It is already time to finish up our Christmas gift shopping, unless, like my wife, you have been shopping for the perfect Christmas gifts all year long. This explains why our attic often contains a box or two filled with future gifts. The only tiny fly in this ointment is the fact that, as our memories take longer vacations each year, we can forget what is up in the evermore increasingly mysterious attic.

Some of the gift suggestions that I will make will be seen by some readers as brilliant ideas while others will see them as being of “white elephant” caliber, and purchase them based on a future need for these kinds of gifts. Gifts which can keep on giving as multiple people endeavor to try to get them out of their lives.

This first item brings a bit of embarrassment to me because when I saw it offered online, I immediately wanted it. I mean, who doesn’t want their toilet bowl to act as a nightlight as well as beacon to guide us in our alimentary efforts? If you do your shopping online, just look up lighted toilet seats. Once there, you might find yourself mesmerized by the rich colors that can, at least in the pictures, fill your bowl with magenta, blue, yellow and assorted other colors as they go on automatically when you get near.

For anyone who has more money than they know what to do with, I would recommend one of the Tesla all-electric cars. Since our son is busy managing all the installations of super-charging stations in the southeastern part of the United States, I am pretty confident you won’t have any trouble finding “filling stations,” at least in that part of the country. The closest supercharging stations in the Mother Lode are in Groveland and Manteca, where you can charge your car in about an hour.

Another favorite gift is the T-shirt that sends a message. Since I am a believer in humor, absurdity, irony and thought, I have chosen a few that made me laugh, ponder or think. You get to use your imagination on some of these: “Sarcastic comment loading – please wait”; “Cremation is my last hope for a smoking hot body”; “The World is Flat – Class of 1491”; “Money talks. But all mine ever says is ‘Goodbye’”; “My death will probably be caused by being sarcastic at the wrong time”; “I thought growing old would take longer”; “In dog years I am dead”; “The good thing about SCIENCE is that IT’S TRUE whether or not you believe in it”; “Never trust atoms. They make up everything.”

If money were no object, I would spend the $3,360 on the “Smart Cloud” hanging lamp, which looks like a large, puffy thundercloud with light and sound effects. My wife thinks I’m a little weird.

Walking about, I often hear people speaking in Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Spanish and languages I don’t even recognize. I’m not sure how well the Mymanu Clik language translating earbuds work, but it seems the future of communication is getting closer every moment. At around $300, this could be a great gift for traveling friends.

For your more macabre friends, ceramic firepit skulls could be the perfect addition to their fireplace or firepit. This is truly designed for those who have a taste for the more gruesome side of life. At around $50, these can bring a touch of strangeness to anyone’s home fires.

Finally, if you want to do something that might actually make the world a better place, give a donation to your favorite responsible charity. Perhaps this suggestion might seem self-serving, but it is not. You could give a gift subscription to your favorite local newspaper. You won’t know how important they are to our lives until they are gone. As I’ve said many times in the past, it is pretty hard to put that picture or article about your child’s academic or sports success or other achievements on your fridge while it is on your phone, tablet or desktop. No matter what, please have a safe and happy holiday season. Thanks for reading.

Kevin Wychopen is a semiretired school counselor and columnist for the Enterprise. Contact him at


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