Thursday, December 6, 2007

Holiday gift ideas for busy shoppers

By Becky Newby
Arts & Entertainment Editor

Holiday shopping season has begun. It’s time to wait in endless lines to buy expensive gifts with money we never knew we had. But between work and school, the very thought of entering a crowded mall can become more stressful than finals week. That’s why I have created a guide to giving, filled with gift ideas found in New York magazine, USA Today, Self and Oprah magazine.

Is it me, or did the holidays just get greener? This season, green is the new black. Show the earth some holiday love and give eco-friendly gifts this year.
Cardboard iPod speakers (Fashionation, $14.95)
Solar-powered electronics recharger (Solio, $69.95)
Sneakers made from 99 percent recycled material (Worn Again, $125)

Don’t let stress steal your taste...give it away! When shopping for a co-worker or professor, consumable items are perfect simply because they’re not permanent.
Dark chocolate assortment of truffles (Godiva, $23)
Battery-powered hot chocolate maker (Bonjour, $30)
Red wine & opera CD gift set (Tulip Hill Winery, $59.99)

A good book never goes out of style. Almost everyone enjoys snuggling up with a good book when it’s cold outside.
“The Pillars of the Earth,” by Ken Follett (Penguin, $24.95)
“John & Yoko: A New York Love Story,” by Allan Tannenbaum (Insight Editions, $45)
Digital electronic book (Sony, $300)

Families who game together, stay together. No, I don’t mean the latest games for Wii.
Vintage board games (Board Games Are Us, $25)
Tiffany & Co. playing cards (Tiffany & Co., $30)
Scrabble To Go (Jack Spade, $95)

Be experimental. Although you can’t wrap experience, it can never be returned.
Take salsa dance classes (around $49 per class)
Go horseback riding (around $60 per day)
Drive a NASCAR car (Cloud 9 Living, $365-$550)

Wrap up some good karma. There’s no doubt the holidays inspire generosity, but figuring out what to buy doesn’t have to be daunting.
Carved Chinese cinnabar bracelet (National Geographic, $15)
Candle benefiting the Heart Foundation (Philosophy, $22)
Donate a pig (World Vision, $195)

Baby, it’s cold outside. Instead of wasting money on a toy they’ll play with for a week, buy a child some stylish winter wear that’ll last them years.
Sassy political tees (Babesta, $20)
Fabric-lined rubber wellies (Wellington, $63)
Cashmere Splendid Littles striped hoodie (Tutti Bella, $96)

Don’t brag…we already know your man’s got style. But that doesn’t mean you can’t surprise him with more.
Buffalo check skinny tie (Scout, L.A., $85)
Drakes’ Fair Isle scarf (oki-ni, $249)
Leather messenger bag (Coach, $598)

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