Here is the problem I run into at Christmas: I want to show you gift ideas, but some of my family members read this blog, and some of the things I want to show you are things I bought for them. Solution, after much brow-wrinkled concentration: tell family not to read blog this month.
Bent Objects (photo from Amazon.com). Paul saw this book somewhere and bought it for my brother’s wife (that sounds so biblical, but if I say “my sister-in-law” it could be Paul’s sister, and it would be less interesting that he’d impulsively bought a gift for her). He thought it seemed perfect for her. It seems to me that it would also be great if you need a fun and whimsical gift for someone who’s a little difficult to buy for. It’s a good “everyone will pass it around” book.
Miracle Fruit Tablets (photo from Amazon.com). Oh, these look SO As Seen on TV! But do you remember awhile back when it seemed like all the magazines/shows were doing pieces on this special berry you could chew that would make sour things taste sweet? There were, like, PARTIES where you could partake of this miracle berry? And I thought, “This sounds so cool! Where can I buy this product?” and the answer was “Nowhere! Someone has to bring it to you after visiting some other country!” OKAY THEN. But here is a packet of it! On Amazon! Clearly I have bought a packet, and we will have a party.
Triops Kit (photo from Amazon.com). William has already had this kit, but it was a huge success and he’s earnestly but unsuccessfully trying to save his money for another one (he keeps breaking down and buying candy instead, a character issue very familiar to me), so I bought him one for Christmas. I personally think the triopses are really gross, but I admit they’re fascinating. The eggs hatch; one triops emerges victorious by eating all the others (don’t hatch too many eggs at a time); then it grows surprisingly rapidly and spends a lot of time swimming; and then it dies. You don’t need an aquarium or anything; William kept his in a big pickle jar.
ThinkFun Daily Puzzle (photo from Amazon.com). We’ve had good luck with ThinkFun toys in the past. This one was on sale for under $5, so probably I’ll put it in Rob’s stocking (he’s the one who likes Rubik’s Cubes and so forth)—but I’ll see if I’m a little short on gifts for him, because I think it could just as easily be a wrapped gift under the tree.
Ninja Salt and Pepper Shakers (photo from Amazon.com). I stumbled upon these while looking for something completely different, and I immediately thought they’d be perfect for the same Brother’s Wife mentioned above. I emailed my brother to double-check, and he confirmed. They’re cute AND funny AND useful AND whimsical AND unusual AND gifty.
3 Dozen Wiggle Snakes (photo from Amazon.com). Do you like Vi Hart? These are the snakes she uses in some of her videos! The kids LOVE those videos, and William put the snakes on his wish list.
Hello Kitty 4-piece pajama set (photo from Target.com). These are Elizabeth’s fondest wish. I found them on sale at Target a few weeks ago.
Threadless Sesame Street shirt (photo from Threadless.com). Mir got me hooked on Threadless tees, and now every guy in our house has a drawerful of them. (I’d have a drawerful of them, too, but the largest women’s size is skin-tight on me.) I got this one for my brother, to see if I can get him hooked too. A lot of the other shirts are on sale for $9.99, so I also got a few more for the kids and Paul.
Water Marbles (photo from SteveSpanglarScience.com). William saw these on another YouTube video (probably this one, or one like it) and wants them wants them wants them. I had to wrestle with it a bit, because the shipping is the same price as the item. (Amazon has a couple of sets too, but William ONLY wanted the clear ones.) (And darn it, I didn’t see these or I would have bought them. I think I must have assumed those were regular hard glass marbles. SIGH.) But the shipping didn’t go up when I added more things, so I also got him a hand boiler and a gravity bubbler.
Aurora Snowy Owl (photo from Amazon.com). Elizabeth saw this ages ago, while we were for a gift for her to bring to a friend’s party. I reprimanded her that we were shopping for someone ELSE right now—and then I sneaked the owl into the cart and bought it.