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
If you won't let your 12-year-old pierce her bellybutton, you can at least allow her to insert a flashing neon Belly Light ($6.95). "You can shake like Britney and they won't come off," says Jerry Phlippeau, president of manufacturer Gammagarb. They stick with an adhesive, and the company claims to have sold more than 2 million lights. What's next? Lobe Strobes — flashing lights that go in your ears and hair.(Suggested Celebrity Endorsement: Britney Spears, of course)
6. For the Guy Who'd Rather Be Watching Football: The RoboMower
One day robots will take over the world and enslave us. But right now, for $695, you can have one mow your lawn. Best of all, these creepy-crawly vacuum-like devices look a bit like R2-D2.
Friendly Robotics introduced this device earlier this year, after a two-year run in Sweden, where the company claims to have sold more than 5,000 backyard cyborgs. (Suggested Celebrity Endorsement: Homer Simpson)
7. For the Paranoid: A Portable Lie Detector
Does the love of your life end each sentence with "Do you mean that? Do you really mean that?"
End that now. Give that special someone a hand-held lie detector. Sophisticated polygraphs cost $5,000 and require serious training. The Handy Truster from LieBusters.com exposes fibbers by detecting tremors in their voice and claims 82 percent accuracy. Wouldn't you pay $37.95 for 82 percent honesty? "Honesty," says Rick Garloff of LieBusters.com. "What could be more in the Christmas spirit?" (Suggested Celebrity Endorsement: O.J. Simpson)
8. For the Annoying Travel Companion: An Emergency Hammer
Every holiday, you travel. And every year, that neurotic relative stresses about the speed of the car/snow on the ground/holiday traffic (you pick). Give him this emergency hammer.
When the car hurtles over a bridge and you're all trapped under water, he can tap his way to freedom (after he says "I told you so"). At $19.95, the emergency hammer features a double steel tip to shatter windows, a razor-sharp knife to slice through seat belts and a built-in rescue beacon. (Suggested Celebrity Endorsement: Ted Kennedy)
9. For the Dirty Old Man: A Beard Vacuum
You gotta love Uncle Arthur. The man looks good in everything he eats. But those sugarplums in his grizzled beard are from last Christmas. The venerable Wahl Clipper Corp. has come to the rescue. The $59 Trim 'n' Vac allows you to groom those whiskers without leaving hair in the sink. Maybe now, Aunt Bessie will take him back. (Suggested Celebrity Endorsement: Osama bin Laden)
10. For the Honeymooners: Time-Release Handcuffs
Talk about the old ball and chain: Now you can test your relationship with time-release handcuffs for couples. Timecuffs are not standard-issue police accessories. Manufacturer Shea Masters says these manacles were inspired by a night he spent accidentally handcuffed to his spouse, and claims his product can improve any relationships. The "Honeymoon" model ($129.95) keeps a couple connected for seven fun-filled hours. The "Bind Date" ($119) model lasts long enough for a dinner and a movie. (Suggested Celebrity Endorsement: Tom Cruise while lashed to Nicole Kidman)
11. For the Crazy Cat Lady: Pet Spa Vacations
We all know how important it is for Kitty to have a $50 holistic massage. So do the folks at Las Ventanas al Paraiso, in Los Cabos, Mexico, where John Travolta, Jon Bon Jovi and Cindy Crawford vacation. You and your pet can join the beautiful people — for $550 a night.
At this world-class spa, licensed masseuses are ready to give fancy felines and pampered pooches stress-reducing, full-body massages and paw manicures. The restaurant features separate menus for Fido and Fluffy, serving albacore tuna, poached salmon and braised beef over rice in bejeweled bowls.
If you want to send your pet off on his own — and can't bear saying the word "kennel" — check out The Golden Paw in San Diego. In this $60-a-night, pets-only hotel, a kitty can luxuriate in a deluxe suite, overlooking a birdfeeder, complete with an aquarium, TV tuned to Animal Planet, and someone who'll sit in a rocking chair and pet the precious little darling so he won't miss you.
And don't fret over separation anxiety: Golden Paw Webcams allow for round-the-clock communing with your furry friend. (Suggested Celebrity Endorsement: Zsa Zsa Gabor)
12. For the Hopelessly Immature: Kitchy Stocking Stuffers
If you must surf on the latest pop-culture wave, look for Popcorn Forks and snowman paint. Chocolate aphrodisiacs might not work, but you can never go wrong with chocolate. And if potty humor's your thing, you can help wipe out terrorism with Osama bin Laden toilet paper . But for true gross-out goodness, there's nothing like Slim Sphincter flatulent rendition of the Christmas classics, including an inspired version of "Silent (but Deadly) Night." (Suggested Celebrity Endorsement: Tom Green)
Bonus Gift: For the Perfectionist: A Do-It-Yourself Snowstorm
Why dream of a white Christmas, when you can virtually guarantee one with the $1,995 Backyard Blizzard. All you need is a garden hose and temperatures under 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Backyard Blizzard's compressor mixes water with air under pressure, then forces it up and out of a 10-inch snow gun. Upon contact with cold air, water droplets crystallize into a thick snowfall that blankets up to a 1,000-square-foot area with up to 3 inches of snow in less than three hours. (Suggested Celebrity Endorsement: Martha Stewart)
Buck Wolf is entertainment producer at ABCNEWS.com. The Wolf Files is published Thursdays. If you want to receive weekly notice when a new column is published, join the e-mail list.