Ho! Ho! Ho! It's been a pretty serious year with the looming "fiscal cliff" and a highly competitive presidential race. But as the holidays approach, a number of retailers are betting that consumers are ready to ham it up again.
To help you come up with the appropriate gag gift for everyone on your guest list, we hit the web, searching everywhere from BaronBob.com to PerpetualKid.com to ThinkGeek.com.
This year, we found nine of the goofiest gift ideas for the upcoming holiday season — everything from an inflatable plastic wreath to bacon-flavored frosting.
One thing is for sure — these gifts are not your typical stocking stuffers. But we're still debating whether they are stupid-funny or cool-funny. So we're letting you be the judge — stupid or cool? Click through these present ideas and vote.
Tired of family members excusing themselves from dinner to take a call or furiously texting under the table? This present holds up to six cell phones hostage for 15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes at a time — long enough to communicate again in person (wait, how do you do that again?!).
Cell Lock-Up's inventor, Ike Sutton, created the product, which retails for $19.99, after his family succumbed to "digital distractions."
I tried to enforce a rule that all cell phones must be turned off, like they do on airplanes, but, let's face it, I'm not the FAA, and everything flew out the window with the first incoming call or text message," Sutton said.
His solution is now sold at several large retailers, including Bed, Bath and Beyond, Dillard's, Sears and Lord & Taylor.
If your friend does not have the time, commitment or cash for a real full-sleeve tattoo, this could be the way to go. The sleeves, sold by FredFlare.com, are one size fits all and come in a classic rose and heart pattern.
Since they are temporary, removing them will be as simple as slipping the sleeves off rather than having to scour Groupon.com or LivingSocial for a good tat removal deal.
Athleticism comes in many forms. If your relative's idea of a strenuous activity is a marathon battle of thumbs, this wrestling arena could be your go-to gift this year. It fits most thumb sizes and comes with an official rulebook that covers the most vexing thumb wrestling topics, such as cheating, whining and betting.
Optional: throw in some protein powder packs and a workout headband if you're in a gift basket mood.
Last year's mistletoe shortage scared the daylights out of romantics everywhere. We're erring on the side of caution this year and suggesting faux mistletoe gifts instead. Mistletoe-to-Go's leaves may be artificial, but the sparks will be real (hopefully). And at $8.99, it's less expensive than a Match.com profile!
The holiday season requires a lot of heavy lifting, including cooking Thanksgiving dinner feasts, wading through Black Friday crowds and unpacking heavy seasonal decorations. Lighten someone's load (and power bill) with a blow-up plastic wreath. This present is also perfect for people with greenery allergies and those who lack storage space.
For the Trekkie in your life, ThinkGeek.com is selling the Spock Oven Mitt. Made of 100-percent cotton and lined with 100-percent polyester, this kitchen accessory is sturdy enough to protect budding chefs' hands from burning. Pair this gift with Star Trek Cookie Cutters if you really feel like splurging this holiday.
Bake long and prosper.
Relaxing on the beach while wearing a traditional kilt sounds hot and uncomfortable. For $29.99, Stupid.com offers a solution for those who want to honor their cultural traditions while toweling off. The product's makers say it comes with authentic Celtic markings and a miniature dagger.
So the first-date dinner/drinks/coffee meeting went well, but there's a problem. After logging onto Facebook to confirm a pending friend request from your new suitor, you discover that your new prospect is a staunch [insert opposite political party].
"He's/she's a what?!?," you say in disgust and instantly regret that first lip lock.
While this gum can't erase your momentary failure of judgment, it will at least take the bad taste out of your mouth. And at $1.49, it costs about as much as a pack of the regular variety.
This present is perfect for those who want a little fat-back flavor on their fruitcake or a hit of bacon for their birthday cake. Sporting a $5.99 price tag, it is more expensive than a pound of bacon but should last for many cakes and cupcakes to come.
We think reviewer baconlvr from Wisconsin said it best, "bacon need I say more?"