On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me …
Five high-heeled handbags, Four time-release handcuffs, Three lawn robots, Two Telezappers, And bra holster gun lingerie!
What do merchants do in a time of war and economic woe, when they have to sell that same old lawn statue of Santa? They paint him red, white and blue.
Patriotic Santa may have to pass through a metal detector before he slides down the chimney, but he's coming for you.
"This is an idea whose time has come," says entrepreneur Bruno Pisano, who is selling a 22-inch porcelain Father Christmas for $39.95.
This year you can get the Stars and Stripes emblazoned on purses, bras and panties — and even a tie that plays "God Bless America."
And for a whole new way of hoisting Old Glory, how about red, white and blue condoms from Condomania, a safe-sex boutique that sells the patriotic prophylactics to raise money for victims of the terrorist attacks.
U.S. troops may be fighting in Afghanistan, but Christmas will go on. "People might not have as much money to spend. But if anything, I think they need to connect more," says Amelia Ostroff, a professional shopper at Itsthethought.com in Seal Beach, Calif.
"In many ways, the whole idea of spreading cheer and reaching out in a personal way has been reinvigorated," she says.
Here, then, are some suggested ways to reach out to those eccentric special somebodies in your life.
Outrageous Gift Guide
1. For the Hopelessly Trendy: High-Heeled Handbags
Is it crazy to turn old shoes into a purse? Not if the ladies on Sex and the City do it. Patricia Field, the costume designer for the HBO gals, features high-heeled handbags at her New York boutique. But why walk around with someone else's used pumps under your arm? Send your old shoes (and about $200) to designer Shoshanna Smith. She'll make you feel like anything but an old bag. (Suggested Celebrity Endorsement: Sarah Jessica Parker).
2. For Those Who Want to Be Alone: The Telezapper Are telemarketers ruining your life? Or at least calling while you're watching Seinfeld reruns? This little gizmo ($49.99) attaches to your phone and tells dialing computers — the sort telephone solicitors use — that your number has been disconnected. (Suggested Celebrity Endorsement: Lily Tomlin)
3. For the Liberal Saint: Adopt a Burro — In Your Backyard!
Looking for meaning this holiday season? There are 230 burros that need a home. With some charities, you sponsor a critter in a Third World country, send money, and receive pictures four times a year. With Fund for Animals, you actually adopt the beast. The fee is $75 per burro (transportation from the Mojave Desert not included), and the fund insists you must adopt at least two burros (so they won't be lonesome). (Suggested Celebrity Endorsement: Sally Struthers)
4. For the Militant Feminist: A Bra Gun Holster
Keep your hands off, fellas! This brassiere is loaded! Paxton Quigley, a Beverly Hills expert in female self-defense, offers a bra designed to hold a .38-caliber revolver and pepper spray. It's the very latest in tough-girl chic, designed "for the comfort and ease" it provides gun-toting gals. Quigley says the chest is actually a good place to conceal a weapon. She describes her underwear as "equal parts Victoria's Secret and Guns & Ammo magazine." (Suggested Celebrity Endorsement: Angelina Jolie)
5. For the Britney Wannabe: Bellybutton Lights