat is coming out of. Talk about a mess!

Weighted blankets were a big craze last year ($40 – $70). I always thought a man or dog worked better but guess this would suffice for those petless folks. There’s also a weighted blanket (filled with non-toxic glass beads) that promises a better night’s sleep “just like a hug.” That hug will cost you $150.00

You can “sanitize” your cellphone for just a hundred dollars. (That might make sense this year.)

Too lazy to pour a glass of wine? Another hundred will get you a push-button electric wine dispenser, thus saving you the headache of “lifting. aiming, spilling or waiting” for that first sip.

Perhaps then a swirling wine decanter ($200) but that includes the electric base to aerate in minutes, rather than hours, to release its bouquet, enhance its flavor and soften those tannins.

Actually watching one use the gooseneck viewer to look under furniture ($49.95) might drive one to drink. Folks, I do not want to know what’s under my furniture (if I can’t see it) or, for instance, the refrigerator.

Now for your favorite golfer, it’s suggested to buy a drink dispenser that looks like a golf club and will easily fit in any bag. Press the gizmo and you’re reeling before you know it. For only 60 dollars.

Might be just the time to step into your own “Golf Cart Hovercraft.” With a 65-hp engine, this little beauty can speed along at 45 mph hanging 9″ off the ground, making it a cinch to cross ponds or steams. Check it out for fifty-eight grand. And, yes, it comes complete with its own trailer.

One definitely can’t forget those adamant Bills fans around here. A five-foot floor lamp is available ($160) with team of choice. Better yet is the $120 Hover Helmet. “It floats! It rotates! This half-scale mini helmet has an electromagnetic body that makes it levitate in mid-air 24/7, plus built-in LEDs for gentle illumination.”

For the woman in your life, it’s suggested you buy her a red (or white) rose under a glass dome, guaranteed to “last 10+ years with no maintenance.” Theo in Dallas is quoted as saying “I can’t wait to see the look on my wife’s face. What a romantic Christmas gift.” I don’t know about Theo but he sure wouldn’t want to see my face. Just $99.99.

There must be an awful lot of angry people out there buying (or receiving) gifts for I found monster trucks ($100) which allow children — ages 3 and up — to crash into each other. “A head-on collision unseats the drivers and sends them sailing through the air.”

Advancing in age, one can buy a remote-controlled tank (again $100) that comes in almost fifteen hundred plastic pieces. Well, at least the mayhem would be delayed.

Then there’s Dad who has his own remote-controlled Abrams Tank ($280.00). It has sound and lights, a realistic recoil when fired and comes with plastic pellets.

So we have the preschooler, his older brother and dad all playing with their tanks on Christmas Day. What’s this?

The family who slays together stays together?

Susan Crossett has lived in Arkwright for more than 20 years. A lifetime of writing led to these columns as well as two novels. “Her Reason for Being” was published in 2008 with “Love in Three Acts” following in 2014. Information on all the Musings, her books and the author may be found at Susancrossett.com.

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