Opinion: Gifts of Christmas presents


Our recent move has been very stressful. Not the financing, the inspections, or the packing and unpacking — those were easy. I have spent a lot of sleepless nights worrying about whether I’d receive my Christmas edition of the Hammacher Schlemmer gift catalog. The Post Office doesn’t always forward bulk mail, but fortunately someone changed my name to resident and it came right on time. Here are a few of my favorite gifts from this year’s HS holiday publication:

The better money clip

First of all, I want the best money clip, not a just better one. Come to think of it, I don’t want a money clip at all. HS says it holds 50 bills and 12 credit cards. Isn’t that just a wallet…without leather?

The best nose hair trimmer

HS says its panel of experts lauded its “smooth trimming.” How do you gather a panel like that? How much experience do you need with nose trimmers to make you an expert? The description also says that the trimmer is easier to clean with a removable head. If you have a removable head, I bet it also is easier to clean your ears.

The indoor flameless marshmallow roaster

Why camp out? Why sleep in a tent? Why get eaten by mosquitoes when you can roast your marshmallows in your living room over an electric heater? It’s totally safe for kids and it teaches them that it’s a lot easier to camp inside — near a fridge and a toilet.

The reading time clock

It has real words that come up on a screen. It will say: It’s eight thirty. The clock doesn’t actually speak it, you have to read it. A minute later we see: It’s eight thirty-one. Who would want this as a gift? Maybe it’s for people who are literate — and who know all the letters — but they just never learned numbers?

Best heated car seat

Many things in the HS catalog are heated one way or another: socks, gloves, hats, bathrobes. Why not heat your car seat with a special pad? Actually, my new car came equipped with heated seats and I didn’t realize it. I knew I felt something weird. Finally, my urologist figured it out.

Allergen filtering mask

This black face mask protects you from impurities in the air like smoke, mold spores, pollen and dust mites. Don’t wear this when you deposit your paycheck. You will be shot.

Cinema popcorn makerThis machine enables you to enjoy theater-style popcorn at home. I guess this means a bag is gonna run you about $6. Don’t even think about a large Sprite.

Seated whole-body pedalerThis is an exercise machine that you put in front of your favorite easy chair and then pedal while you watch TV. HS claims it gives you a full cardio workout and tones triceps, quadriceps and biceps, ’cep there’s one problem: It doesn’t work when you fall asleep. Which you will.

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