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December 24th, 2009:

The last minute Christmas gift guide

With all of the distractions this time of year, it is easy to forget what Christmas is really about.

But when all is said and done, the office parties, the charitable contributions, the Christmas Pageants, the Salvation Army Bell Ringers, the Rockettes, the family parties and the traveling are all mere distractions. What Christmas is really about is consumerism.

It is the time of year when we all get a chance to go out to the stores and restaurants and give a little something back to Corporate America. Think of your Christmas shopping as a chance to say “THANK YOU” for all of the little things—like free refills—that American Corporations give us every day.

With the true spirit of Christmas in mind—and assuming that if you’re like me, you haven’t even thought about Christmas shopping yet (there’s still about 6 hours until Christmas, I’ve got time)—I’ve pulled together the first annual “FREE REFILLS & WHY I LOVE AMERICA HOLIDAY CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE.”

I’ve ranked them from worst-to-best because it is not really the thought that counts.

5. Luggable Loo–portable toiletLuggable Loo

We should all be thankful that free restrooms are ubiquitous in America these days, but if you have a traveler (or New Yorker) in your life, considering buying them the Luggable Loo. It is an easy-to-use 5 gallon toilet. Best of all, it’s only $19—that’s less than you’d pay in toilet-tolls on your next European vacation.

4: Soup and Spaghetti Os

Spaghettio's - 347 Campbell’s is caving in to the nutrition zealots and slashing the salt content in many of their soups and SpaghettiOs. But thanks to the nature if canned food, there is still time to stock up. Give the canned-food fan in your life a 1-year supply of the good high-salt version of all their Campbell’s favorites. They’ll be particularly thankful next March with the new reduced-sodium versions hit the market.

3. The steering-wheel deskSteering Wheel Desk

You can get a lot done when you’re on the road if you just master the art of driving with your knees. But sometimes you have tasks—like letter writing—that really require a desk. So for the power-commuter in your life, make sure to pick up a laptop steering-wheel desk. It’s the one gift that will help them transform that useless drive-time into productive billable hours.

2. Extra cup holders

Cup Holder
Cup holders are one of the things that make America great. Without them it would be dreadfully difficult for Americans to eat full meals while driving. But sometimes the 4-6 cup holders that modern cars come equipped with aren’t enough. Thankfully there is a robust selection of aftermarket cup holders you can buy for the driver in your life. Some of them even come with extra room to hold fries or particularly large Big Gulps.

1: Gift cardsARCH_CARD

Christmas is about giving back to corporate America and there is no better way to do that than with a gift card. These little pieces of plastic take perfectly good cash and tie it to a retailer. More likely than not, the gift card recipient will lose or never use the card. Those unused cards are not a waste; they’re just a gift to corporate America. Last year American’s gave an estimated $8 billion back to big business this way. Let’s see if we can make it $10 billion this year! The best gift card to give is of course on to McDonald’s, they very company who first popularized them.

Merry Christmas!

(Hat tip: John)

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