Cornelia’s Holiday Suggestion List


Ah yes, it’s that time of year again… when I want to shoot out all public-address-system speakers playing Christmas carols, nuke DJs who play “Little Drummer Boy” ad nauseum, and pepper-spray anyone who has a problem with people who say “Happy Holidays” instead of religion-specific greetings. Ahem.

With that in mind, here’s a list of holiday gift ideas for those with a dark-adapted heart…


1. Alexander McQueen Skull Pumps

Hey, five-inch heels, golden studs, and bejeweled skulls… what’s not to love? Am thinking of wearing the black version to my daughter’s deb party. Especially because somehow the blue version costs about five hundred bucks more.

$717 at net-a-porter, originally $1195. What a bargain!

2. Souvenir NYC T-Shirt

For that annoying aunt who objects to profanity and can’t ever seem to remember where you live…

Sure, you can get them for five bucks on Canal Street, and this website charges $9.95, but still. Ossum.

3. Baby Beard Hat

I prefer to think of this little number as unisex. And then you have the perfect reason to encourage your breeder friends to wander around pushing strollers while singing “I’m a Lumberjack And I’m Okay.”

Reasons to live.

Handmade. $25

4. Martha Stewart Landmines

Because, hey, when you blow shit up? You want to make sure you’re color-coordinated.


5. Anubis Plush Doll

Okay, I’m going to hold out for the “Tickle-Me” version, but still… way better than Elmo.


6. A Bouquet of Dead Flowers


“We will send a spectacular bouquet of crap for you!” claims the website. Complete with really ratty, awful-looking card.

Roses or mixed floral bouquets, $19.95-$100

7. Crime Scene/Quarantine Sandwich Bags

Does your loved one’s lunch get stolen out of a communal fridge? Put an end to that in a big fat hurry!!


8. Cthulu Christmas Sweater

Ah, if only I were still married, I finally have the perfect gift for my ex-belle mere.


9. Porcelain Octopus Mug

When caffeine just doesn’t cut it, in the morning, throw a good scare into them! (Also comes in “Shark Attack.”)



10. Hannukah Candy Canes

Because man cannot live on latkes alone.


11. Lemons.




12. Foie Gras Bubble Gum


Dude. You know you want it.



13. Big Brother Bag


For those Republican relatives who are averse to recycling.



14. Oil Portrait of Poe

I don’t know about you, but I’D sure like an Edgar. Hand painted.


14. Rhinestone Flame Platforms

Santa would much rather find you wearing these than a plate of stale Chips Ahoy. And that goes double for you, Corbett.

Five-inch heels, concealed platform.


15. The Spanish Inquisition

Give the gift of the unexpected.



X. My Little Carbine

From the website:

The Glambo Signature Series “My Little Pony” M4A1 carbine with forward handgrip and AN-PVS4 night vision sight. This fully functional weapon fires standard 5.56mm ammunition — great for those AR-15 fans with extra ammo lying around the house or even extra parts! (Note: the full-auto selection has been disabled in this model in favor of three-round-burst. This product cannot be shipped to California.) The perfect way to introduce your little princess to the wonders of nocturnal wet-work! 

Eat your heart out, California.


Fess up, ‘Ratis… what do you want for the holidays?

33 thoughts on “Cornelia’s Holiday Suggestion List

  1. Sarah W

    Those shoes. I wouldn't make it three steps without breaking something crucial, but I must have ALL those shoes in ALL the colors.

    And the octopus mug.

    I've pretty much circled the entire ThinkGeek catalog already. No foie gras gum for me—I'm going straight for the chocolate-bacon cocoa and the caffeine soap. And the DNA sampler pen. And the Dr. Seuss-inspired Call of Cthulhu picture book. And . . .

  2. KDJames

    I was sitting here wondering why I was still awake this late on a work night. Now I know. It's so I can revise my Christmas Wish List. Won't my kids be surprised.

    Cornelia, you rock.

  3. Daisy

    There was a McQueen clutch from a couple years ago where the handle was brass knuckles with a skull on top that I almost broke down and spent everyone else's christmas gift money on. Not sure how I managed to restrain myself; still kind of regret it.

  4. Shizuka

    I crave the shoes. Both pairs. Along with the requisite balance, a life that merits them, and a chauffeur to drive me around so I never have to take the subway.

  5. Cornelia Read

    Sarah, we totally have to go shoe shopping together. Even if these are all what my mother would call "sitting down shoes." And I forgot to check Thinkgeek!!

    KD, so glad you were up as late as I was!

    Daisy, I think I just saw that on Ebay. Was sorely tempted myself…

    Reine… mmmmmmmm, clam rolls!!

    Shizuka, from your mouth (/fingers) to Vishnu's many, many ears…

  6. Pari Noskin

    I'm particularly fond of the plush toy . . . it's just so wrong. As is, well, much of this wonderful list.

    Thank you for all the shopping ideas!

  7. Reine

    Cornelia, oh I know . . . but if you can wear those iconic ducky boots of yours from Bean . . . well a few crunchy fried Ipswich clams in an iconic New England style hot dog bun has to be okay. And December does end in an R, so . . . when would be better to have a gift trip home with that North Shore treat?

    Maybe I'll break down and have Santa bring those ducky boots this year. I rebelled in school. The only girl not to wear them. Traditional or not . . . so fucking ugly I wore my old red Wellies instead . . . . Reminded me of Nantucket for some reason. You know me. Always a bit off.

  8. Alexandra Sokoloff

    Oh, god, always my favorite post of the year! I'll take those skull pumps, Santa. You can shop for me any time, C, these are marvelous.

    I have a new obsession with Spanish designer Desigual, if anyone else is stumped on what to get me.

  9. Reine

    Oh dear. IM from Scout: Reine-Marie, Love . . . R months are when you must NOT eat shellfish, and that is why we never go to the house in Mashpee for Christmas. [I think I've sullied the name of Edwards.]

  10. Reine

    Wow! Tons of IMs from the North Shore!!! Scout has it backwards! Could it be? A Harrington bests an Edwards? If so, I think Santa should give me that trip home for Christmas.

  11. Cornelia Read

    Pari, I, too, love the plush Anubis. And I just really, really want it to have a voicebox with a deep maniacal laugh…

    Alex, you and me and Sarah, shoe-shopping? I'm going to go check out Desigual… yea!

    Reine, I'm so glad I'm not the only person in the world who sends and receives crazy shellfish trivia text messages. We MUST be cousins! And I didn't get duckboots until I lived in Syracuse, and then succumbed with a bang. Have sworn by them ever since. Especially the ones with Thinsulate liners.

  12. Reine

    Thinsulate! Yes! I forgot there was something new in Duckybootland!

    PS: I believe we are cousins through a Winthrop connection.

  13. Rae

    Fabulous. I"m on board with everyone else who's lusting after the shoes. Not that I could actually walk in them, but who cares? They're gorgeous!

  14. Allison Davis

    Shoes? I'm into the SHOES…oh yeah. I thought we should compile a book of short stories about shoes (I have several, stories, more shoes). Wearing my four inch Jimmy Choo's today (half price at Blue Fly).

    Awesome post, love the shopping list.

  15. Susan Shea

    A wonderful list and I especially appreciate your ability to add photos – my attempts rarely work. But the fan of your books in me wonders if, ahem, you have more time on your hands to do this research and clever posting than bodes well for my desire to read the next adventure in Madeline Dare's weird and wonderful life? Anyway, I hope you get everything on your Christmas list and, you rte right, the McQueen shoes count as a real bargain.

  16. Cornelia Read

    Reine, Thinsulate is AMAZING. Much recommended.

    Alex, maybe at ITW? Might be reason enough for my to finally register for the damn thing. Though what I saved on registration would buy some mighty fine shoes.

    Rae, I think you should just be draped gorgeously across a chaise in fabulous shoes. We'll carry you.

    Allison, Choos? You're my hero!

    Susan, amen. Just turned in final final of manuscript a couple of weeks ago. YEA!!!

  17. Gayle Carline

    Love the shoes, but think my knees would commit suicide if I wore them.

    What do I want for Christmas? A tiara, a wand, and a way to wish away my cataracts. Apparently, they won't operate until I can only read two lines above the normal top line on the chart, but I'm getting damn tired of having constantly blurry sight in the right eye. I guess I could lie and SAY I can't read the top line, but I don't think the doctor would believe me.

  18. Reine

    Cornelia thanks for the Thinsulate tip. I must catch up with the times. I finally gave up my madras headband. What next? I don't do glam well. Not at all. Although my senior reception pic with Shel is fabulous!

  19. Cornelia Read

    Ach, Gayle–cataracts! That sucks, but everyone I know who's had the surgery is supremely happy with it. I think you should lie. AND I think we can make space for you on Rae's chaise the next time you want to wear knee-threatening shoes.

    Reine, yea for madras headbands and thank you for the manuscript "yea!"

    Dusty, if I win the Powerball, those landmines are yours!! What color?

  20. Zoë Sharp

    Hey Cornelia

    What does it say about me that I want the Martha Stewart Claymores and the Glamguns M4 (but only if I'm allowed to shoot the plushy Anubis with it – long story) and the octopus (or shark) mug, and the quarantine sandwich bags, but I could take or leave the shoes?

  21. Sarah W

    Cornelia and Alex, Count me in!

    Not sure about Thrillerfest . . but we could propose it as an official Bouchercon activity for those of us (meaning me) who shouldn't be allowed to touch a bowling ball or a karaoke machine.

    By then I could probably save up enough for shoes and a Cleveland hotel room . . . And for those flame platforms, or the skulls in any available color, I'll apply myself.

  22. Sarah W


    It probably says you prefer mobility, loud noises, and that your own legs and ankles remain unbroken.

    I can see your point . . . but think of how TALL I'd be in those shoes!

  23. lil Gluckstern

    I love the shoes, Thinsulate lined wellies are probably more appropriate for me. Safer anyway. Cornelia, that baby should be wearing a SF Giants tee for their closer. I vote for clam rolls; are they available in the winter? You are an artist with your blogs, very creative, and painstaking. By the way, did I say I love the shoes?

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