Dave Barry

Dave Barry’s Guide to Holiday Gifts

The holiday season is a good time to ponder the lesson of A Christmas Carol, the heartwarming classic story by the beloved dead English writer Charles Dickens. The story begins on Christmas Eve with mean old miser Ebenezer Scrooge being mean to his lowly clerk, Bob Cratchit, who is a good and humble man despite having a last name that sounds like an intestinal mishap, as in “The dog made cratchit on the rug.”

Scrooge then goes home, and during the night he is visited by a series of ghosts, including the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Stranded in a Motel 6 in Albany, N.Y. Horrified, Scrooge rushes to the Cratchit home the next morning to atone for his meanness by giving the Cratchits a turkey, and everybody rejoices except Tiny Tim, who was hoping for an Xbox 360, so his Christmas is ruined.

The lesson we learn from this timeless story is that it’s important to get the right gift. All too often we give people gifts that they don’t want, or can’t use. For example, recently my wife gave her mother a DVD of a concert performance by Michael Bublé, the suave Canadian crooner who makes Barry Manilow sound like Snoop Dogg. My mother-in-law LOVES Michael Bublé, so you would think that the DVD would be a perfect gift for her. You would be wrong. We had to return it, because it was in the “Blu-ray” format, which is an exciting new DVD format developed by the consumer electronics industry for the express purpose of not working in the consumer’s current DVD player. The goal, of course, is to get you to buy a new, “Blu-ray” format DVD player, which will be the signal for the consumer electronics industry to come out with an even newer format, currently code-named “Kumquat,” that doesn’t work with anything.

The point is, you don’t want to give just any gift. You want to give a gift that the recipient actually wants, and can use. Where do you find such a gift? The answer is simple: Not in our 2010 annual Holiday Gift Guide.

The Holiday Gift Guide is a collection of unique gift items that you will not see anywhere else, at least not anywhere with a drug policy. We did not make any of these items up: They are all real products that people are actually selling. We know this because we bought all of them and subjected them to rigorous field-testing in the form of giving them to our official Gift Guide photographer, Bob Eighmie, who somehow talked people into posing with them for free.

It is because of the rigor of this testing procedure that we are able to offer you our exclusive Holiday Gift Guide “total satisfaction” guarantee, as follows: If you purchase any item featured in this year’s guide, and you are for any reason not totally satisfied with it, simply send it, in the original packaging, backward in time to the year 1957. Then wait by your phone for further instructions. Also, if you are Michael Bublé, and you’d like to meet a mature attractive lady who is a lot of fun, please contact us immediately. Thank you.

OK, now that the “legalese” is out of the way, let’s look at this year’s lineup of gift items, starting with: The "Flair Hair" Visor


Thank-you list for Dave Barry’s 2010 Holiday Gift Guide

Adee Shekar, Bob Harksel, Brooks Sickles, Carole Odom , Diana Moskovitz , Ellie Brecher, Eric Vazquez, Felice Shekar-Harksel, Jeremy Bernabe, Jon Burstein, Josh Langlois, Judi Smith, Kari Sickles, Kristy Haffer, Lina Moyano, Lynda Waldron, Mark Hendrix, Matt Hughes, Michael Marko, Norma Mitchell, Phoebe Yom, Randy McCafferty, Robert Sickles, Roberta Harris, Rosemary Clarke, Sharon Arroyave, Zachary Williams, Westside Regional Medical Center, Denny’s Restaurant-Davie, Jump the Gun