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ISSUE 116 VOL 10 PUBLISHED 12/6/2002

Add a unique touch this season with creative holiday gift ideas

By Anonymous
Contributing Writer

Friday, December 6, 2002

The holiday season is intended to be a time for relaxation and celebration. So why do we let holiday shopping get the best of our winter cheer and festive spirits? Once upon a time, the most stressful task we were required to complete between Thanksgiving and Christmas was a wish list. The hardest decision involved choosing a strategy in order to receive the most desired gift. Now, instead of tediously writing and revising a list for Santa, we are confronted with the decision of what gifts to give our friends and families. Instead of blindly walking into the nearest mall this holiday season, do some research to find the perfect present for the loved ones in your life.

The stranger

Since it is the holiday season, you are sure to be invited to endless numbers of get-togethers or dinner parties. What do you bring to someone you hardly know, but would like to impress? A nice bottle of wine or holiday ornament is sure to do the trick, but a personal touch is always best when impressing the future "in-laws" or Aunt Bertie. Find out if your dear aunt travels to Italy or if the future family has a cabin or summer home. Then, find the gift to suit their interests, like a book of travel essays on Tuscany or a rustic wall decoration.

The roommate

When it comes to picking a gift for roommates, be sure to keep a budget in mind. Also, since sharing is key to living with someone, the item you choose could end up being a present for yourself, too. Give the gift that keeps on giving. A subscription to a magazine is a wonderful idea for a college student. Nearly everyone likes to receive mail and a magazine will appear in his or her P.O. each month. Most year-long subscriptions are fairly inexpensive, ranging from $12-20. Does he work out? Send a check to Men's Health. Is she up to date on the latest fashions? Sign up for InStyle. If you are looking to go the cheaper route, buy a thoughtful card and throw in a gift certificate to the Pause. Otherwise, find something fun to share in your room, like a ChiaPet or poster.

The significant other

Perhaps the hardest person to shop for is the person one cares for most. High expectations of gift giving may accompany a long-term relationship. Instead of taking the unoriginal route and buying jewelry or a DVD, try honing in on your partner's personal interests. If he or she likes to travel, book a romantic weekend getaway and surprise him or her for the holidays. Entertainment up their alley? Purchase concert tickets to the Counting Crows or the Phantom of the Opera. Is he the outdoor type? Surprise him with a new backpack or a tent. If money is keeping you from getting the gift of your dreams, try making something. A framed picture of the two of you or a painting of a meaningful place is sure to pull at your honey's heartstrings.

Mom and Dad

It's your turn to shower the "Santa" of your early years with presents. Luckily, plenty of new, exciting gift ideas have hit the market! For Mom, jump online and order some BlissLabs Gloves. When combined with the Glamour Glove Gel, these gloves are sure to soothe hands from daily stressors and environmental agents. The lotion, consisting of a mixture of jojoba, coconut mineral and vegetable oils, is sure to put a smile on Mom's face. If she is not the type that likes to be pampered, buy the new DreamTime Foot Cozys slippers. These slippers can be micro-waved to keep feet warm in the winter or refrigerated to cool them down in the summer. Don't worry if Dad does not have a desire for slippers or hand gloves. Replace something that he has had forever: that Twins jersey from 1987 or his wallet from before you were born. Show him how much you love him with a DeepPocket SeeID French Calf Leather Wallet sold by the Sharper Image. The wallet features a clear pocket for convenient access to picture identification. A money clip on the back holds up to 20 bills. If you would like to purchase a joint gift, grab a gift certificate from their favorite restaurant or store. Have they always wanted to honeymoon in China? Buy them a Chinese cookbook and place it in a box full of fortune cookies. To top it off, find some great authentic wrapping paper and make the gift even more personal. These gifts are wonderful for grandparents, too.

The youth in your life

Children are usually the easiest to please, but to put the brightest smile on their face, you have to have a special touch. Classics like PlayDoh or EasyBake ovens will always be a hit, but trendy, new-fangled gifts that every kid wants will be rewarded with the biggest hugs. The Bratz, fashionably hip and fabulous dolls, claim number five on the Toy of the Year Awards Top Ten List with their hit Stylin' Salon 'N Spa. The Salon 'N Spa is complete with 60 accessories which includes make-up for human playmates. Another Top Ten Toy of the Year is the Queasy Bake Cookerator. Instead of baking traditional cakes and cookies in the Easy Bake oven, boys and girls can make Drip N Drool Dog Bones (with foaming drool, of course) or Mucky Mud mix with this haunting collection. Make sure to check in with the parents before throwing away the gift receipts; sometimes you may have purchased a duplicate or a gift that is inappropriate for the child's age.

The mentor

Finally you have the chance to show appreciation to your favorite professor or boss. Thank your supporter with a batch of homemade sugar cookies and a nice card. If the situation calls for a little more effort, buy a gift card or certificate at a favorite store and include a specific sentiment about it in the card. Attach a simple Christmas ornament to the card for a finishing touch.

The person who has everything

Here we are&the end of the list. The impossible of the impossibles. Chances are, the person who has everything has a hard time remembering where he or she left the keys to the car, the new high tech cell phone he or she just bought, or his or her eyeglasses. Put an end to the confusion! Wrap up a Now You Can Find It! Wireless RF electronic locater. This paging device, priced at $49.95, solves endless amounts of problems. The kit includes a portable paging device and four discs to attach to easily lost objects. The discs are attachable by keyring or double adhesive. Is the person who has everything in your life incredibly organized and never loses anything? Log on to or for inventive ideas.

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