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Monday, Mar. 10, 2014
Do you need a special Christmas gift? Try thisPosted Monday, November 30, 2009, at 7:36 PM
Since we've officially embarked on another Christmas shopping season, I've found the perfect gift selections for that someone on your list that is difficult or impossible to shop for.
No, I didn't rush out and participate in the insane post-Thanksgiving Day shopping ritual yesterday known as Black Friday. I avoided all of the rushing around for that special bargain and I wasn't trampled, pushed, shoved, gouged, grouped or insulted at any of the area department stores or shopping malls.
The special gifts I did find could even be gifts for someone who is not on your "naughty or nice" list and you just wanted to give them a special treat this year that signifies your true sentiments toward them.
You know, I bet they don't have a necklace or a Christmas ornament made out of reindeer poop.
Well, a Bloomington, Ill., zoo has taken recycling to a new marketing level and is offering Christmas ornaments and pendant necklaces handcrafted out of reindeer dung.
That's right, and these unique gems come complete with a certificate of authenticity from the Miller Park Zoo, according to wire service reports.
Now, how is that for a gift that didn't make the Twelve Days Before Christmas list?
The ornaments that sell at the zoo gift shop for $7.50 apiece are made of dried chunks of reindeer pooh-pooh collected by loyal zoo employees and then clear-coated or rolled in festive glitter.
About 450 have already sold this season and another 1,500 are still available. By mail, the ornaments are $10 each.
The $15 pendant necklaces are said to contain dried and sterilized reindeer droppings -- sprayed with glitter -- on a beaded chain.
They are on the shelves at the zoo's gift shop, or by mail for $20.
Zoo officials point out that while reindeer are not small animals, their waste products come out in small chunks suitable for the branches of a tree or placement on a pendant that hangs around your neck.
Excuse me if I can't really get a visual of what one of these waste ornaments or dung necklaces actually looks like.
I think the thought of the origin of both would be enough to make me shy away, but I do realize there are blocks of people who gravitate to "different" kinds of gifts.
This makes the fruitcake look like a good holiday gift.
But there is some reason to these new products.
Miller Park Zoological Society spokeswoman Susie Ohley told the Associated Press that she estimates the zoo could make $16,500 on the two dung zoo store items.
She says the zoo folks need to look for every penny possible by any means available. The zoo lost $200,000 under city budget cuts earlier this year and is looking to make up that shortfall.
I guess the upside to all of this is when someone says your Christmas tree or your necklace looks crappy ... they are correct and that is probably a compliment because it is actually crap, so to speak.
* On a more pleasant topic, I read this week where more than 200,000 shoppers are wearing buttons this Christmas season that proclaim a straightforward message to retailers -- "It's OK, Wish Me A Merry Christmas."
Individuals and churches around the country have mobilized and are partnering with the Wish Me A Merry Christmas Campaign asking advocates not to be bashful about a return to the traditional greeting.
They are wearing buttons that make a clear statement.
To find out more about this campaign, go to www.wmamc.com .
Have a good week and happy shopping.
Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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