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For Christmas Gift Giving

For Christmas Gift Giving

Tis the season to give…bacon-shaped Christmas tree ornaments? Stocking-stuffer candy simulating black lumps of coal? Crime scene tape for wrapping packages? How about a dreidel with Santa’s picture on it?

Yes to all these and more, say fans of quirky gifts.

Online retailers specializing in leg-lamps–the kind made famous by the movie “A Christmas Story”–and in Emergency Santa Kits say business is brisk.

Seattle novelty-seller Archie McPhee, for instance, which makes the Emergency Santa Kit, reports its business is up 20 percent from last year. Each Kit contains an inflatable white beard and red hat. “It’s in case you’re ever on an airplane flight and you suddenly have to play Santa,” explains McPhee’s spokesperson and self-styled Director of Awesomeness, David Wall.

Anything involving bacon, he says, has been selling well—so well that McPhee dedicates a portion of its website to bacon-inspired items, including candy canes, ornaments and toothpaste.

“People just naturally enjoy bacon,” he says. “At a time when everybody is so health-conscious, it’s become a kind of ‘rebel’ food. It seems naughty. To our customers, bacon has become a sign of rebellion against the status quo.”

Online retailer Perpetual Kid sells black, lump-shaped candy-coal. Says vice president Wendy Paula, “We’re definitely seeing people looking for silly products this year—things you buy for their ‘smile value.’ Candy coal has been Christmas season favorite for us for years.” She herself grew up with it. “It’s just got to be in your stocking.”

Unlike some novelty purveyors, says Paula, Perpetual Kid, shies away from anything that could be considered offensive or in bad taste. Not so Things You Never Knew Existed, a website that appears to have cornered the market on flatulent-Santa items. These include a Pull My Finger Santa’ and a spherical ornament simulating Santa’s buttocks.

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