It's winter and no one is supposed to be thinking about ice cream. So I was shocked to learn that ice cream-themed kitsch seems to be everywhere this holiday season.
For much of its history, ice cream was a dessert only rich folks could afford. There were special ice cream dishes for serving and eating the treat. But ice cream sandwich costumes and ice cream Christmas tree ornaments? That's definitely a recent trend.
There are also ice cream towels, ice cream bowls, ice cream costumes and ice cream items that look like Elvis. It may be cold outside, but ice cream novelties are definitely hot for the holidays!
So you don't need to wait until summer to make a gift of ice cream. Here are some items -- some wacky, some useful, some delicious -- that will be sure to please the ice cream lovers on your holiday gift list:
Kids' Ice Cream Sandwich Costume. For Halloween or any time, your child can dress up as an ice cream sandwich in this polka-dotted suit.
Ice Cream Cone Towels. These colorful towels in chocolate, strawberry and blueberry are rolled up to resemble ice cream cones.
Lighted Ice Cream Shop. Hand-painted, this porcelain piece looks like an old-fashioned ice cream parlor.
Guitar Man Ice Cream Cone Ornament. For Elvis fans, an ice cream cone Christmas tree ornament decorated to look like The King.
Glowing Ice Cream Spoons: Bend the handle and watch these red, blue, pink or red utensils glow.
Laura Weiss is the author of Ice Cream: A Global History (Reaktion Books/University of Chicago Press).