Nine shopping days until Christmas. Go ahead and count if you like, that’s all that’s left. Nine days. Remember, don’t count Christmas Eve as a shopping day, there are just too many other things going on then. Even if you do count it, that’s not a lot of days left and they almost got by without the Official Annual Real Reality Show Blog Christmas Catalog Shopping Guide. (Yeah, we missed last year but you can find 2012’s here: “And If You Order Now…” (Dec 17, 2012), and 2011’s here: “Buy The Way…” (Dec. 1, 2011). If fact, you might want to pull them up as quick references.)
As close as it is to the big day, He’s mailbox has been a virtual dearth of Christmas catalogs. An honest to gosh absence of some of the biggest names – and prices – of the holiday shopping season. So scarce are they that it will be almost impossible to top the $500 snow shoes from years gone buy, err, by. (Ok, so they were only $470. That was two years ago. With inflation they have to be $500 by now or they really aren’t from a decent designer.) True, one can always go on line to find the highest in fashion – and prices – but that’s just not the same as good old fashioned catalog shopping in a good old fashioned recliner preferably while drinking a good old fashion. So to make up for the lack of the high end “Hammacher Schlemmer” type mailings we will make do with this year’s newspaper insert from “Five Below,” that fabulous outlet where no item is priced more than $5.00.
So let’s start with those snow shoes. You’ll recall from 2012 that our guide was very high on picking up a family set of these offered in eight designer colors for the low, low price of $470 for the complete ensemble. Probably not appropriate for outdoors use, Five Below does have Stompeez slippers that “come to life when you walk” at their top of the line price of $5.00, but that is for just one pair. Outfitting the entire family will set you back a whopping $20. But, it is Christmas.
A featured item in the 2011 guide was the double barrel marshmallow cannon with dishwasher safe magazines at a very reasonable $39.95. The current Five Below insert really doesn’t have an equivalent item but it does include a goblet that will hold an entire bottle of wine. Excess is after all, excess. And it can be yours for the less than excessive price of again $5.00.
Nothing will ever compare with the $60,000 Optimal Resonance Audiophile Four-Way Three-Dimensional Soundstage Quality Speakers (each requiring its own amplifier, not included) from the 2011 guide. Imagine where that is priced out today after three years of inflation and obligatory price increases. We suggested then that if you can afford $60,000 speakers you are encouraged to make a quite generous donation to your local symphony, opera company, musical theater, or other organization requiring pricey speakers and pocket the extra $50,000. Otherwise, Five Below has you covered here also. Earbuds, headphones, sound capsules, and even plain old speakers are shown throughout their flyer for your choice at only $5.00 each. Buddy, can you spare $59,995?
There you go, nine days and one catalog to fill out your “nice list” for this year. It could be that some of you actually got the high end catalog is your mail boxes this year. If so, don’t pass it around. Just keep it to yourself. It would be a shame if someone got snow shoes again this year.
Now that’s what we think. Really. How ‘bout you.