If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Google, or YouTube you know that my nine-year-old daughter, Aubree, dominates the universe that is Chris Short.  She is my everything; what can I say?  Years of being a Daddy, deployments, TDYs, and a grueling (but amicable) divorce have proved to me that without her, I am not sure why I am on this planet.  The fact she defines cool is absolutely amazing.  She has not broken out into the social media scene, does not understand branding, nor does she really care about what others think about her yet all the while she defines cool.  I mean, I am cool, but she’s the bee’s knees, son!

About a month ago, a ThinkGeek catalog shows up in the mail.  Over an exquisite dinner (I might be a dork, nerd, and IT guy, but I am well versed in the culinary arts) Aubree and I pilfered through this catalog and as remarkable as it may seem she was really fired up about some of the products that were offered by the infamous, ThinkGeek [Twitter].  This, of course, had me floored.  I went on a spree that can only be defined as ThinkGeek overload (No, folks, I’m not part of their affiliate program, I’m not getting a kickback, and I doubt ThinkGeek really cares about what I say; I’m trying to help you out).

Here is a list of cool things Aubree noted as wanting and will actually be in her stocking or under the Christmas tree this year.  Needless to say, a few of these items already live on my desk at work or will end up in my Christmas stocking this year (updating quantities is so easy).

  1. Astronaut Ice Cream – Neapolitan -Freeze dried ice cream is simply divine.
  2. Bi-Color LED Blow On-Off Candles – 6 Inch Candle – I love candles and so does Aubree.  But, having a burning mass of wax in her room while Aubree jump ropes or does whatever it is that awakens me from naps on NASCAR Sundays in between loads of laundry is disconcerting at best.  An LED candle solves numerous problems (and it actually smells good too).  Did I mention you blow on it to turn it off or on?
  3. Collector’s Edition Slinky – You cannot deny the absolute awesomeness of a Slinky.  Peace treaties have been negotiated for a Slinky (historical accuracy might be fictitious).
  4. Dead Fred Pen Holder – As horrendously morbid the concept of this product is I can’t deny its usefulness.  Since putting one of these on my desk at work, I always have a pen available and when my Airmen drive me up a wall there is no denying that stabbing this thing with a ball point is better than stabbing them with my knife.
  5. Despair, Inc. 2010 Custom Calendar – Okay… I have to admit that this was just for me.  Who doesn’t love demotivation?
  6. Glow in the Dark Mars Mud – I do not know what this stuff is but, Aubree said it was cool so it is going in her stocking (in the container, of course.  Although, pouring it into her stocking did cross my mind).
  7. Self-Rescuing Princess Babydoll – Black, S – When you consider Aubree is getting Super Mario Brothers Wii for Christmas this t-shirt is infinitely more awesome.  The fact that she wants it makes it even more awesome.  Awesomeness squared, folks, need I say more?
  8. USB Plasma Ball – I think the one I ordered for me at work is already worn out.  There are four things I turn on in the morning when I arrive at work and this comes before everything else.  Aubree has no idea what it is but I am beyond certain she will appreciate it.

Needless to say, you just are not cool without one of these items in your stocking this year.  Tailgate tested does not have anything on the A-U-B!  While it might be too late for you to improve your cool on Christmas Day, you can always make up for a shoddy Christmas on New Year’s Eve (unless you are Chinese, then I’m not sure when the hell you would pick up the slack).  You can use coupon code 9LHB to save $10 if you spend $50 or more or save $5 if you spend $25.