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Friday, 22 December, 2000, 17:46 GMT
Deck the halls with hanging chad
The moving van used to move ballots in Florida
Everything from chad to moving vans is on sale
By BBC News Online's Kevin Anderson in Washington

It is the perennial Christmas dilemma: What to give the person who has everything.

But this year, if that hard-to-buy-for person also has an indefatigable and, some might say, inexplicable interest in the US elections, why not buy them a bag full of Florida ballot chad or an Al Gore/George W Bush Christmas ornament.

There is more than enough to fill Santa's bag with gifts to warm the heart of any political junkie.

The lowly chad

They range from the fairly pedestrian pins and bumper stickers that political collectors buy up each year, to fare commemorating this historic election.

A mounted gift chad
Give a little piece of history with an official ballot chad
Even if your candidate fell by the wayside, it is still not too late to find a bumper sticker or a pin for Democratic challenger Bill Bradley or Republican Elizabeth Dole.

But this was no normal election, and the historic outcome has spawned a cottage industry of political memorabilia.

Auction sites such as eBay have been plugging plenty of ways to buy a little piece of history from Palm Beach County sample ballots to Florida absentee voter applications.

But at the centre of this political drama has been a small piece of paper - the lowly chad.

Many people selling the small flecks of paper will lovingly mount your chad. On the popular eBay auction site, one seller has mounted them on a framed commemorative card with the title Indecision 2000.

The mounted chad was going for as much as $36.

Of course, for those on the go, there's an opportunity to take their chad with them on a chad key chain, or possibly a hanging chad coffee mug.

Hanging chad

But these chad - as lovingly mounted as they may be - lack a certain holiday cheer, so why not buy a Christmas chad ornament?

Some ornaments are simply a couple of chad hanging from an ornament hook. Deck the halls with hanging chad!

A ballot chad Christmas ornament
A chad can be hanging from your tree this Christmas
If you like your ornaments a bit more ornate, you can pay a little more for one with a picture of Messrs Gore and Bush with the heading Indecision 2000 over a map of Florida.

However, the name of the Sunshine State is spelled Flori-duh, with the caption: "Where Gore hangs on by a chad".

For gift givers with deep pockets and a charitable heart, they surfed to web giant Yahoo to bid on the moving van used to haul ballots from Palm Beach County to the Florida state capital.

The bids rolled in at the rate of about several thousand dollars a day, and in the Christmas spirit of giving, the money raised by the sale went to benefit the American Red Cross.

Partisn stocking stuffers

But if all of these gifts seem a bit tame, plenty of gifts can be had to satisfy the fiercest of partisans.

Sore-Loserman bumper stickers and signs looking mockingly similar to Al Gore and Josepeh Lieberman's campaign signs can be found for sale on many web sites.

Sore-Loserman bumper stickers and signs
Partisans can find plenty of gifts with bite this Christmas season
And George W Bush supporters might also be sporting a "Don't be had by a chad" button on Christmas morning.

But supporters of Al Gore should not feel left out of the mudslinging festival.

At gridlock.com, supporters of Al Gore might want to buy a T-shirt with a picture of George Herbert Walker Bush and his son Wubya.

Under the elder Bush's picture, there is the caption President CIA, and under his son's picture, is President DUI.

Of course, there are still plenty of places to buy your 'Read My Lips: No New Texans' bumper stickers and T-shirts.

Hurry up now. The election outcome may have arrive behind schedule, but the Christmas deadline is still 24 December.

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12 Dec 00 | Americas
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