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'Tis the season for crazy product pitches

The company Petplan offers ideas for pet-friendly menu options, like this recipe for roasted turkey medallions. Special to Forum News Service1 / 3
This book contains ideas for raising chickens yourself. Special to Forum News Service2 / 3 offers holiday cards featuring your face. Special to Forum News Service3 / 3

FARGO — The holiday season is an interesting time that involves many fun activities: baking goodies, enjoying special events, buying and wrapping gifts for friends and family, receiving product pitches for some obscure items...

Wait, what?

Yep, you read that correctly. The holiday season is prime time for public relations firms to pitch editors their products, hoping those items will land on various lists about hot gift ideas for the hard-to-buy-for family member or friend.

The pitches are creative — let me tell you. And the products are interesting, that's for sure. Here's a glimpse at some of the products pitched during the last month:

• Pet-friendly menu options: According to the company Petplan, which sells pet insurance, vet costs can double during the holiday season thanks to relatives and friends who sneak pets food. The menu of pet-friendly items includes such delicacies as pumpkin smoothings, peanutty crudites, sorbet, roasted turkey medallions and sweet potato cookies. The site ( also provides safety tips for pets during the holiday season. Because even furry family members can over-indulge at mealtime.

• Cannabis self-care products: Apparently cannabis has anti-aging and antioxidant properties, so a company called Phivida has created a line of products such as extracts, juice, iced tea and vitamin shots containing hemp oil; the products are also vegan, nut free, soy free, sugar free and gluten free. Dr. Kerklaan Therapeutics has developed a line of topical creams that provide "canna-rich relief without the feeling of being high."

• Greeting cards featuring your face: For $1.55 each, you can send your face to your family and friends without the awkward photo shoots and coordinating outfits. The company is aptly named Gift Wrap My Face.

• "Chicken DIY: 20 Fun-to-Make Projects for Happy and Healthy Chickens": With more people raising chickens, farmer Samantha Johnson partnered with her brother to write this book about how aspiring chicken farmers can easily and economically create a "safe and healthy environment for their fine-feathered friends."

• A lamp featuring a Marilyn Monroe (or other famous actor) magazine cover: Move over, Leg Lamp, your reign as the tackiest home lighting option is over. For around $400, you can order an ICON62 lamp that illuminates a magazine cover of Hollywood icons such as Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor or Clark Gable. Maybe you can give it as a major award to an unsuspecting family member.

• Specialty detergent: Apparently keeping your New Year's resolutions about fitness is easier if you're washing your workout clothes in the right detergent, also known as HEX Performance Advanced Detergent by the PR company that pitched it.

• Hangover remedies: A company called The Grommet has developed a patch called the Bytox Hangover Prevention Patch that is "packed with nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants, specifically chosen to diminish certain adverse effects of alcohol." Because apparently acai berry, folic acid and green tea extract will keep you from regretting the several glasses of champagne you might down on Dec. 31. Prices range from $15 for 5 patches to $130 for 30 of them.

• Subscription for stylish socks: This pitch wins simply for its email subject line: "Stylish socks can change the world." Subscription services are all the rage, and now you can get "bold and expressive socks with a social impact" sent to your door each month by a company called Society Socks. Costs range from $50 for a 3-month subscription to $179 for the entire year. Kudos to the company for donating two pairs of socks to a charity in need for every two sent each month.

Danielle Teigen

Danielle Teigen is from South Dakota, but she headed north to attend North Dakota State University where she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and management communication. She worked for Forum Communications first in 2007 as an intern and part-time reporter. Later, she served as editor for two local magazines before switching gears for marketing and public relations roles for an engineering firm and the chamber of commerce.  She returned to Forum Communications in May 2015 as a digital content manager and is currently the Deputy Editor.  She is originally from Turton, S.D., and is the author of "Hidden History of Fargo".

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