Life in the Fishbowl’s 2017 Wish List

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Life in the FIshbowl's 2017 Christmas Wish List

When I was younger, I remember poring over the toy sections of our family’s Sears Wish Book and Service Merchandise catalog during the weeks and days leading up to that magical Christmas morning. As “low-church Protestants” this, coupled with preparation for our church’s children’s Christmas musical, was as close our family got to an Advent-type ritual.

While I was tempted to circle every single toy in our family’s catalogs (except maybe the WWF WWE action figures, but that’s probably another post altogether), I would eventually take time to finely craft my Christmas Wish List, emphasizing the items that I really really REALLY wanted, instead of the ones that I merely really wanted. I’m not gonna lie. It was stressful. Being a kid in the 80’s was hard, y’all. With the Star Wars and the GI JOE and the Transformers and the LEGO and the Voltron and the Masters of the Universe and all things, it was a great time to be alive. And with all that awesomeness, it was almost impossible to narrow down my list to something manageable and realistic. But I did it.

If I was able to go back in time and talk to late-80’s me, I’d probably encourage him to push harder for the USS FLAG playset because…well…that thing was HUGE. And full of awesomeness.

As soon as our Thanksgiving feast was complete, our youngest began feverishly curating her wish list so she could put it in a letter for Santa Claus. She didn’t bring her letter when she got to visit Santa, but we’re dropping it in the mail very soon.

Someone was a little star struck when she met Santa. Wouldn’t say a word. #ILikeSanta

A post shared by Matt Todd (@mattdantodd) on

So it’s in this spirit that I’ve searched the Internet for some pretty cool stuff. And without further delay, I present to you the Life in the Fishbowl 2017 Christmas wish list. Enjoy. 

Getting Ready

Make the most of the time leading up to Christmas Day with these items…

Advent Calendars

LEGO Friends Advent Calendar available at Target

Count down to Christmas with these fun Advent calendars from LEGO. The LEGO Friends Advent Calendar, LEGO City Advent Calendar, and LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar are available at But you should hurry. History shows that these aren’t available for long!

An Artificial Christmas Tree from Tree Classics



Full disclosure: I used to work with Tree Classics when I worked at a digital marketing/PR/SEO firm. That’s the first time I’d heard of their products, even though they’ve been around since the 70s. That’s when I discovered their great Christmas products. And they aren’t limited to Christmas trees! After I left that agency, I jumped at the opportunity to work with them again. I realize you probably already have your Christmas tree, but if you’re looking for quality artificial Christmas trees, wreaths, and other decorations, you really don’t want to look much further than Tree Classics.


Ugly Christmas Sweater(s)


Ugly Christmas sweaters used to be something that people wore in an ironic sense. Now they’re a must-have for Christmas gatherings. has some amazing ugly Christmas sweaters and t-shirts. You know you want one.


Treat yo self to some cookies

What makes decorating for the holidays even more memorable? All the treats you eat while you’re decking the halls. So treat yourself to some amazing cookies from David’s Cookies while you’re trimming your tree or wrapping gifts or just settling down for a long winter’s nap.


Evergreen Elf 

Seriously. If you’re going to have a live tree instead of an artificial tree, you really need to get an Evergreen Elf. He’ll help you keep your tree from drying out. And a dry tree is a dangerous tree.icon Be sure to use my code, FISHBOWLELF96 when you make your purchase!

Evergreen Elf is a game changer when it comes to fresh Christmas trees. He works hard so you don’t have to. No more crawling through gifts just so you can stick your hand into some sticky water, only to find out that you have plenty of water. Evergreen Elf does all the work for you, telling you when you’re low on water.

Like I said:


Doing Good

Why not consider helping to change the world with your Christmas gift(s) this year? Here are a few organizations that are making a difference both locally and around the world.

Compassion International

Maybe you want to buy a gift for someone you know who wants to change the world. I highly recommend you consider purchasing an item from the Compassion Gift Catalog in that person’s name. Fruit trees, business training, literacy training, goats, cows, and chickens. You name it, you can probably provide it through the Compassion Gift Catalog. Check it out. The price starts as low as $7.




Working with organizations that are making an impact in local communities around the world. When you make a purchase from Cotopaxi, not only are you buying a high-quality product, but you’re making a difference in the lives of people around the world. Pretty cool, huh?


You might remember that we sold MudLOVE bracelets and mugs as part of an adoption fundraiser.  While we aren’t raising funds anymore, we’re still pretty partial to this organization and their mission. Every item purchased provides one week of clean water to a person in need.
Gateway Services

Gateway Services Franklin, IN

In case you didn’t know, I’m an Employment Advisor with Gateway Services. We help people find meaningful work in the community and continue coaching them once they have accepted the job. It’s an amazingly rewarding experience. Like most nonprofits, we aren’t swimming in the dough. Some of the things we would love to be able to provide (upgraded technology, building improvements, and an increase in services provided are just a few of the things that would be awesome to be able to do) are cost-prohibitive. A gift of any kind would make a huge impact in the lives of our community members.

We’re in the middle of a campaign to get people to purchase tickets to our “No Show Holiday Ball,” where you’re NOT invited to show up. 🙂 Maybe you want to buy a ticket for someone?


Sports Apparel and Memorabilia
From college to professional teams, has apparel from your favorite teams.

Sports Memorabilia has an impressive collection of sports-related memorabilia. Here’s just a small sampling of what they offer.

Star Wars

Now that Disney has moved the Star Wars release dates to December*, it can’t be Christmas without something Star Wars related. Of course, every Christmas was a Star Wars Christmas for me, even after the unthinkable happened and the store catalogs stopped including Star Wars merchandise in their promotions. So it’s really no surprise that Star Wars gets its own category in the 2017 Wish List. These selections are available through Amazon. And if you try Amazon Prime with a 30-Day Free Trial, you will get these products sent to you super-fast.

Droid Inventor Kit

My first Star Wars toy that I bought was the Droid factory. It had different Droid pieces so you could make all kinds of different Droid figurines. This new Droid Inventor Kit blows that toy completely out of the water. You can make the Droid follow different commands. It inspires creativity and invention.

3D Death Star lamp

That’s no moon. It’s a holographic lamp. Now you can plan your own attack against what has been called the Ultimate Power in the Universe. I would have loved to have had this when my neighbor and I were briefing the Rebel pilots at my house.

Yoda’s Words of Wisdom T-Shirt

Want this shirt you do. Quote Yoda all day long you will. Fabulous it is.

Death Star Waffle Maker

The Ultimate Power in the Universe would surely create the Ultimate Breakfast in the universe. But don’t limit yourself to waffles. This handy dandy waffle maker can also be used to make eggs, brownies, and quesadillas. You can even press sandwiches with it. Perfect for any day – especially Star Wars Day!

R2D2 Wall USB Charger

As an astromech Droid, Artoo was created to be a repair Droid/automated mechanic/copilot for smaller ships. He can plug into computers and hack into them to his advantage. So it makes perfect sense to use Artoo as a USB wall charger.


The gift(s) that keeps on giving

I think it’s common knowledge that the Jelly of the Month Club is the gift that keeps on giving, even though it might not always be appreciated. There are plenty of other “__________ of the month” clubs that will always be appreciated. I suggest you consider one of these options:

Ozone Socks


I don’t know about you, but I love the feeling of brand new socks on my feet. A subscription to Ozone Socks would ensure that feeling of awesomeness all year long.


I scream. You scream!

All. year. long.

Raw Spice Bar

Add some spice to someone’s life. He or she might even invite you to dinner to try the new spice that person received.

Gold Wine Club

I’m more of a Scotch guy. But I wouldn’t pass up having bottles of wine show up at my front porch on a regular basis. Would you?

*I still argue that releasing an episode of Star Wars in December is borderline blasphemy.

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Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

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