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John Lamb, Published December 03 2013

Lamb: Publicity hype just in time for the holidays

People complain about the Christmas creep in stores, on TV, over the radio, basically every place south of the North Pole.

These people are not in the media. They could not handle the holiday hype we are pitched starting in June each year.

Every other e-mail I open at work is like stumbling across a commercial for a Ronco Stud-Setter. Every day is a steady stream of publicists asking if we are working on a gift guide, or are we interested in speaking with a dietician about eating healthy at the holidays or can they get us on the phone with a therapist to talk about tips for lessening your stress at Christmas.

What they never offer is to stop badgering you. That’s fine. That’s their job, to try and get their client a little bit of media exposure. I understand that. I may be a bit jaded as a journalist, but I get that everyone has a job to do.

I’m not without a heart, even if my soul is darker than the ink on this page. That’s why today, for one column only, I will share with you some of the wonders from the holiday publicity world.

Like the Kiinde Twist. I don’t know what it is, because after I read the teaser, “Breasts and the holidays?” I knew that I needed one. Or, preferably two. I wasn’t as intrigued by the two other offers in the same e-mail: “Firearms and Christmas” and “Botox gift certificates – believe it or not moms want this!”

I do not believe this.

Nor do I believe a Generac back-up generator is high on my readers’ wish list. Though, maybe if I were to take this publicist’s offer and talk to Art Aiello of Generac he would, “discuss how a backup generator is of vital importance this holiday season.”

A lot of publicists really want to sell you fear this holiday season, and luckily technology is there to help. Like the new app from Sickweather, that alerts you when you’re around “sick zones,” as gathered by social media. So if you’re leaving a movie and your friend posts to Facebook or Twitter that, “The injustice and hardships in ‘12 Years a Slave’ made me ill,” Sickweather will alert you that you should kick your sniffling “friend” to the curb.

And thanks to UrgentCall, you’ll be notified when that friend takes a turn for the worse with an emergency automated call that will keep ringing until you pick up your phone.

Looking for a gift for that hard-to-shop-for, quasi-spiritual non-conformist? Check out Karma Mantra T-shirts.

“Karma Mantra is more than a lifestyle brand, it’s a dedicated effort against cookie-cutter style stores and conformist fashion,” the press release stated.

Yes, get that fierce individual a mass-produced T-shirt a publicist is telling people to wear in a mass e-mail. Yours for the low, low price of $32, plus shipping and handling.

Another e-mail suggested thoughtful stocking stuffers like an ice cream scoop, a bottle of “Baby Sparkling” wine or, because not only babies like to drink, a bottle of “Downton Abbey” wine. Down that and you’ll cry like a baby again for Lady Sybil.

I’ll pass.

But I may bite on the offered interview with “leading therapist” Evan Katz, author of “Inside the Mind of an Angry Man.”

My first question will be, “What exactly are you leading?” Followed by, “Is this a self-help book to make me angry, because the 13 e-mails I got from your publicist already did that.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533