Preparing for College

Time for Holiday Gifts!

Ho-ho-ho. Have you been wondering about what to get that special someone? Maybe it's your collegiate progeny or high school senior soon to be a collegian. Maybe it's just someone who holds a special place in your heart. Stumped for ideas?

Well, Dave Barry (not me) to the rescue with his 2015 Holiday Gift Guide. I thought I would give you some ideas from this practical -- and hilarious -- article to stimulate your thinking ... and giving. So, read and learn.


First up, Dave has some general comments about the holiday season that offer wisdom and insight to this special time of year:

The holidays are here, and — in the words of the heartwarming classic Andy Williams holiday tune we will hear so many times that by mid-December we will want to stuff figgy pudding into our ears — “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.” ...

... And it’s a time of family togetherness, when we travel long distances to be with our loved ones, only to remember, 45 minutes into a scheduled six-day visit, why we have chosen to live so far from them. ...

... The challenge, in this hectic season, is always to find enough unnecessary things for all the people on our gift list. ... That’s where this Holiday Gift Guide comes in. We sincerely believe that you will not find a collection of products this useless anywhere else. These are all real products; we did not make them up. ...

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Now that the stage is set, let's take a look at a few of my favorites from Dave's guide, along with some excerpts from his cogent comments:

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- Wearable Hummingbird Feeder, $79.95 from heatstick.com, suggested by Janice Gelb of Melbourne, Australia

Imagine having a hummingbird hover right in front of your face. Specifically, in front of your eyeballs. It’s darting around and thrusting with its long, pointy, needle-like beak. RIGHT NEXT TO YOUR EYEBALLS. WHICH YOU USE TO SEE.Ha ha! If that sounds like a fun and relaxing nature adventure for you or some lucky individual on your holiday gift list, then you definitely need to get this wearable hummingbird feeder. This is basically a face shield, kind of like what hockey goalies wear, with a hummingbird feeder tube that pokes out right between the eyes. ...

Stress Mushroom, $11-$14.99 (prices vary) plus shipping and handling from Amazon.com, suggested by Rick Jameson of Dublin, Ohio

It is a well-known medical fact that nothing relieves tension like squeezing a large mushroom. That is the medical basis for this product, which is a large rubber stress-relieving mushroom. It comes from Japan, so you know it’s scientific. It can benefit the entire family, according to a Japanese website, (metro.co.uk) ...

Camouflage Kilt (Casual Outfitters), $18.50-$26.99 (prices vary) plus shipping and handling from Amazon.com, suggested by Keith Dorset of Manassas, VirginiaMuscle Man Chest Plate, $12.93 plus shipping and handling from Amazon.com

You’ve heard it a thousand times: “I want to wear a kilt, but I don’t want anybody to SEE me wearing it.” Well here’s the perfect solution: A camouflage kilt, which has a pattern that enables the wearer to blend invisibly into the background, provided that the background consists of other people wearing camouflage kilts. If William Wallace, the Scottish hero portrayed by Mel Gibson in Braveheart, had worn this kilt instead of a loud, highly visible plaid, he would probably still be alive today. ...

Nicolas Cage Pillowcase, $8.73-$10.61 (prices vary) plus shipping and handling from Amazon.com.

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Everyone agrees that Nicolas Cage is the greatest actor of all time. He has done amazing work in such memorable movies as (Editor: Please insert names of some Nicolas Cage movies here). If you love “Nic” — and who doesn’t? — what could be better than waking up every morning with his eyeballs bulging out at you from just inches away?

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Nothing, that’s what. And that’s why the perfect gift for virtually everybody on your holiday list is a Nicolas Cage pillowcase. These pillowcases are made from 100 percent fabric of some kind, and each one features a large color photo of Nic. ...

And for all you pet lovers ...

Cat Stay & Wash, $9.95-$13.99 (prices vary) plus shipping and handling from Amazon.com.

Here at the Holiday Gift Guide we are always on the lookout for products that will make cats hate humanity even more than they already do. So we were very excited to discover this Cat Stay & Wash device, which is a harness connected to a suction cup. You simply put the harness on the cat (allow six hours) then attach the suction cup to the bathtub, and then it will be “easy” to wash your cat, according to the manufacturer, who apparently tested this product on cats from another galaxy. ...

Puff ‘n’ Fluff Dog Dryer, $44.99 plus shipping and handling from Amazon.com (At the time of publication, this item is out of stock.)

What do you do when your dog gets wet? For far too many Americans, the answer is, quote, “nothing.” These Americans simply let the dog dry out, which is the same primitive method that people used to dry their dogs when dinosaurs roamed the earth.Wake up, dog-owners! It’s the 21st century, the age of “high-tech” inventions such as the Internet, the mobile phone and the Puff-n-Fluff Dog Dryer. This is an enclosure that you wrap around your dog. You then connect the enclosure via a hose to a hair dryer, turn the dryer on, and, voila, the dog becomes terrified and poops in its enclosure. ...

Belly Bump Ball, $59.95 plus shipping and handling from fatbraintoys.com.

You know those people who stand too close to you? You hate them, right? And yet, because of our outmoded “justice” system, you cannot legally hit them with a hammer.But now there’s something you CAN do to make them keep their distance: You can wear a Belly Bump Ball. This is a large inflatable plastic ball with holes for your head and arms. When you put it on, you instantly create a perimeter around yourself that sends the unmistakable message: “Keep back! I have a large personal radius!”

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Please see Dave's entire list for even more terrific gift ideas and pictures. See? Just when you think you're at the end of your wits about the holidays, help appears.

Seasons Greetings to all!

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Be sure to see my other college-related articles on College Confidential.