My 5 Favorite Funny Christmas Gifts

I got a lot of great stuff for Christmas. Some items were standouts. There were beautiful, seriously thought-out items, which I will treasure. And then there were the ones that made me laugh out loud. If you want to start buying for 2011 already, I have saved you some trouble. Get these:

A Fireplace DVD

Go ahead and laugh. Get it out of your system. I love this DVD. Even though we live in temperatures that average in the 80s, I miss having a fireplace during the holidays. There is something really cozy about sitting near the fire with a good book. That, my friends, is why the Cozy, Cracklin’ Fireplace DVD became one of my favorite gifts this year. You just pop it into your DVD player, and the logs burn down. It has hissing and crackling noises too. Mine has the option of Christmas carols or Mozart in the background, but I am happy with the snappy fire noise.

I know what you are thinking: Omigod, she is so tacky. Yes. Agreed. No contest. I read the comments about these DVDs on Amazon, though, and I am not alone in my quest for fire. Lots of people like me find you can “feel” warmth coming from the screen. If you live somewhere without a fireplace, and you long for the reassuring ambiance of a hearth fire, this is a frugal person’s dream. There is also no need to buy (or cut and split) firewood, stack firewood, check the woodpile for spiders, haul wood inside, clean up soot, or wreck your rug with hot embers. I love it.

Here is a shopping tip, though. There are an unbelievable number of different fireplace DVDs on the market. Because I had dropped a last-minute hint, my husband shopped everywhere and the only one he was able to find locally was Cozy, Crackln’ Fireplace. But with all of this warning, you have the luxury of shopping at online retailers like and reading descriptions, ratings, and reviews to find the best version for your special someone.


Are you still one of those “I hate fruitcake” people? Give it UP! I am not talking about the kind of fruitcake that our aged neighbor pulled out of her freezer and gave to us last year ("I’m not sure where I got this, or, um, when..."). This was Harry & David fruitcake, resplendent with chunks of dried fruit and nuts. Even my husband, who previously suffered from “I hate fruitcake” syndrome, had to admit it is delicious.

The Hawaii Cook Book

Those of you who share my love of thrift stores would enjoy this book from 1965. My friend Betsy knew I would dig it. Anyone for “Fish and Yam Fritters” or “Poi Muffins”? This is a treasure, and it reminds me that I should comb more thrift stores for classic cookbooks. They make fun gifts.

Marshmallow Shooters

These are a HOT item here on the Island. Yes, we do have TV...but load up your camo-painted PVC pipe with a mini-marshmallow, pop someone in the eye, and you will soon understand why you cannot find mini-marshmallows for your baked yams around here at Christmas. You can make your own shooters or buy them online.


After buying the neighbor boys a Yahtzee game at our local big-box retailer, my husband found a dice game with the rather bizarre name of “Farkle” (Patch Products, Inc.). I suppose that is really no odder than “Yahtzee.” Anyway, he decided we needed to learn how to Farkle. It is really fun, and I am not saying that because I just beat him 10,000 to 4,300. It is just something about the word, as in, “Ha ha, you just Farkled.” Saying it never gets old (well, yet).

There you have it, readers, my five hot tips. Get ready for 2011. Can anybody beat THIS stuff? If you can, I would love to read about it in the comments.

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Guest's picture

I love Farkle! My 5 year old niece picked it out for my dad for Christmas, and we all had a great time playing it. I love that you can play with two people or twelve, and it was really easy to catch on to. I had never heard of it before, so I thought it was interesting to see it on Wisebread!

Guest's picture

For another really fun, easy game that's great for big groups...have you ever played "Left, Right, Center?" It's actually more fun the larger the group is. I've played it with poker chips, and as party game there was a gift card grand prize for the winner.

Marla Walters's picture

Hey, a fellow Farkle-er! Thanks, Mandy, for mentioning that it is easy to catch on to this game - I should have mentioned that. Thanks for your comment, and Happy New Year!

Guest's picture

For the record, you are correct that the "Farkle" jokes never get old. Love that game!

Guest's picture
Marla Burpee

Not only informative - but super entertaining!
Thanks Marla Walters for another great article!

Guest's picture

Ahhh... Fruitcake and Farkle by the Fire for some friendly, fall fun. Funny article. BTW, wear goggles when you're dueling with marshmallow shooters. "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!"

Guest's picture

My favorite is fruit cake...i just love it

Marla Walters's picture

Me, too!