Dave Barry’s Gift Guide

11/22/2013 11:04 AM

11/25/2013 4:19 PM

The holidays are a wonderful time of year, but too often, in all the excitement and craziness, we forget the real “reason for the season.” The holidays are not about parties, or decorations, or Frosty the Snowperson. Those things are fun, but they are not the true purpose of the holidays. The true purpose of the holidays is to purchase consumer electronics.

For starters, every young person on your gift list needs a new phone.

“Wait a minute!” I hear you saying. “I just bought my son or daughter a new phone last month!”

Seriously? You’re openly admitting that you’re forcing your child to walk around with LAST MONTH’S PHONE? You had better hope that the child-abuse authorities are not reading this because, darn it, this is the year 2013, and this is America, and no child should be forced to settle for a phone that has fewer features than whatever phone came out the day after that child’s current phone was purchased.

Also it’s a good bet that your child’s current phone has a cracked screen. The two main reasons why a modern child needs a phone are:

1. To communicate with other modern children, who usually are standing less than five feet away, and

2. To confirm that gravity is still working by regularly dropping the phone onto hard surfaces.

So unless you want to be like Ebenezer Scrooge, the mean old boss who forced poor Bob Cratchit to work late on Christmas Eve with no way to communicate with his family except an iPhone 4s with a poky 1GHz processor and a lousy 16 gigabytes of storage, you will buy your child a new phone. Yes, phones are expensive, but think of the happiness you will feel when your child unwraps the new phone and, in a moment of spontaneous, unbridled joy, drops it on a hard surface.

Also it goes without saying that everybody on your gift list needs a larger TV set. Thanks to technology, we are now blessed with an abundance of televisions with screens so vast that you cannot watch them comfortably unless you are sitting in an entirely different house. You need to buy bulk quantities of these televisions this holiday season, or any hopes for the recovery of the American retail economy will be squashed flatter than a frog under a steamroller and it will be YOUR FAULT.

Of course if you’re making all these expensive holiday purchases for your loved ones, you won’t have much money left over to buy gifts for the people on your gift list that you don’t really care about. That’s where our Holiday Gift Guide comes in. This is a collection of gift items that won’t cost you a lot of money, and yet at the same time are pretty much worthless. They’re an ideal way to send the message: “Happy Holidays! You’re a low priority!”

As always, every item in the Gift Guide is a real product that somebody is actually selling. Also as always, every item is backed by our Personal Gift Guide Guarantee, as follows: If you purchase one of these items and for any reason are not completely satisfied, you have our personal guarantee that there is nothing that we, personally, can do about it.

But enough with the “sales pitch.” Let’s take a look at the items that “made the cut” for the 2013 Holiday Gift Guide.



About Dave Barry

Dave Barry


Dave Barry has been at the Herald since 1983. A Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary, he writes about everything from the international economy to exploding toilets.

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