We'll start with Labor Day Weekend, which everyone knows is eBay's birthday (1995). You would think there'd be some eBay chotchkes to celebrate that fact, but I guess we'll have to make our own. However, there are some very festive items celebrating eBay's anniversaries.
First up is Mr. Apple, an endearing apple-shaped plush bean-bag toy carrying an eBay flag whose bean-shaped name tag states that he was born on September 5th, 1999 -- that's Labor Day weekend, eBay's 4th birthday. For official commemoratives, there's the eBay 5th Anniversary Alarm Clock, in a style that looks like something the Jetsons might own, with a confetti-bedecked cake on the dial bearing the eBay logo and a number 5-shaped candle on top. It was made in an edition of only 500, so it's pretty rare. There's also a white eBay 5th Anniversary Coffee Mug bearing the same icon and the words "Celebrating our global marketplace and five years of community!" It's even more rare, perhaps because mugs are breakable. I don't know how many were made.
Then there's an eBay 10th Anniversary Pin and the rest of the Incredible Journey limited edition pin set from eBay Live! 2005. It frequently can be found up for sale on eBay. There's a special eBay 10th Anniversary.wmv video message narrated by founder Pierre Omidyar himself on the official eBay 128MB Flash Disk Jump Drives given out as employee gifts for the holidays in 2005. There's also an ebay 10 years! bear from The eBay Shop and a PowerSeller 10th Anniversary mouse pad.
But there's even more and better international eBayana celebrating eBay's birthday(s). I just won a really cute eBay Italy (ebay.it ) 5th anniversary lanyard-cellphone case with all the eBay Italy icons: the Vespa, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the espresso cup. And I have an eBay 5 Anni (5 Years) T-Shirt from eBay Italy that says "5 anni insieme!" ("5 years together!") plus an eBay 2 T-Shirt from eBay Taiwan (ebay.com.tw, now ruten.com.tw) with a birthday-cake icon celebrating their 2nd anniversary. I also have a lovely chrome card case from eBay UK that has the ebay.co.uk logo engraved on it along with the words "The first 5 years".
The best eBay birthday items come from eBay Germany (ebay.de). Their eBayana category is smaller than ours, but it has some awesome stuff. I have a fabulous ebay.de long-sleeved rugby shirt with a big red 5 on the back celebrating the 5th anniversary of eBay Germany. And I was thrilled to win an eBay 10th Anniversary Messenger Bag -- the Seller had won it in a promotional contest at ebay.de -- in black and white vinyl. The outside main flap is white with a big orange eBay birthday cake icon, the eBay logo, and the number 10.
I also won a 10th Anniversary eBay Gumball Machine (again from ebay.de) bearing the same birthday-cake 10 icon -- not to be confused with the regular eBay Gumball Machines, which come in red and black (although they're pretty hard to find). The back story on the 10th Anniversary Gumball Machine is unknown to me, but in any case it arrived broken. :(
The next major holiday on our annual eBay gift-bearing calendar is Halloween. I am the proud owner of the greatest item ever of Halloween eBayana. Remember when the Pope's VW Golf Car was sold on eBay? Well, a group of eBay employees dressed up as famous eBay auctions for the annual HQ Halloween Contest, and I won their prize-winning eBay Auction Pope's Car Costume. It's cleverly made from a cardboard box and construction paper with paper-plate wheels, and it sports the appropriate license-plate number along with a "Honk If You Love Jesus" bumper sticker that I'm guessing was not original to the actual car. It came with a Pope's mitre hat and a printout of the auction itself plus the wedding headdress worn by the employee who dressed up as the Wedding Dress Guy (the dress had to go back to the rental shop).
Also for Halloween, check out the scary Griff pictures @ http://www.angelfire.com/art/kat/griff.html, where "Once upon a time on a Town Square on eBay, a group of insane 'Townies' got together and terrorized an innocent man. His name was: Griff…". Credit for this hilarity should go to eBay User ID danceswithcameras.
You can see pictures of other costumed eBay staff from Halloween 2006 in the eBay Chatter @ http://www.ebaychatter.com/photos/halloween_2006/index.html.
There are no Thanksgiving eBay chotchkes (not that I know of, anyway), but eBay Radio did have a news flash about an eBay auction wherein you could buy an Authentically Dressed Pilgrim & Indian to attend your Thanksgiving dinner and tell you all about their adventures at the First Thanksgiving. Hold the eBay turkey jokes, please, and pass the corn, which you call maize!
December, of course, is the time of year when we garner the mother lode of all gifts, both given and received. So eBay chotchkes are plentiful, too. I'm not even going to tell you about the Christmas tree light sets (especially bubble lights!) and other holiday items that come in all 4 primary eBay colors; you'll have to find those on your own. Except for our miniature aluminum Christmas tree -- decorated with 9 white satin full-color eBay logo ribbon bows from eBay Germany plus a black-eBay-logo'd tree-topper 4-colors bow set from Seller usakat, all of which is illuminated by a genuine vintage rotating fan-light in red, blue, yellow, and green -- I'm going to limit myself to items that were officially licensed or commissioned by eBay .
Well, pretty much, anyway. We've got a giant Christmas-lights eBay logo that has been hanging from our front porch ever since last Christmas. My husband made it; the neighbors just love it. And the only item we've won that we never received was a tabletop version of the eBay logo handmade in Christmas lights poked through white styrofoam. But we also have an official set of eBay Holiday Lights from eBay UK: It features light-up letters in the appropriate colors and typeface spelling out "e-b-a-Y" interspersed with plastic holly, and it plugs into a USB port for your computer or laptop. So festive!
Santa Shops On eBay by Marsha Collier, the bestselling author of eBay For Dummies, offers a bookful of tips on "How to find deals, get organized, and give yourself the gift of time". Or you can get some Great Ideas from a 50-pack (or even a sample 10-pack) of Do It eBay for the Holidays Great Ideas Cards. But wouldn't you rather just find out what eBay holiday chotchkes you can shop for on eBay?
The eBay Light-Up Village can be enjoyed all year long, but it's perfect for the holidays. It's a huge (almost 2 feet tall) ceramic sculpture encapsulating a monolithic village with portals to eBay, PayPal, and various eBay categories. It lights up with your choice of solid, twinkling, or chase lights, and it's a scintillating addition to any holiday tablescape. It was available from The eBay Shop and as a table prize at eBay Live! 2007 and 2008.
Then there are the eBay Christmas Ornaments, which no true-hearted eBayer should be without. There's a white glass globe from The eBay Shop that bears the full-color eBay logo with 1998 and the URL www.ebay.com .com in black. Then there's Pierre Omidyar's 1998 Limited Edition Crystal Snowflake from eBay Foundation, engraved simply "ebay 1998", and a silver "spinner" ornament with an engraved eBay logo.
We have some lovely feedback-inspired star ornaments by artist Luis Pagan from Seller littleredcart , all with beautiful marbelized finishes in the appropriate colors, and a Skiing Feedback Star (wearing an eBay backpack) that came from The eBay Shop. There's also a 3D folding holiday card that looks lovely on the mantel.
Next there's an eBay Holiday Blanket in red fleece bearing an embroidered snowman wearing a black top hat with the eBay logo. Underneath the snowman are the embroidered words "Happy Holidays 1999". This item also came from The eBay Shop, and it's almost impossible to find.
Continuing that theme is the eBay Snowman Pin, a 2003 limited edition collectible from The eBay Shop featuring a snowman wearing a scarf striped in eBay colors and holding an eBay logo in his mittened hands with the words HAPPY HOLIDAYS 2003 on the ball making up his lowest third.
In the wearables department, there's a long-sleeved green sweatshirt with a square eBay logo on the front and "Whatever you wish for" on the back, along with the (now-defunct) URL www.ebay.com/wish and a design of holiday ornaments. That same design and sentiment reappear on a short-sleeved red T-shirt as well.
And don't forget the eBay employee gifts, which almost immediately seem to end up for sale on eBay: embroidered eBay Belts (in red, blue, white, black, and multi-color woven); an eBay Scarf (striped in eBay colors); eBay Watches; a black-leather eBay Jump Drive Keychain; an eBay WebCam; and a black-with-4-eBay-colors-lining eBay Umbrella. All of the above come in eBay-colorful gift boxes or holiday tins bearing a personal holiday message from Meg Whitman, and all of them make fun -- and useful -- additions to your eBayana collection.
Last year's gift, The World of Good Box, was the only one that seems to have been kept. (I only saw one, and I won it!) It's a cardboard box made to look like an old-fashioned trunk with travel stickers from El Salvador, Bangladesh, South Africa, and other Third World countries. Inside is a handmade terra-cotta lidded box, a handmade beaded keychain with a brass fish bangle, and a really nice handmade woven-straw picture frame plus a pad of Post-It Notes from MicroPlace.com, an eBay company which seeks to end poverty through very small investments that make a very big difference..
Also enclosed is a note from Meg explaining that these handmade, earth-friendly gifts represent eBay's Global Citizenship effort, which the company began to ramp up in 2007. They are typical of the eco-conscious, Fair Trade offerings @ WorldOfGood.com, a new eBay company featuring items made by artisans in emerging countries who have found a way to provide for their families using traditional skills.
Then there's the the eBay UK Christmas Treasure Hunt Forum @ ebay.co.uk, where the eBayana category has been known to yield marvelous finds. I was lucky enough to win one of their prizes from a UK eBayer who won it in the Christmas 2004 Treasure Hunt. It's a mug with a eBay elf on it that says, "After hours of searching I got the bug, and ended up with this Treasure Hunt Mug!" It also has the full-color ebay.co.uk logo and the words "Christmas 2004 Treasure Hunt/LIMITED EDITION FOR THE EBAY CHRISTMAS TREASURE HUNT FORUM".
But my most treasured item of December eBayana is something you'll probably never see again: a frosted Gingerbread Cookie Star of Bethlehem decorated with star-shaped sprinkles plus the full-color ebay.at logo and the words "Frohe Weihnachten" ("Merry Christmas") done in icing. I won it -- appropriately enough -- from eBay Seller boccasasso's People Are Good-Shop @ eBay Austria. It came from an eBay Austria employee party, and it lives in our freezer.
eBay Austria is also the site that gave us a holiday card showing Santa crossing the heavens in his sleigh and wishing the eBay World "Frohe Weihnachten und einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr!" -- literally, "Glad Christmas and a good Slide into the New Year!". Meanwhile, eBay Australia (ebay.com.au ) gave us "Spread The Joy!" in your choice of red or green, featuring a Santa-hatted eBayer bursting through a wall of holiday gift wrap. From eBay Belgium I have a 2006 holiday card featuring a photograph of all the ebay.be employees (purchased from an employee @ eBay Belgium ).
In fact, most of the eBay sites do something special for the December holidays. You can find virtual cards, virtual gift wrapping, present selecters, and assorted fun games/contests such as Reindeer Races @ eBay Italy and Kidnapped Santa @ eBay Spain (ebay.es) just about all month long. For example, you can meet Rudi The Reindeer @ ebay.it 's Preparati per un Buon Natale (Preparing for a Good Christmas) 2007 page: http://pages.ebay.it/natale/ . And my favorite Seasons Greetings from eBay animation (featuring the eBay Colourful Commerce Kids) can be seen @ eBay UK : http://pages.ebay.co.uk/christmas/card.html .
There's no need for post-holiday let-down when you can ring in the New Year with a bottle of eBay Champagne. I've talked about it in every one of my eBayana Guides, and now you get to see it. It's a bottle of sparkling wine with a red star on its label containing the full-color eBay logo, and it was given out to German eBayers who achieved a red-star ranking of 1000 feedbacks. I've since seen some for sale @ ebay.de's eBayana category that were available to be shipped worldwide, but I had to write to the Seller for special permission to bid on mine. And I am still thrilled to have won it! It goes nicely with the 2007 New Year's card from eBay Spain that says "Happy New Year" in all different languages.
Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and needless to say it's a big eBay occasion too. Animated e-cards can be sent from several of the eBay international sites -- usually eBay France (ebay.fr), eBay Germany, and eBay Italy, sometimes eBay UK and sometimes ebay.com. There usually is some kind of gift-selection promotional game (which seriously does suggest gifts for various parameters) too. Check it out in February 2009 to find out for sure!
And there's always The One That Got Away: in this case, a Heart-Shaped Gingerbread Cookie that said "Servus!" with the full-color ebay.at logo, meaning "Greetings! from eBay Austria". The auction ended before I could get permission to bid (since the Seller didn't specify that s/he would ship worldwide). They're big on gingerbread cookies at eBay Austria .
I haven't found any eBay chotchkes for St. Patrick's Day, although you would think there would be some @ eBay Ireland (ebay.ie). You used to be able to send a variety of really wonderful animated gift cards from http://usa.ebayholiday.net/stpatricks/index_flash.php, but that link unfortunately no longer works. My favorite was the one where you could add the face of your choice to a male or female Irish dancing cartoon figure.
Next come's April Fool's Day. No eBay chotchkes (yet) -- at least none that I know of -- but check out the April Fools! surprise @ http://pages.ebay.com/promo/april2007/index.html . Whoops -- the joke's on me! That page has disappeared just recently. But it was a big yellow splash screen that said "We couldn't resist…we had to do it…April Fool's" before dissolving to the eBay home page.
The eBay chotchkes for Easter are pretty basic: eBay Silly Putty Eggs in all 4 eBay colors (extremely hard, if not impossible, to find) and the eBay Eggs from The eBay Shop at eBay Live! 2008 in Chicago. I'm not sure of the color availability on those.
But eBay Germany comes through again: In 2006, ebay.de offered the chance to send Easter cards featuring a music-playing band consisting of a drumming rabbit, a bass-strumming lamb, and a trumpet-tooting chick. You could click on each of the various animals to get them started -- or stopped -- thereby composing an infinite number of hilarious tunes. eBay Germany still offers 2 Easter PDFs/JPGs, one of an Easter Bunny with one egg plus the full-color eBay logo @ http://pages.ebay.com/promo/april2007/index.html and one of the Bass-Playing Lamb from the Easter Animal Band @ http://presse.ebay.de/news.exe?typ=SU&news_id=100440 that says "Frohe Ostern" ("Happy Easter").
No matter what holiday you're celebrating, you'll want to wrap your gifts in official eBay Wrapping Paper, striped in all 7 eBay colors. (You do know that there are 7 colors altogether in the eBay logo, don't you? All 4 primary colors plus the 3 overlapping colors in between…) It comes in 2 lengths -- 30 inches wide by 30 feet long, and 30 inches wide by 100 feet long -- for your wrapping pleasure. It was sold by The eBay Shop and originally came with matching gift cards.
This concludes our tour of the eBayana Holiday Calendar. If there's anything I've missed, please let me know!
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