Its become an annual TBP tradition — each year, I pick some of the more odd & interesting things I stumble across in my travels as well as items off of my own wish list.

We always get lots of good feedback about this — so following my last post mocking Black Friday numbers, just to show I’m no Scrooge, let’s kick off the Shopmas season with some ideas for those of you who may have been very, very good this year.

Go forth and stimulate:


Gerber 01471 Suspension Butterfly Opening Multi-Plier with Sheath $23

For the Camper/Outdsoorsman on your list: I own a Leatherman that costs 3X what the Gerber runs, but I honestly cannot explain why. This is a solid tool at a very reasonable price.

Bonus: Gerber makes several solid collapse shovels that are also reasonably priced (see this and this)


Preston Sturges – The Filmmaker Collection $33.50

Contains some of the funniest comedies ever filmed: Sullivan’s Travels/The Lady Eve/The Palm Beach Story/Hail the Conquering Hero/The Great McGinty/Christmas in July/The Great Moment

Preston Sturgess wrote, produced and directed all 7 films.

Sturgess fans will note that this is not the complete works — what is not included: are Stugess gems such as The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek; The Beautiful Blond from Bashful Bend; and two of my all time favorites, Unfaithfully Yours; The Sin of Harold Diddlebook).

Regardless, it is a mighty fine starter set for any film buff, school student or budding fan of cinema.

Bonus: The Lady Eve may be the single best romantic comedy ever made.


C-3PO MIMOBOT 4-32 MG USB Flash Drive ($15-35)

C3PO protocol droid as a ridiculously cute flash drive.

Check out the R2D2 drives as well.

See other themed flash drives at Mimoco.



•  Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day $31 (Deluxe Edition 2CD, 1 Blu-Ray, 1 DVD)

On December 10, 2007, Led Zeppelin took the stage at London’s O2 Arena to headline a tribute concert — and what followed has been described as possibly the greatest rock and roll concert ever — a two-hour+ tour de force of the band’s signature rock ’n’ roll. Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham, (son of late drummer John Bonham), performed 17 songs, recorded in high definition with stunning audio quality.

My head exploded as I listened to this.

Buy it for any 50 something rockhead in your family — they guy who KNOWS that Kanye ain’t shit, Aerosmith is 2nd rate, Bon Jovi is a pussy, and this is real Rock and Roll.

Ramble on . . .

The 2000 Year Old Man:The Complete History $39

Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner met 60 years while working on Sid Caesar’s television series “Your Show of Shows” as writers. They created this routine (which the show turned down) in which Reiner asks earnest questions of Brooks who is a 2,000 Year Old Man.

It was ground breaking in its time, and today, its simply hilarious.

The two of them are Masters of Comedy. This is a work of stunning originality, and remains studied and revered by comedians even today.

Brilliant comedic wit, timing and improvisation by two of the greatest comedians ever — this is simply the perfect gift for anyone on your list who fancies himself a quick wit or funny guy.

Bonus: Brooks & Reiner have been making the rounds lately, doing a Seinfeld interview as well as a Dick Cavett HBO special.


Exploring Wine: Completely Revised 3rd Edition $39

For the oenophile on your list:

Essential wine reference for food and wine aficionados.

This is an invaluable guide that will demystify wine, teach the basics of wine production to the nuances of wine lists.

Written by pros for pros, but accessible to anyone.

Bonus: Drink as you read!



Breville BDC600XL YouBrew Drip Coffee Maker ($249-$275)

The missus has been after me to get a single cup coffee maker, but I have ducked them — they all are  mostly terrible.

I was about to spring $200 for the Starbuck Verisimo, when a reader pointed me to this: A lovely stainless steel beastie that not only brews a nice pot of coffee, but also has a single cup setting.

There is an insanely detailed description at Amazon of all the features. (The price does seem to be fluctuating a bit)

Note the Breville BDC550XL The YouBrew Glass version — which is minus the thermal pot and some minor features — also does the single cup brew is on sale for $179. (UPDATE: Prices are swinging pretty wildly on this one, from $179-$249 — be selective in when you make this purchase)


Go Pro Here 3 $226-359

Go to YouTube and do a GoPro search — you will pull up half a million videos of the most mind blowing filmed activities — everything from skydiving to free skiing to kite surfing to amateur track day racing.

Lots more good stuff at the Go Pro site. There are waterproof surf versions, motorsports editions, and of course, the ubiquitous helmet cams.

Check out some of the incredible videos at YouTube.

Or better yet, go make your own!


Octopus Vase by Shayne Greco: ($700)

This is one of those items that a photo simply cannot do justice to:

A double octopus vase, standing 15x17x16, cephalopods’ tentacles engulfing the entire vase in 8 arms of sucker cupped glory.

More photos here.

Artist: Shayne Greco;

Retailer: OBX Trading


Skip Barber Performance Driving School: $1500 – 3200

I previously mentioned my experiences at Lime Rock, but the experience was really more than driving — it was all about the Skip Barber classes — if you never took a high performance driving course, well, you should. (Then go back for a refresher every 5 years).

The nice thing about giving this as a gift, is 1) It is very memorable; 2) You can save someone’s life by teaching them to drive well; 3) It is ridiculously fun.

I highly recommend it!

Category: Consumer Spending, Current Affairs, Markets

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

33 Responses to “TBP Holiday Shopping Ideas!”

  1. Bob A says:

    message to self: “let go there”

  2. drewburn says:

    You and Mrs. BP camp?????


    BR: We both grew up with fathers that Fish — and so we fish!

  3. catman says:

    Santa also might bring some music – Goat Rodeo? Hard Again? Affinity? Habana? SomeMelhdau trios? Barry?

  4. MidlifeNocrisis says:

    I was very fortunate in my life to have the opportunity to race NASCAR Winston Racing Series (back when tobacco ads were still PC) for 12 years (1984 – 1996), including alcohol Modifieds.

    Highly recommend everyone drive a race car at least once in their life if they can find a way to do it. Nothing mixes testosterone and adrenaline like a race car. Green Green Green!!

  5. sellstop says:

    I like and can relate to the wine book.
    Have you been drinking??

  6. Rich in NJ says:

    I have been a fan of Preston Sturges films since a friend had me watch “Palm Beach Story” back in the ’80s.

  7. VennData says:

    I’m spending all my special dividend money on Christmas goodies. I’m an indexer, so I will get a little piece of every one. Thanks, corporate American, for your insane tax avoidance. THis is going to be a big boost for Obamanomics guys.

  8. Liquidity Trader says:

    You are into some weird shit. That Octopus Vase is kinda freaky.


    BR: You need to see it in person — its way cool looking

  9. rebvenice says:

    Barry, as a longtime reader of your blog and someone who always recognized that you had very good taste, I am thrilled to find that you love Preston Sturges, the very first and maybe the most talented writer/director of film comedies ever. I might be his all-time biggest fan, and I agree with you about “The Lady Eve” being perhaps the best romantic comedy of them all, but also wanted to recommend to you 2 films he wrote (but didn’t direct) early on — “Easy Living” and “Remember The Night”. Also happy to hear you’re a fan of Brooks and Reiner — brilliant stuff.

  10. davefromcarolina says:

    Barry, this is the wine geek must-have of the season:

    Wine Grapes

  11. Cato says:

    Wine books are always great gifts and that one ie very good, but also check out Hugh Johnson’s ‘Wine Companion’ latest edition – I have the fourth and was the best gift I received in a while! Also, for real geeks, Jasper Morris’s latest tome on Burgundy has just been released – I was sent a preview of the first part of the ebook and it’s really really nice, if less accessible than others.

  12. [...] Tips From a Behavioral Economist (Bloomberg) see also Our Annual Holiday Shopping Gift Ideas (TBP) • How to make your children intelligent (Economic [...]

  13. Joe says:

    I’ve owned Gerber kitchen knives and pocket knives and liked them. Friends and I bought the Gerber belt tools years ago. Mine lives in the dresser box like half the friend’s. It took it a week to get there; I decided to get another Leatherman after a week. The rest are lying a long throw from where they bit the owners hand HARD. Unless they changed radically, it will take all of 5 minutes use to thoroughly hate them. They fit the hand like a condom with corners fits the …


    BR: No doubt, the Leatherman is a high quality piece of equipment — but damned, this is so inexpensive, and the Gerber Green Multi-Tool I left on the boat all summer came thru the saltwater exposure just fine.

  14. Ralph says:

    I second Lady Eve as a wonderfully charming Barbara Stanwyck/Henry Fonda movie.

  15. Greg0658 says:

    last nites 8:18pm plus reply .. multiple days without modern electrical power is camping – no matter where you are


    I went looking to no avail on the status of that dangling crane .. I found they lashed it enough to allow people under it .. whats happening with it ? some of us with crane experience care how its going … just 1 more for the 4th estate – do your jobs :-)

  16. Lariat1 says:

    Well Barry thank you, three members of my family now have neat gifts coming their way. Also thank you for the Skip Barber reminder at Lime Rock. Finally I have purchased high performance driving class for my motorhead husband. It is the perfect gift for the guy who doesn’t need anything( insert gratitude).

  17. MorticiaA says:

    BR: as a long-time reader of TBP, your annual Christmas list post is as much of my holiday routine as watching The Christmas Story. Thanks for the ideas again. The 2000 Year Old Man is a perfect gift for my better half. His list is very practical this year; I wanted to add a surprise of a not-practical gift.

    I might be late in posting this – we here in Houston get new stuff way later than anywhere else, it seems – but I and many of my female friends LOVE Baggalini, a line of purses designed by flight attendants. They’re (as you would expect) AWESOME for women who travel for work.

  18. Lariat1 says:

    @ MorticiaA: My niece swears by her Baggalini bags. Her Bag n Go is all she ever takes when she goes to NYC. It handles all she needs for those day trips.

  19. ben22 says:

    Love these lists Barry, glad this seems to be an annual staple of the blog now. I’ve gotten some really great gift ideas here the last few years.

  20. Cynthia says:

    Kashmir is my favorite Led Zeppelin song on all time perhaps because it carries such a raw and powerful punch:

  21. Clem Stone says:

    Lady Eve is indeed the best ever. And here is the very rare original movie poster for hanging on your home theater wall:

  22. hue says:

    all these Zeppelin fans, smells like high school

    another version of Kashmir

    Damone’s five point plan (it’s not IV)

  23. louis says:

    For the history buff in the family.

  24. Irwin Fletcher says:

    My father-in-law go the Breville coffee maker recently.
    It’s the real deal.

  25. diogeron says:

    Ok, Barry, I’m with you on the Led Zeppelin cd, but I’d edit your comment about the “50 something rock head” and add the words “or older.” I saw LZ in 1967 at the Atlanta Pop Festival and became an instant fan. One of the great tragedies of musical history is that nobody filmed that like Woodstock, but I digress…

    As for great, live documentary films, hard to beat “The Last Waltz” by The Band and The Talking Heads “Stop Making Sense.”

  26. number2son says:

    Sturges was brilliant and his movies have stood the test of time. Indeed, and sadly, Sullivan’s Travels is relevant to our current times. But don’t hold your breath waiting for Speilberg to go Sullivan on us anytime soon.

    Too bad the Sturges films aren’t blue-ray or I’d be all over it.

    But I did pick up the new Hitchcock set as a gift for the kids ( Looks like the price has jumped back up >$200. I got it for 20% less just last week.

  27. Fredex says:

    Gerber: Gotta love a company whose motto is “Fend for yourself.”

  28. [...] Its the second installment of our annual tradition — some of the more interesting and eclectic items I stumble across each year. (Our first edition is here). [...]

  29. [...] of great feedback about the last lists — you can see part one and part two here — so here is our third round of Shopmas ideas for those of you who have loved [...]

  30. [...] see — its all good stuff for the trader in your life. (You can see out earlier suggestions:  part one, part two and part [...]

  31. [...] you missed any of them, just click below: • TBP Holiday Shopping Ideas! (an assortment of various baubles, books and gifts from [...]

  32. [...] have some people left to shop for. (Its probably too late for the stuff on our prior gift guides TBP Holiday Shopping Ideas;  More Shopmas;  Even More Shopping Ideas; and the snarky Gift Giving Guide for  [...]