Today’s post comes courtesy of alert bookseller and guest blogger Kenny Brechner (in photo at right, posing for the New England Children’s Booksellers Association’s Men of NECBA Calendar) from DDG Booksellers in Farmington, Maine. In these tough economic times, independent booksellers are always looking for ways to supplement meager margins. Recent Elf on the Shelf discussions in the bookselling world led to Kenny’s proactive measure (see below), which just might turn this retail season around, at least in Farmington.
Happy Hanukkah, everyone!
One holiday item that has been in the news lately is The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition® that delightful book-and-toy kit which features an elf who "monitors" the behavior of its recipient and reports back to Santa on whether the child has qualified for Christmas by being good. At DDG we realized that a similar product was needed to help improve the celebration of Hanukkah. Now, it is true that some have criticized attempts to have Hanukkah keep up with the Joneses, as it were, with recent creations such as "The Hanukkah Bush," but no one could criticize the outstanding new product we have developed here at DDG, designed as it is to provide young Jewish gift recipients the same sort of experience that their Christian counterparts are receiving from The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition®.
The product in question, which we are launching as I write this, is called The Fedora on the Menorah™. The Fedora on the Menorah™ is a hat that kids put on after receiving their nightly present, which promptly reports on whether or not they actually appreciated their gift, thereby qualifying them for, or disqualifying them from, receiving the next night’s present. Just as with The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition®, The Fedora on the Menorah™ takes the guesswork out of holiday gift-worthiness. Generations of children have been expected to put a good face on the more prosaic gifts they receive during the eight-day gift-receiving gauntlet that is Hanukkah, but with The Fedora on the Menorah™, duplicity will become a thing of the past. The routine of hiding your disappointment over Aunt Norma’s sweater will be replaced by the sort of soul-testing personal intrusion that makes the holidays an achievement, rather than an entitlement, for children.
How does it work? Well, the Fedora has a ‘gift dial’ on its brim, with categories on it such as sweaters, socks, educational computer games, books about Hanukkah, and so forth. With the category having been selected, the built-in Lie Detector registers from the gift recipient’s sweaty brow whether or not she truly appreciated her gift, and then the built-in voice chip reports its findings. For example the recipient of a sweater might be revealed as feeling that, "I’d rather have a moldy clementine than this rotten, itchy sweater," or commended for feeling that, "I’m so appreciative of receiving this sweater. In fact I’m glad I didn’t get that silly netbook I asked for. You’re right Dad, I would have gotten tired of it in a few minutes!" When you give The Fedora on the Menorah™ you’ll be giving the greatest gift of all: a conscience!
Margaux appreciates her Lightning Whirl-O Magnetic Top. Maybe she’ll get a bigger present tomorrow!
Margaux is not up to the stern challenge of this gift, she’s disappointed by receiving a package of Kugelach, the "Jewish Jacks" game, which is actually nothing but five small lumps of metal, and is broadly considered to be one of the worst sidelines of all time. Our own lab tests have revealed it to contain no fun at all, but still, no gift for you tomorrow night, Margaux!
Our product development team is always looking for dynamic new ways to improve international celebrations and security. Please submit your product development suggestions below.