We truly live in a golden age of shopping. Anyone with a credit card and a public library nearby can basically get anything they want, delivered right to their door. (Unfortunately, for me this has translated into buying chocolate bars in bulk.) Which means we live in a dark age of gift giving - if your intended recipient wanted something, he or she would've already bought it, right?
So far, I've figured three ways out of this conundrum. One, use your internet sleuthing skills to track down a product that has escaped the giftee's notice, but that he or she would have bought, had he or she known about it. (Good luck with this one.)
Two, homemade gifts. Only a jerk would not appreciate a homemade gift. (I learned to use a pressure canner this summer for just this reason. Confidential to my friends and family: if you enjoyed Thanksgiving, you're going to love the quart of smoked turkey stock made from the leftovers in your stocking this year!)
Three, shell out for something way too expensive for the giftee to buy him or herself. An option of limited usefulness, obviously.
However, the holy grail of gift giving, especially if you have to do one of those awful secret santa things, is the gift that everyone can use. This can be harder than it seems. Apparently, not everyone drinks alcohol, for example. And traveling with that bottle of RumChata can present an awful quandary when you don't have time to check your bag and you have to either give it up to the good folks at TSA or chug it. Everyone streams their favorite TV shows and movies, would never wear that scarf or tie, and no one prints out photos for that charming picture frame. And gift cards are just sad.
This is all to explain why I'm so excited that the University of Louisiana-Lafayette has come through for all of us in a big way. We're talking about a gift that literally everyone on your list can use (well, assuming they are over the age of 9). Not only that, it's a gift that everyone on your list should use! It shows that you care about their health. That you aren't giving some frivolous knick knack that will sit on a shelf for a few months until they have the heart to throw it out. And it's priced in a range all of us can afford - the under-$5 range (shipping not included). That's right: a Ragin' Cajuns toothbrush.
According to the website, it has "soft bristles," an "oval shaped head with angled bristles" and is "perfect for any RAGIN' CAJUN fan!!!" Perfect, indeed. In fact, the Ragin' Cajuns have inspired me to take my gift giving to the next level this year. My nearest and dearest will now be getting a whole kit so they can make their own version of that famous cajun dish, gumbo. It'll have rice, andouille sausage, file powder, a lovely spice mixture, and of course, turkey stock. And a Ragin' Cajuns toothbrush to address the aftermath. Just imagine the looks on the (9+ year-old) kids' faces on Christmas morning! Who needs a tablet computer, anyway?
To order, download the form here
and enter #NS54.