Once again, as a component of being a full-service community newspaper, the Union-Bulletin has done a little last-minute Christmas shopping for all of you procrastinators.
With the big moment only days away, we understand that some of you could use a little help buying for all those people you really, really care about. Really care about enough to spend a whole buck (or $1.25) on their gift.
With that in mind, U-B reporters bravely ventured into The Land of the Dollar Stores in the last days before Christmas ¬?-- when tempers were flaring and Muzak was blaring and everyone sneered ... It's the most wonderful time of the year!
Not quite like Andy Williams sang it, we know.
For the rundown of what we found, turn to Page A3.
(1) Coal in a sock -- First of all, we've got your boss covered. It might seem cliche, but we found the perfect gift, rife with tradition. This little package contains a velvety and deeply rich, ruby-colored bag, embroidered in gold and festooned with a sassy, shiny cord. Snuggled in the clamshell package are two pieces of genuine, black-as-ebony coal.
And, bonus gift, we have your excuse lined up -- "Boss, I thought it was licorice! Seriously! Pretending to be coal, you know?"
(2) Bright, shiny ceramic box -- It's bright! It's shiny! It's a box! What more do you want? Honestly, this is actually a pretty nice item from the Milton-Freewater Dollar Plus store. Something you could give to somebody without cringing (too much anyway).
(3) Really big PRINCESS sticker -- Just the thing for your older sister, the one who thinks she's Mom's favorite. A pretty-as-a-rose, full-sized wall decal for your sibling to put in just the right place, where she can look at it every day.
Alternately, this is just the thing for the office diva. Just stick this right across the back of their chair or in some other suitable place around their cubicle. Not that we would suggest embarrassing a coworker. Heaven forbid.
(4) MACHO aftershave -- For that special guy, we picked up this very green-colored "sport scent." "MACHO" after shave is "specially formulated with a classic masculine twist," the manufacturer claims. Or, as one person said after taking a whiff, "It's like a pine tree gone bad."
(5) Dora the Explorer night light -- At $1.25, this was a little above our bottom line, but who's counting pennies when you can give somebody a celebrity superstar who will light up their nights? And it's adorable! (See, it even says so right there on the package!)
(6) ZOOM nail clipper with "2X SUPER MAGNIFICATION" -- Because nothing says "Christmas" like a gift that also says, "We think this item might be just right for you, grandpa, with your fading eyesight and age-thickened nails."
(7) Glow in the dark party favors -- Whoever gets these glowing goodies will be ready to "party hearty" on New Years Eve. The eyeglasses, earrings and pendant will mark you out as that "special" person during the festivities while the glowing whistle will help you call for help while stumbling around the parking lot trying to find your designated driver.
(8) Octopus LED flashlight thingamabob -- It's manic expression is sure to delight all as a blue, pulsating light shoots out its snout, a trick we were unaware octopuses could pull off. The little critter also emits some tortured squeal-laser sound. Octopuses don't sound like that, do they?
(9) Blacklight notepad -- Just the answer to all those cheery Post-It notes. Write your thoughts in hallucinatory ink on black paper. A perfect way to start the New Year!
(10) Adjust-A-Button kit -- We understand ... you give and give and never think about yourself during the holidays. But we did! That's why we present to you the "Adjust-A-Button" kit...For Men & Women!"
These little magic buttons "add or remove inches to make pants fit perfectly every time!" The package kindly outlines the process, in pictures, no less. "Pants don't fit? Insert the Adjust-A-Button. Lock in place, button up and you're set."
Just choose the appropriate colored button, poke it through your waistband to move the "button" closer to the button hole and continue to eat Christmas cookies allllllll day long. Add some eggnog, go ahead!
We found that for you. You're welcome.