Tuesday December 20th, 2011

If you're anything like me, the idea of shopping for gifts during the holiday season hasn't even crossed your mind yet, which means, like me, you're a bit screwed. So in an attempt to procrastinate even longer and avoid my responsibilities as an active participant in the holiday gift-giving tradition, here are some last minute gifts for the tennis lover in your life, who already has an RF cap, a Rafa bandana, and a Caroline Wozniacki/Stella McCartney dress, which, let's face it, he or she doesn't know what to do with.

• For whatever reason, tennis video games aren't great. You would think that a medium that was founded on the simple game of Pong would have been able to translate the speed and athleticism of tennis into an awesome gaming experience. But it hasn't, no matter how great Atari 5200 Tennis was. But that's not to say that the tennis-loving gamer in your life is out of luck. Check out this clock made out an old Nintendo Tennis cartridge. Come on, that's just cool.

• For the tennis fan who insists on opening bottles by bashing them into the ground (sometimes referred to as "The Marat Way"), this recycled tennis racquet bottle opener would solve a lot of problems. Plus, it's made out of wood rackets, so he or she can totally act pretentious whenever opening a bottle of fizz, recalling "the good ol' days" when men had beards, women wore glasses and chalk flew up.

• While we're on the Etsy/recycled goods topic, how about this nifty change purse made out of an old tennis ball? It's practical and it says "I love tennis and loose change more than you." And think of the hilarity that will surely arise when your friend mistakenly grabs this instead of a real ball while in the tense throws of a serving drill at your local tennis club. Extra points if you put a bird on it.

• Who doesn't love a good T-shirt? This limited edition tennis-themed shirt -- which accurately depicts how the game is played -- is pretty nifty. Or, if you're going for something a bit more understated, how about this Lacoste T-shirt that says, "Maybe I'm into tennis, maybe I'm just into fashion. You'll never know until you ask me. I have suddenly become the most interesting man in the world. Let's chat." Or if you're looking for a T-shirt that relays the exact opposite, here's your answer.

• If I had a coffee table for every coffee table book I've received as a holiday gift, I would have a house full of coffee tables. But if I ever received this coffee table book (Mike Powell's A Game to Love: A Celebration of Tennis), or this coffee table book (Wimbledon: Visions of the Championships), I would very proudly display them on the one coffee table that I actually use.

• Do you like tennis? Do you like music? Well have I got the solution for you! Pick up a copy of Cape Dory, the debut album from a band called Tennis. It's a really great album, despite the fact that as far as I can tell, the band has absolutely nothing to do with tennis other than being called Tennis. • Did you know there's a Japanese anime series that revolves around a tennis prodigy who attends a youth academy? Well there is. It's called Prince of Tennis and it's available on DVD and in manga form. But here's a hint: It's also available on Hulu. So ... maybe your holiday gift can just be a really nice card and a link? Hey, these are tough economic times. I'm sure your anime-loving friend would understand.

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