Offbeat Gift Guide 2020: Mask-up-and-stay-healthy edition

The holidays are a time of traditions and the most beloved of these is WTOP’s annual collection of offbeat gift ideas.

This year will be no different.

Actually, it will be quite different, because … nevermind. No need to recap.

Making spirits bright is a given around this time of year. And this time around, keeping ourselves and our loved ones healthy is of particular importance, too.

So here’s a lovingly curated collection of gift ideas that aim to do both.

Joe Exotic face mask ($19.99)

Let’s start with a mask celebrating the man we all watched when this pandemic began: Joe Exotic. You, too, can now sort of look like the “Tiger King” when you’re nervously walking through Harris Teeter to pick up cat food. Firearms, lion cubs and weird music videos sold separately.

Sloth from “The Goonies” mask ($8)

Yeah, masks are a great gift idea this year, and with good reason: They’re a must-wear item (ahem) until we get vaccinated and they present another opportunity to be fashionable or — in this case — weird. Here’s one that Gen Xers will appreciate, featuring the whatever-he-was from the 1985 adventure film.

Face Shield ($14.95)

Here’s a little added protection for those who might want it. The sellers say it’s “fog resistant,” which is handy if you don’t want to look like a certain Super Bowl-winning coach.

Party funny Human 3D Printing face Mask ($8.99)

Here’s a nice one to wear whenever children are around. The friendly smile is not terrifying at all and they’ll delight in the joy and happiness you radiate. Other options are available from this Etsy store, too.

Hooded face shield ($50.49)

Here’s an option for those times when you want everyone to see your face — or when you want to play astronaut. You also can zip this face shield open — whenever you’re responsibly distanced, of course.

Ear saver elastic strap ($3)

Nothing against Prince Charles, but I don’t think humanity welcomed the all-too-apparent side effect of masks that put tension on the ears. Enter this inexpensive little solution that comes in two different lengths. Be advised: There are other options out there that do the same thing. This strap is featured because it appears to be the most comfortable.

Stouffer’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese sweat suit ($95)

For so many Americans working from home, the pandemic has meant two things: working in pajamas and eating too much comfort food. This little ensemble commemorates that shift in daily life. It’s a nice substitute for your usual deer-hunting attire.

Old Bay hot sauce dispenser ($159.95)

Buying in bulk minimizes those trips to the supermarket, so here’s a way to stay well-stocked on Old Bay’s “tangy-with-a-kick” hot sauce.

The dispenser’s got a 1.5-gallon capacity and even includes 3 gallons of sauce.

Finally, an easy way for you Marylanders to pour it over your breakfast cereal just so.

(Oh, be advised that Old Bay sells masks, too.)

Musician Face Mask ($16)

Ever since health experts started urging us all to wear face coverings in public, you probably wondered, “How will I ever give another saxophone recital in this new normal?”

Guess what, mi amigo? You’re only $16 away from a solution. It’s available in two sizes (teen, adult) and in a variety of colors.

Hands-free door opener ($25.22)

There are a few of these out there on Etsy and elsewhere. This German-made one is apparently easy to assemble and doesn’t require drilling into the door.

Fauci mask ($13.72)

One last mask to consider, and this one’s a no-brainer. It features the calm, no-nonsense likeness of the nation’s top infectious disease expert: our neighbor, Dr. Anthony Fauci. Available in two colors and four sizes.

Fauci prayer candle ($15)

The seller calls him “The Patron Saint of Staying Home.” We’re all probably praying a bunch these days anyway, so why not add the good doctor’s likeness to the ritual?

It’s unscented, so don’t freak out if you can’t smell it.

‘New Normal’ tumbler ($14.50)

It doesn’t have to be filled with whiskey, but it certainly helps.

Commemorate This Whole Awful Thing with a nicely etched tumbler. It works equally as well with scotch or any other liquid crutch you’re leaning on these days.

Heck, you can even skip the alcohol altogether if you feel daring.

Funny dog coronavirus mug ($18.95)

Now something for your coffee drinkers …

There’s nothing — and I mean NOTHING — funnier than a dog in a cowboy hat.

Bonus points are awarded when sunglasses are involved. Additional bonus points are awarded when the sum effect is the dog resembling Jerry Reed circa 1978.

The text underneath the pup reminds you to “wash your paws,” “avoid packs” and “wear your muzzle.”

Copper Clean Key Tool ($24.99)

You’ve probably seen these around to help you avoid high-contact surfaces. This particular one is featured because it’s made of copper, which doesn’t play nice with microbes, so you can open doors, buy gas, check out at the supermarket, etc. with a little more confidence.

Using it to touch electrified surfaces is not recommended.

Touchless hands free foot door handle opener ($7.99)

It’s another take on hands-free door openers. You’ll find this and similar gizmos on Etsy. This one is singled out because it’s one of the lower-priced options out there. As you can see, it works well with Croc — probably not as well with Jimmy Choo’s.

COVID-19 prevention sign ($24.99)

A sign of the times that’s also practical: It’s a nice reminder that avoiding COVID requires some simple measures. This sign measures 24 by 36 inches. (Bonus: Much of the advice is applicable during flu season, too).

Masked Santa ornament ($8.99)

Christmas ornaments are both a celebration of the season and a commemoration of Christmas past, and this ornament is a nice way to mark a holiday unlike any other.

Winnebago Paddles crafts these ornaments from wood left over from their main business, which is making gorgeous kayak and canoe paddles.

“We just hate to have things go to waste,” they said.

Poolside Fauci shirt ($14.99)

One doesn’t just become the nation’s top infectious disease expert overnight, and you best believe Dr. Anthony Fauci paid the cost to be the boss. Here’s a shirt that reminds everyone to stay distanced and keep your cool while we wait for the vaccine.

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Jack Pointer

Jack contributes to when he's not working as the afternoon/evening radio writer.

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