I know Christmas is only a few days away, but many unprepared souls (including me) are still shopping for their loved ones.  Here’s a moderately helpful gift guide for any Cubs fans still on your list.

CHEAP

  • Chicago Cubs Mr. Potato Head  I know it’s kitschy, but I don’t know a Cubs fan who doesn’t have one of these somewhere in their home or office.  And while it lacks the interchangeability of a full-sized Potato Head (its feet don’t even come off!), I’m pretty sure this toy is at least part of the reason my niece and nephew are able to recognize the Cubs logo.
  • Pennants  I can’t explain why I like pennants.  They’re not the easiest thing to display.  In a frame they look too bulky and weird.  Out of a frame, they’re magnets for dust.  And yet they’re appealing in some intangible way that no poster or painting could ever achieve.  The same goes for tin signs.
  • The W Flag  It looks like these are sold out right now in most official or unofficial Cubs stores.  However, you can still purchase the retired number flags for Banks, Williams, Santo, Sandberg, Jenkins, and Maddux.
  • Mitchell & Ness Duffle Bag  I have one of these, and I like it a lot.  It’s the perfect size for the gym or for short trips.  And thanks to the vintage styling, it’s a constant source of compliments (in case you’re the kind of person who needs strangers to approve of your hand luggage choices).
  • Underwhelming Autographs  Auctions sites like ebay are a great place to find joke gifts, like autographed Brant Brown and LaTroy Hawkins cards.  Last year I bought Jedi a baseball signed by The French Mistake himself, Jacque Jones.

NOT-SO-CHEAP

  • Autographs  Joke gifts aside, there is a ton of signed memorabilia on ebay.  And while nothing takes the place of waiting in line and getting your autograph in person, these can still be great gifts for the Cubs fan in your life.  And you can sometimes find surprising bargains.  For example, here’s a baseball signed by Mark Grace for less than $40.  Nevermind, I bought it.  Suffice to say, you can find some gems if you have the patience to look for them.
  • Fatheads  Decorate your basement, panic room, or fallout shelter with life-size wall clings.
  • Customized Jerseys  The Cubs.com store has a nice selection of customizable jerseys, and the cheaper ones can be had for around $100.  They’ve got the home whites, the alternate blues, and even the 80′s pullovers.  And in case you’re the one guy who thinks they look cool, you can buy a personalized batting practice jersey.
  • Bean Bag Chair  Watch the Cubs surrender a late-inning lead in slouched, semi-seated comfort.
  • Game-Used Baseballs  You can choose the specific game you want, although it looks like several dates are no longer available.  Or if you want to spend a little more, you can get that baseball turned into a wallet, a necklace, or cufflinks.  Although at that price, I think I’d prefer the cufflinks made from actual Wrigley Field seats.

CRAZY EXPENSIVE

  • Game-Used Base Stool  The “Game-Used” mania taken to it’s unnatural conclusion.  An interesting conversation piece, to be sure.  But does that even look comfortable?
  • Wrigley Field Murals  I don’t care if they’re simply Fatheads for rich people–if I had the space and the cash, I’d have one of these hanging in my home right now.
  • Vintage Jerseys  Hard to go wrong with any of these, but I think my favorite is the 1969 Santo.  Or maybe the 1984 Sandberg.  But then I’ve always had a thing for the powder blue/pinstripes road uni from the 70′s.  Oh, who am I kidding–I’ll take one of each.
  • Wool Jacket  Do I want to spend $450 on a jacket I can’t wear in the rain?  Yes.  Yes, I do.
  • Carpet Tiles  Make like the rest of the NL Central and walk all over the Cubs.
  • Recliners and Sofas  I see these proudly displayed online and in almost every MLB catalog that comes in the mail.  But has anyone ever actually bought them?  I’ve never seen one in the wild.

So there you have it.  Just a few suggestions as you wrap up your Christmas shopping.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some pennants to bid on.

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