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Posted at 2:40 PM ET, 11/17/2010

Justin Bieber doll to boost retail industry? In other news, gifts for people who hate Black Friday

By Katie Rogers
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"Night of the Living Dead" or Black Friday 2009? You decide. (Richard A. Lipski/The Washington Post).

Every year around this time -- and it's always way too early -- BLACK FRIDAY SALES!!!!!!!!! e-mails, commercials and Internet ads pop up absolutely everywhere.

Here's my confession: I hate all of it. I've never participated in the consumer freakout festival that is Black Friday (but if that's your thing, you'll really like this). It's scary. (Remember when people were threatening each other with loaded guns over Tickle Me Elmo? I do.)

And now that a Justin Bieber doll is expected to boost the entire retail industry's fourth quarter, phobics like me are almost guaranteed to stay indoors until Dec. 24 at 11 p.m., when it's safe for reasonable people to run out and snatch up whatever's left. (Sorry, Dad.)

Because I have to believe there are others out there like me, here are my lists of decidedly "unhot" gift alternatives. Three words: Yeti air freshener. Read on:

Introducing the [UPDATED] anti-hot gift list:


  • Hot: Justin Bieber doll. The kid's done wonders for iTunes. The logical next step would be to throw him at the economy.

  • Unhot: Zombie doll. The undead are so unhot right now. The secret bonus is the free anatomy lesson.

  • Hot:The iPad. Duh. Apple products take a backseat only to Bieber. (Shameless plug for Washington Post iPad app here! So funny it was spoofed.)

  • Unhot: Wacko crafts from Etsy. Forget Apple. Support eccentrics this holiday season. Crochet a space shuttle for your kid, who will somehow learn to forgive you later. Or brighten up your loved one's living space with a Yeti air freshener. Ugly friends? Fake beards! I could go on forever.

  • Hot: A 3-D TV. I'm not really even sure what that means.

  • Unhot: A BOOK! ANY BOOK. ANY BOOK AT ALL. For the love of Bieber, pick up something that does not have a swipe screen and read. Fiction critic Ron Charles is here to help, but irony would have it that his latest video is about book apps for phones.

  • Hot: A new version of Zhu Zhu pets. I'm going to take my best guess as a child of the 80's and assume Zhu Zhu pets are like a cross between a Furby and a Matchbox car. BORING.

  • Unhot: A three-pound package of live honeybees, as suggested by reader Alex Jokela. I don't really need to tell you why this is a good idea.

More suggestions:

@washingtonpost Go to a museum and have a unique experience w/ family. And if you shop, do it at the museum's gift shop! #antiblackfridayless than a minute ago via TweetDeck

@washingtonpost For the record, nearly all of my wish list this year is (print) books. I am quite anti-hot in 2010. #antiblackfridayless than a minute ago via HootSuite

@washingtonpost, ooh, okay wait, what about a whole leg of proscuitto? #antiblackfridayless than a minute ago via web

That's all I have so far, but I'm willing to learn more about other unhot gift ideas you might have. (I'd also like to thank my friends, who were completely unhelpful in the making of this post.) Send your thoughts to #antiblackfriday and I'll post any good ones back here in this blog. And if you're one of the poor souls planning to shop, tell us why in the comments below.

By Katie Rogers  | November 17, 2010; 2:40 PM ET
Categories:  Your Take  
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Comments

Don't be hating on Zhu Zhu pets. One day they may rebel.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 18, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

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