On Gifts Toxic, Socially Useful, Or Cheap As Dirt

Abby Zimet

Attention, shoppers! It's that time of year, and recession be damned. Forthwith, a seriously random look at gift ideas from the outrageously unfortunate - worst book ever to FBI playset to faith-based-killing video games - to the tasteless but entertaining - pepper-spraying-baby-Jesus sweater - to the so-timeless-they're-existential. As in, that box.

What not to get your kids: The children's FBI playset with real handcuffs and baton!


What not to get your newly divorced cousin: Microwave For One, dubbed the worst book of all time.


Or your violence-prone other cousin: The video game Left Behind: Eternal Forces, which forces users to accept Jesus as their savior in order to rise against the forces of the Anti-Christ, thus teaching that God wants you dead if you don't see Christ the right way. Jews, this means you. Before you decide on this, you might check out the latest research showing that playing violent video games actually changes the way your brain functions. But slippers are always nice.


For the Occupiers on your list with a high tolerance level: the pepper-spraying Baby Jesus Christmas sweater. Or a look at the several hundred, and growing, memes on the subject.


Here's what Boston Occupiers want, for real. From power tools to a piano bar day to peace, man.


And if you want music in their honor, check out Ry Cooder's new, rowdy, eclectic, Occupy-flavored C.D., "Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down." It's first song: "No Banker Left Behind." There's also a spirited free download, "The Wall Street Part of Town."


Finally, a nostalgic look at the five best toys of all time, virtually free, to remind us to keep a sense of perspective. Buy local, buy modest, buy from the heart. 

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