The complete OBL raid package
If 2011 was the year the U.S. military killed Osama bin Laden, 2012 was the year the entertainment world cashed in on the operations. Members of SEAL Team 6, the unit that carried out the raid, consulted on the video game Medal of Honor: Warfighter, which earned them strict reprimands from their superiors in the military. Matt Bissonette, another member of the group, wrote a first-hand account of the mission, No Easy Day. National Geographic also got in on the action, with its documentary Seal Team Six. And tickets will soon go on sale for Kathryn Bigelow's upcoming film, Zero Dark Thirty, which has been billed as the definitive dramatic treatment of the raid and has been making waves for its unsparing look at the CIA's use of interrogation tactics. Buy them all, and throw in this Joe Biden-inspired bumper sticker for good measure.
Israeli war games
With Israel and Hamas at each other's throats again this fall, the depressingly violent conflict in the Middle East increasingly looks like a stalemate -- one in which the players keep making moves but the game never comes to an end. If that sounds like fun, then your favorite, die-hard Israel-Palestine watcher should enjoy "A Reign of Missiles," a new board game that puts the player in control of the Israeli military, balancing both diplomacy and kinetic action while trying to halt rocket attacks from Gaza. Carry out too aggressive a military campaign and the international community imposes penalties detrimental to Israel's long-term interests. Bungle the military campaign and Hamas scores a major diplomatic victory. Obviously, it's a bit of a downer. But the game is free and hosted on our website -- all you'll have to do is print out the component parts.
Kiss and tell
Do everyone on your list this year a favor and buy Paula Broadwell's cringingly fawning biography of David Petraeus. They all want to read it -- they're just too embarrassed to be spotted walking out of Barnes & Noble with the unfortunately titled All In: The Education of David Petraeus under their arm. That can easily be solved with an Amazon bulk order. Just make sure you do a better job of hiding your email records than they did.
Sounds of Silvio
Know someone who's particularly excited about the improbable comeback Silvio Berlusconi might stage in the upcoming Italian elections? Or maybe just excited about his engagement to the 27-year-old former TV host Francesca Pascale (the woman Berlusconi described as beautiful on the outside, but even more beautiful on the inside")? Drop them a link to this syrupy Bunga Bunga mix -- inspired by Silvio's infamous orgies -- and call it a day.
A stake in the European debt crisis
Take a page from Bar and Bat Mitzvahs -- where giving Israel bonds as presents is par for the course -- and buy Greek bonds. Sure, they're a risky bet, but if Greece manages to stay in the eurozone they could prove to be a smart investment. With S&P's decision to upgrade Greek bonds by five notches from selective default to B-, this might be the perfect time to buy. Still, it might be better to think of the purchase as an act of charity.