Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Gift ideas for those hard-to-buy people on your list

Here are a few off-the-grid ideas

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They gave a newborn infant incense and an oil used for embalming. Those choices suggest either a penchant for re-gifting or last-minute desperation.

If you find yourself in the latter category, don't do anything rash such as buy a bunch of boring, practical stuff that will make you just one more in a long line of generic, unimaginative, follow-the-herd gift givers.

Wake up and smell the myrrh.

When it comes to gifts and giving, it's the thought that counts, and we at Detour are here to help you think outside the box. Way outside.

Happy holidays, everyone!


Keep on the grass


You may not be able afford to take your loved ones on a winter escape to a tropical paradise, but you can give them the feeling of walking barefoot on artificial turf.

Australian footwear company KUSA calls its grass flip-flops "an attempt to treat the syndrome of disconnection from nature and community felt by modern society."

They'll occasionally need to be fluffed, and probably shouldn't be kept near the family dog, but otherwise, these sod-soled shoes will make every day a walk in the park.

Available at for around $30 a pair.


Why, Mary... it's minty fresh!


Are there people in your life who think their you-know-what doesn't stink? Make it so with PooPourri.

Where other bathroom sprays offer little more than a chemical coverup, PooPourri, when spritzed into the toilet bowl before business commences, creates a protective barrier on the water's surface. All you'll smell is "a refreshing bouquet of essential oils," apparently. Think Chanel No. 2. Choose from a variety of scents, including Royal Flush, Nature's Call, Trap-a-Crap, Daisy Doo and, just for the holidays, Santa Poo.

Sold on starting at around $10.


Smooth... and bacony


Is there someone on your list who is obsessed with both personal grooming and the pungent aroma of cured porcine flesh?

Thanks to a couple of Wisconsin "Bacontrepreneurs," the best a man can get this holiday season is not just a smooth, close shave but a deforested face that smells like a diner and could launch a pack of hungry dogs.

J&D's Bacon Shaving Cream boasts "advanced heat-activated aromatic technology" and, according to its creators, is best used "after a hot shower or before an important date with someone you may want to spend the rest of your life with." Pairs well with egg shampoo.

Sells for $14.99 at


Horkin' beautiful!


Celebrate a loved one's uniqueness by turning their spit into a frameable work of art.

Here's how it works: The folks at DNA 11 send you a kit. You send back a sample of your subject's saliva and the Ottawa-based laboratory does some sciencey stuff with the ol' double helix and turns it into a beautiful piece of abstract, digitalized "genetic art."

A perfect gift for family members who have always wondered why y'all have that hooked nose and tin ear.

Choose from DNA Portraits, Fingerprint Portraits and Kiss Portraits. Prices start at $198. (Readers can enter discount code WFP20 to receive 20 per cent off through Dec. 16).


Pick a pick, any pick


The Pick Punch is the perfect gift for any axe slinger, but particularly one who might be relying a little too much on the ol' plastic to finance their rock-star lifestyle.

Musicians will have plenty of plucky fun with this specialty hole punch, which can turn credit cards, old driver's licenses, empty soda bottles -- pretty much any piece of plastic around 0.80 mm thick into a unique guitar pick. Groupies will line up to collect 'em.

Get it for $24.99 on


Missed a spot, cutey


Exhausted new parents will appreciate this ingenious invention, which turns a crawling infant into a human Swiffer.

Baby Mop is just what it sounds like -- a onesie with mop heads attached to the arms and legs. Junior can polish the floor and maybe pick up a bit of dust and hair while he's down there takin' care of developmental business.

An added benefit of Baby Mop, according to the website, is that it will "teach your baby a strong work ethic early on in life."

Sells for $40 at


This one's Steve Jobs...


One person's dead technology is another person's living aquatic entertainment centre, as an enterprising Nebraskan has proven with his iMacquarium.

The sentimental techie on your list will love this blast from the dot-com past. It's an Apple iMac G3 that has been gutted and transformed into a 3.5-gallon aquarium that's ready to use right out of the box. Fish can even be fed through the apple hole on the top.

Creator Jake Harms also sells a do-it-yourself iMacquarium Kit. Note that it comes with a warning: "DANGER! Do At Your Own Risk!"

iMacquariums are $350, kits are $199 at


Ohhhh... the mummy lives


Save a saggy, wrinkly, double-chinned loved one from going under the knife by wrapping up one of these Face Wrap home kits.

Unlike its famous cousin, this bra "lifts mugs, not jugs," so the ad slogan goes. Billed as a "non-surgical facial beautification breakthrough," it promises to lift, firm and tighten the chin, neck, cheeks, brows and forehead while it softens and freshens the complexion.

It only looks like you've wrapped a pair of surgical stockings around your face. It's the special liquid minerals that users apply to the fabric before use where the magic happen.

Sells for $129 at


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 8, 2012 E1

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