The Jamaica Plain Green House today released its second annual list of “Top 10 Worst Christmas Gifts.” The list ranges from $2 stocking stuffers to baubles of the super-rich. JP Green House co-founder Ken Ward said, “These ten items achieved high scores on each of three criteria — profligate, unnecessary, and tasteless energy use — in our rigorous testing protocol.” Ward described the gift ranking methodology as “half an hour of random Googling around.”
1. Greenland Glacier Cruise, $5,247 for ocean view cabin
“Greenland’s west coast has dozens of long, deep fjords, many with glaciers fed by the ice cap that covers most of the country … we meander through the ice packed waters heading towards the bulk of the magnificent Eqip Sermia Glacier. Whilst here, we may have the distinctive opportunity to experience the raw power of nature’s phenomena known as calving.”
Comment: Last year’s booming market in climate change impact tourism has withered, but enterprising cruise lines have lost no time in repackaging Greenland glacier collapse.
2. Plastic Bag of Coal, $1.99
“Embroidered draw strip pouch and 3 lumps of realistic coal! The Perfect Gift for that Naughty Someone! For Ages 7 and up. This is a decoration, not a toy.”
Comment: The most inexpensive gift on the list, which we found for a discounted $1.99 at our local CVS, the plastic bag of coal might well have the worst life-cycle energy cost/retail price ratio on the list.
3. Automatic Twirling Spaghetti Fork, $17.95
“Enjoy your spaghetti in style with this automatically rotating spaghetti fork. Press down to automatically wind up the pasta onto the end of your fork. Less mess and more fun!”
Comment: Cost is $2 more than last year’s winner, Spinmallow, the automatic marshmallow turner.
4. Barbie Jammin’ Jeep, $268
“Music-filled fun and real driving adventure for girls on the go! Realistic details inside and out like a real-working FM radio, doors that really open and close and a rear storage area to carry all her gear. Drives two speeds forward (2.5 & 5 mph max.) and one speed reverse, on hard surfaces and grass.”
Comment: What can we say about a toy designed to spare three- to seven-year-olds the bother of pedaling? Plus, we’ve just had it up to here with purple and pink.
5. Monaco Grand Prix with Supercar, $1.5 million
Comment: Choosing the worst automobile gift suggestion was a tough choice, and we were sorely tempted by both the Mercedes Maybach, a $350,000 (base price) luxury sedan getting 10 city/17 highway mph, and the Bentley Continental GTC, also at 10/17, but classified as a “sub-compact.” But in the end, we had to go with the hand built Dutch Spyker C8, with a modestly bad 13 city/18 highway, because it is offered as a stocking stuffer in the Monaco gift package.
6. The Most Expensive Blackberry Case, $20,000
“The forty-two diamonds that went into the creation of this case weigh in at 3.5 carats and are set in 18-karat gold … Even the carbon fiber leather, specially developed for the case, is gold. Of course, the case is as protective as it is luxurious–the plastic is impact resistant and the screen is entirely protected.”
Comment: We’d sure like to see the steer from which the gold carbon fiber leather comes.
7. Personalized Propane Steak Branding Iron, $32.20
“Safe, reliable and easy to use, the personalized steak branding iron is also practical. Chicken, vegetables and even bread can be branded as well.”
Comment: No comment.
8. Just-cut, Pre-lit Douglas Fir Christmas Tree, $199
“Everyone has his own idea of how to best decorate a Christmas tree. Some people just want a tree that is simple, others something Martha Stewart might make. Then there [are] the folks who might be curious about getting a prelit Christmas tree. This is a great time saver and less hassle too.”
Comment: Every year, Andrée and I complain about how much time we waste decorating the Christmas tree, and what a hassle too.
9. Diamond G-String, $134,000 (may no longer be available)
“The Triumph Luxurious Diamond Thong has 518 brilliant-cut diamonds studded into the front of a black lace thong in a floral pattern. Danielle Luminita, a model from Romania, was carried down the runway on the shoulders of two male models, wearing only the diamond thong. A spokeswoman for Triumph International, the lingerie company that commissioned the thong, said that the thong would be dry cleaned before going on display.”
Comment: OK, this one is from 2008, but we couldn’t resist. If it looks this good on a model, just imagine how it’ll look on your loved one!
10. Cupcake Car, $25,000
“Dallas-based Neiman Marcus said it made a conscious effort to offer more affordable options while not disappointing loyal luxury shoppers…”
Comment: And, indeed, we are not disappointed.