Holiday season offers great opportunity for stress, bankruptcy

Well, it’s the holiday season, and that means it’s time to go shopping. Whether you’re a Christian celebrating the birth of your lord and saviour, a Jew celebrating Hanukkah, or an atheist celebrating the birth of the Christians’ lord and savior, ’tis the season for wanton consumerism.Since Black Friday has come and gone, I assume everyone who has it together already has all their gift shopping done through about next May. That means this article is for those of you who are too busy (yeah right) or too lazy to do your shopping properly.
This is a guide to giving money to huge corporations in exchange for cheaply manufactured junk.

Clearly, shopping for children is very different than shopping for adults. While many adults are a bit more understanding, if you neglect to give a child a toy, or give them the wrong toy, they will hate you forever. Furthermore, children are unreasonable, so you can’t apply the kind of logic to toy shopping that you can to shopping for adults. A child would never appreciate a coffee-maker or a nice bottle of wine. This means shopping for children and unruly teenagers (equally unreasonable) should be your first priority, and you’re going to need help.

Kids love toys, and very young kids love the packaging that toys come in. While a toddler would be just as happy with a cardboard box, their parents will unfairly resent you for your frugal ways. This means you have to buy the child a lead-painted toy. While it’s not ideal, good luck finding a toy without any lead in it.

Thousands of toys have been recalled this year after being found to contain lead paint. I’m not sure what the problem is. You want to pay a Chinese laborer a nickel an hour to pop on Dora the Explorer’s head, but you get upset when they decide to cut costs on their end?

Not quite all toy recalls have been due to lead paint, though they have been due to China. Can’t afford three grand for Hannah Montana tickets? Buy the child in your life Hannah Montana boots from Payless ShoeSource.

Some people have gotten upset about the fact that the guitar-shaped zipper pulls conveniently fit together and cause children to trip. I say, make it into a game; place bets with your child on how far they can make it without falling down. Fun for the whole family.

Is the child you know fascinated by dead hookers? Bring the fun of homicide investigation home with the CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit! Make sure you get a paper face mask, it makes the experience more realistic. It also helps with that pesky asbestos in the toy.

Know a kid that needs to lose weight? Buy them a bike! You can probably find a Huffy brand Howler bike pretty cheap. Never mind the fact that the crank may, you know, unexpectedly fall off and cause the rider to lose control and crash.

The most talked-about toy of the season has to be Aqua Dots. Good luck finding these delightful craft beads though, as they have been recalled. There’s an old saying “every potentially deadly manufacturer’s oversight has a silver lining” and I think it’s true. Sure, the chemical that coats Aqua Dots, when ingested, transforms into the date-rape drug GHB, which sounds pretty bad. But you could look at it as an alternative to Ritalin for unruly children.

Buy teenagers Halo 3.

Well, looks like I won’t have room to talk about shopping for adults. Just get them a gift card. Nothing says “I am socially obligated to spend money on you, but do not care enough to put thought and effort into it” like a gift card. Who doesn’t love Starbucks?