Groupon Gets Into The Holiday Spirit With 2nd Annual “Grouponicus”

Forget Festivus, today sees the return of the real fake holiday Grouponicus. The site from daily deal giant Groupon is back for the second time with a wide selection of curated deals Groupon users can buy for their friends as holiday gifts.

Last year, Grouponicus was available to 15 cities, but today’s launch sees Grouponicus in 41 cities across the U.S. and Canada, including big metro regions like New York, L.A. and Dallas.

The company has iterated on its previous Grouponicus offering, which included smaller deals like discounts on the new Rihanna album, for example. This year, Groupon is going big, with “Epic Deals” like a trip to the taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show’s Twelve Days of Giveaways episodes with an exclusive backstage tour, a cooking lesson with with chef Todd English in one of his New York City restaurant kitchens, followed by a private dinner party in the restaurant with Todd English and the recipient’s friends, in addition to a signed copy of his new book, and a jet-set adventure across the United States, Europe and Asia with special activities personally curated by Groupon.

These “epic deals” pop up on the site unexpectedly and are usually available at a quantity of one, which should encourage users to obsessively keep checking Grouponicus at regular intervals.

The holiday shop will also feature local deals, offers from national brands, travel experiences from the Groupon Getaways vertical (in partnership with Expedia) and charitable donation options through Groupon’s G-Team for Social Good.

Another change from last year is that the deals/gifts purchased will now show the original value of the item or service, not the price paid. So now you’ll get credit for spending big, when actually, you saved big.

While I’m not sure that any fake holiday can ever top the story of Festivus, what with the pole, the airing of grievances and the feats of strength, Groupon at least gives good-natured goofiness a shot with its history of Grouponicus:

Groupo the Deal Bird leaves his kingdom of Winterland to fly to the homes of true believers, leaving stacks of Groupons in their ovens to reward them for adhering to the Eight Tenets of Grouponicus….

Groupo has been loved, worshipped, and feared throughout the ages, but all he asks of his followers is that they write a list of their regrets on a slip of paper and throw it into a backyard or municipal regret hole. Whether Groupo’s fighting the Peppermint Shark or feeding melted wax to his snake tail, his terrifying screech lets all of Winterland know he is to be feared and loved.

Or something like that.

And the bird tweets, too: @GroupoTheBird.

Grouponicus is available online and on mobile, via Groupon’s apps for iPhone and Android.