See democracy in action over at Big Lots

Big Lots needs a spokes-elf for the holiday season (which begins the second Halloween ends, apparently). And they need your help. Over at, you can watch each elf’s promotional video, and then pick the one you think is best suited to sell you overstocked or knockoff products until the New Year’s Sales are over. (Read more over at Advergirl.) Out of the three finalists, I picked Mandy, but I’m still mildly creeped out by elves in general. Maybe it’s because they look like trolls’ futile efforts to be cute. Or that they comprise the bulk of Ol’ Saint Nick’s sweatshop labor, at least until they rise as one and either kill him or shackle him to his own wretched holiday like some kind of cherubic Prometheus. Either way, they get progressively more menacing as I get older, so I’m wary of their continued popularity. But on the plus side, this should finally prove those “war on Christmas” idiots wrong. Any holiday that starts two months in advance is clearly winning the culture wars.

—Posted by David Kiefaber