Thursday, December 2, 2021

Eric's Holiday Gift Guide 2021

By Eric Harris

The scent of gingerbread is in the air which means it's time for my annual holiday gift guide! As always, this year’s list is full of random goodness and love from the TTDILA team.

Gourmet Mustard Gift Sets from the Mustard Museum

Are supply chain disruptions making your holiday shopping difficult?  If so, consider sending the gift of mustard this year. The National Mustard Museum’s gift shop (yes, this is an actual museum) offers a comprehensive selection of themed mustard gift boxes. There is something for everyone here — international mustards, baseball mustards, BBQ mustards, Wisconsin mustards, alcohol-infused mustards and more!

Kermit's Key Lime Pie

Can’t visit Florida because of the pandemic? Use the magic of FedEx to bring the tart, refreshing taste of the swamp to your loved ones. Available in traditional key lime, strawberry, and coconut flavors. Made in Key West Florida!  

Dorodango: The Japanese Art of Making Mud Balls
$17.99 Japanese American National Museum or

Does a loved one in your life need a new hobby? Perhaps hikaru dorodango — the ancient Japanese art of polishing mud balls is the solution. This is an excellent book for that nephew, niece, or cousin who spends way too much time staring mindlessly at his or her mobile phone.

William Shatner “Music”
The Transformed Man (Vinyl): $22.98
Gonzo Ballet: Rent $2.99 / Buy $10.99 Ballet

Last year’s recommendation for Patrick Stewart’s Cowboy music album fans was exceptionally popular. (Read my 2020 Holiday Gift Guide here) This year, I recommend one music album and one video documentary. No words do this “music” justice. William Shatner is the star here. His “singing” is like honey from the lips of an angel. Ok, that’s a dirty, dirty lie. However, The Shat’s renditions of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “Mr. Tambourine Man” are priceless. Grab the record version if the giftee is an LP enthusiast.

For a bonus Shatner-inspired gift, rent or buy William Shatner’s Gonzo Ballet — a Margo Sappington choreographed ballet (Common People) set to the music of Shatner’s music album Has Been (2004).

I, dear reader, attended the 2007 Milwaukee Ballet premier of this ballet. William Shatner. Ballet. That’s my 3-word review of the documentary and ballet. In my less-than-humble opinion, Gonzo Ballet is an under-the-radar masterpiece in William Shatner’s oeuvre.

The Criterion Channel
$99.99 annually or $10.99 monthly

The TTDILA team reviews an unbelievable quantity of bad films per year. It’s kinda our thing these days — and we’re damn good at it too. However, even we need a break and require good cinema as a palate cleanser and to remind us that there is more to life than the 1980s, obscure ninja movies, bad acting, and found footage. Consider gifting a Criterion Channel subscription to the cinephiles in your life.

MIRA Safety CM-6M Tactical Gas Mask - Full-Face Respirator for CBRN Defense

N95? KF94? KN95? Ha! Shrug off Covid-19 and other biological threats with a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear-rated respirator (with appropriate filters). If you’re going to wear a mask you might as well have fun and do the pandemic in style.

A mask upgrade is the Covid-19 upgrade gift of the year. No one ever said looking this good was easy. Don’t forget filters.

Starlingear Ryk Maverick Custom Anonymizer – Scimitar

Do you love the idea of a mask upgrade, but our previous recommendation won’t work because you or your loved ones require masks without exhalation valves? No problem — TTDILA has a festive alternative! This handsome “Anonymizer” by Starlingear Custom Leather is valve-free, handmade in the USA, looks great, and is a rakish alternative to boring and ineffective cloth masks.

Bass Fish Soap on a Rope (Pack of 3)

Fish-shaped soap on a rope. Made in America.