Sitting on my back porch on a particularly hot recent day, it was a breath of cold air when the mail arrived with six Christmas catalogs. It was just in the nick of time because I had planned to start my holiday shopping any 90 days now.

My favorite publication in the pile was the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog. I haven’t made fun of their eccentric gift suggestions in almost two years, so summer is the perfect time to get back in the Christmas spirit.

Their publication always begins with a short introductory note by HS spokesperson Richard Warren. In this edition he begins by alluding to the global pandemic, which is just what we want to hear to get us into the holiday mood.

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