Christmas Shopping 2006: The Way Forward

The president may be sleeping better than people would assume, but I'm not: I've been laying awake at night obsessing over my Christmas gift list.

There are only a few days left and the long, hard shopping slog is deteriorating into buying chaos.

Things have gotten so bad I'm thinking of withdrawing from the whole holiday gift-giving quagmire by Christmas '07, but, following the president's reasoning, I've decided to add a temporary surge of names to my list in the hope that I may be able to achieve holiday peace through escalation.

I may not win the war on Christmas-fatigue, but at least I'm not losing.

Here then is my beefed up annual list of presents for my favorite -- and not so favorite -- public figures.

Vladimir Putin: A polonium-210 fruitcake (no re-gifting, Pootie-Poot!).

Lindsay Lohan: An adequite spell-check program for her BlackBerry.

Ted Haggard: The name of a licensed masseur. A copy of "Believable Explanations for Dummies."

Mark Foley: A set of super-absorbent towels and a new screen name (RepPerv69).

Sen. Tim Johnson: A full and speedy recovery.

George Bush: A "surge" of sanity. (Though, no doubt, it will be returned).

Laura Bush: A sight-seeing tour of Iraq, since she's convinced we're not getting an accurate picture of Iraq from the media.

Hugo Chavez: A can of "Devil Away" air freshener, for those hard to eliminate sulfurous smells.

Noam Chomsky's publisher: More Hugo Chavez speeches at the U.N.

Heather Poe (Mary Cheney's girlfriend): Continued good health for Mary, since, due to the efforts of activists from Mary's Dad's political party, Heather will have no parenting rights over their forthcoming child under Virginia law.

George Allen: Something to wear while he decides what to do with all his free time: a pair of nice, warm macacasins.

Britney Spears: Private parts that remain private. A new dresser to hold all the pairs of underwear she'll be getting from every other gag present-giver.

Tom Tancredo: A 700-mile fence around his xenophobia and demagoguery.

Jim Webb: One clean punch.

The people of New Orleans: New Orleans.

Mel Gibson: "The Big Book of Anti-Semitic Slurs in Dead Languages" (bonus stocking stuffer: a pair of actual sugar tits).

Al Gore: A new mantle to hold his Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth.

John McCain: A case of Pepto-Bismol, to make swallowing all those maverick independent "principles" a little easier on the tummy.

Condoleezza Rice: A dustpan and broom to sweep up what's left of her reputation.

Tony Snow: A second microphone, for when he talks out of both sides of his mouth. (Q: how can you tell he's doing that? A: his lips are moving).

Mahmoud Ahamdinejad: The Diary of Anne Frank and DVDs of Schindler's List, Shoah, and The Pianist.

Donald Rumsfeld: Nothing. I'm out of gifts. And, as Rummy knows, you go to Christmas with the presents you have, not the presents you want.

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