On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Laura, and Gem talk about several elements of the holiday consumer frenzy. Lauren tackles gift guides, Gem explains why corporations love gift cards, Ashlyn talks about holiday debt, and Laura ends the show with a discussion of some truly bizarre holiday products.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that delves into issues of science, critical thinking, and secular humanism.

Gift Guides: Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop gift guide suggests you buy a whole village (Vox) | Gwyneth Paltrow’s 2018 Goop Gift Guide (Cosmopolitan) | Totally Random, Totally Useless Holiday Gift Guide (Chefdruck) | Holiday Gift Guide 2018 (Chatelaine) | Subchronic inhalation toxicity of gold nanoparticles (NCBI) | The Hater’s Guide (Deadspin) | The 2012 Hater’s Guide to the Williams Sonoma Catalog (Deadspin)

Gift Cards: Gift Card Warning: Check Retailer’s Health (NPR) | Gift Card Review: Public Consultation Paper & Survey (Government of Manitoba) | Prepaid Purchase Card Requirements (Manitoba Consumer Protection Office) | Scam alert: Be wary of gift cards sold on a retailer’s rack! (Consumer Affairs)

Charitable Giving: LUEE Episode 115: Holiday Charity Special

Holiday Debt: Debt Snowball Versus Debt Avalanche: What The Academic Research Shows (Forbes) | 5 ways to cure your Christmas debt hangover (MoneySense) | Holiday hangover: Americans racked up more than $1,000 each in holiday debt (CNBC) | Christmas on Credit: How to Avoid the Debt (My Money Coach) | Here’s how you can avoid piling on holiday debt (Global News) | Don’t Let the Ghost of Christmas Gifts Past Hurt Your Finances (Huffpost) | Why Don’t People Manage Debt Better? (Scientific American Blogs)

Strange Holiday Gifts: As Seen on TV Clever Cutter (Canadian Tire) | 5 Condom Variety Christmas Fun Pack (Amazon) | Christmas Tinner Is the Dinner in a Can You Never Knew You Needed (BestProducts.com) | Shoppers take to Twitter to mock stores’ Christmas bleaches (Daily Mail) | Inhealer Himalayan Salt Inhaler (Showcase)

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About Gem Newman

Medical student and former software developer. Host of the Life, the Universe & Everything Else podcast. Past organizer of the Winnipeg Skeptics. Former board chair at Bad Science Watch. Writer of things. Grower of beards. He/him.

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