Thinking Zebras -or- The Great Annual Christmas Catalog Shopping Guide 2015 Edition

Here it is, what you’ve been waiting for, the annual, official, one of a kind, nothing else like it, here for this year, the great, the yearly, the Christmas catalog shopping guide for 2015. Whew!

I’m going to have to consider changing the name of the Guide. Catalogs, although still a favorite reader for keeping on the coffee table for use during hockey intermissions, are going the way of corded telephones and VCRs. They are being usurped by their e-mail brethren and show up not once or twice a season but once or twice a day. Yet the over-riding intent is the same, to tempt you into buying the stuff that you have absolutely no idea they even made.

You don’t need me to guide you to radio controlled fishing boats, inflatable radio controlled minions, or sound activated dancing water portable speakers. No, the guide this year returns to the land of excess.

What can be more excessive than a replica Stanley Cup popcorn maker for a mere $99.99 (the popcorn maker is real, it’s the Stanley Cup that is the replica)? How about a motorized, rideable drinks cooler for a mere-er $999.95. You say you want something more sophisticated than hockey and beer? There is always the world’s largest Scrabble game. At over 7 feet by 8 feet this game will keep you on your toes – while reaching to spell a word. It can be under your tree for only $12,000, shipping extra.

The 2011 Guide featured what was then the most expensive item to appear in a catalog that appeared in my mailbox. That was the Optimal Resonance Audiophile Four-Way Three-Dimensional Soundstage Quality Speakers at an amazingly unrealistic $60,000.  Why I would get a catalog with items priced at more than I paid for my last 3 cars combined I don’t know. For some reason, I continue to get mail from that company. This year, we top that by better than half. The new official most expensive item in a holiday gift guide that was sent to me (still, why?) is at $185,000 a game. They call it a simulator but it’s an arcade game for your home, a race simulator mimicking 12 different types of race cars on a variety of track and conditions. Plan on having a 6 x 8 foot space cleared out in the family room for this gem.  You should know this “car” has manual transmission. You might want to buy a beater at the local used car lot to practice your shifting if you haven’t been in a stick lately.

About the title. If spending 30-some years working in the medical field taught me anything it was never discount the obvious. We, and probably many other professions, had a saying. When you hear hooves, think horses not zebras. One of the first holiday mailings I received this year proudly displayed this year’s hottest gift for your most precocious toddler. You know, the one for whom an ordinary rocking horse just won’t do. For that little tyke, the gift (that would be THE gift) is the hand carved rocking zebra. A steal at $9,000.

It’s Christmas. Discount the obvious.

That’s what I think. Really. How ‘bout you?

Want to see past Christmas Catalog Gift Guides?
2014 – The Great Annual Christmas Catalog Shopping Guide
2012 – And If You Order Now
2011 – Buy the Way



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