Okay, I'll stipulate it's getting closer to Thanksgiving, and that
flogging Xmas gift giving is thus slightly more defensible than it was last week. On the other hand, as I am wont to mention these days, the economy is still (in Raymond Chandler's immortal phrase) trying to crawl under a duck (and no, the long awaited stimulus package in my pants has yet to arrive).
Still, the ineluctable fact is we're all going to have to buy presents this holiday season no matter what our straitened circumstances. And that being the case, I'd be remiss at this point if I didn't mention that if you've got a little disposable income you really ought to check out Warner Home Video's March of the Penguins Limited Edition Gift Set.
What do you get for your hard-earned kale? For starters, a beautiful transfer of the Oscar-winning 2005 documentary that started it all, the aforementioned March of the Penguins, narrated in comfortably avuncular tones by the wonderful Morgan Freeman, and starring an all-penguin cast. This is a flick that never fails to bring a tear to my eye. Watching it, I can't help but recall a great New Yorker cartoon from the early 90s; a bunch of bears are walking out of a movie theater, whose marquee announces that they've been seeing a film called The Salmon, and one of them says "I never knew they had feelings, too."
You also get a brand new and endlessly watchable followup doc, On the Wings of Penguins, which follows the alternately heart-warming and amusing travails of the warm-weather African species. And as bonuses, there are eight beautiful color penguin postcards -- mail them to your friends to keep them cognizant of a certain avian nomenclature -- and an absolutely adorable three-inch penguin plush toy. I'm holding mine as I type this with my other hand, and I must say, it's giving me a real feeling of emotional security.
Bottom line: A great package, and a gift in totally good taste. You can order it here. As they used to say at Mad magazine -- $35.99. Cheap.