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Holiday Gift Ideas

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Timeless Holiday Gift Ideas

Throughout our lives, there are certain constants that always remain. Whether
it is a simple black dress that goes with anything, or the suit blazer that can
be worn with a T-shirt, a collared shirt or even formal wear. Or even how a pair
of jeans always remains in style -- there are always a few timeless items that
never truly grow old. This article is to help you with some timeless holiday
gift ideas that are sure to last more than a lifetime.

One timeless holiday gift idea is the gift of music. Young or old, if they have
an interest in music, supplying them with a musical instrument can be a
wonderful investment in their lives. Some of the more popular musical
instruments are the piano and/or electric keyboard, guitar, violin, flute,
recorder and drum set. Even though it will take time for the person to learn
how to play the instrument, once learned it will be a gift that continues to
give, possibly for several generations if passed down the ranks.

Another popular and timeless holiday gift idea would be that of handmade or
heirloom jewelry. From the stunning pendants to the glittering necklaces,
jewelry has always remained with us. Although there does exist what some would
call fashion jewelry, there remains a simplistic and yet elegant charm to the
designs of old. Jewelry also seems to become a tool for passing down family
stories and heritage, and thus fits nicely into the timeless category.

For those who are believers, a wonderful and timeless holiday gift idea is that
of the Good News, also known as the Holy Bible. For quite a long time, passing
down the Holy Scriptures from Parent to Child has been an important tradition,
and one never taken lightly. The old family Bible, although tattered and torn
and perhaps even worn in a few places, it is a special part of the family and
is more precious to them than gold, silver or even platinum. Bibles and other
such books always make a smart and timeless gift to give.

This leads us to another timeless holiday gift idea in the form of a book:
photo albums and scrapbooks. Whenever a natural disaster strikes and someone's
home has become destroyed, when asked what they miss the most out of their
belongings, it is always the family photo album. Photos hold our memories with
them, and help remind us of where we came from and what we have become. Thus
small, handmade collections of special photos are always a welcome and timeless
gift to receive.

Of course, one tradition that will always be a smart and timeless holiday gift
tradition will be that of making and giving away baked goods made from the
heart and family recipes passed down from as far as the family can remember.
The number one requested item out of these baked goods are always
chocolate-chip cookies. No matter what, the smell of cookies cooking is a
welcome scent, and one that always brings a smile to our face. And who can
forget making sugar cookies with our mothers and grandmothers for the special
holiday occasion?

Finally, the most timeless holiday gift idea of all is that of giving money.
When all else fails, money is seldom, if ever, turned away as a gift. No matter
how fashion and technology changes, money or it's equivalent will always remain
as a good and thoughtful, and especially timeless, gift to give. In fact, money
is the number one requested item no matter what the holiday season being
celebrated is!

Unique Holiday Gift Ideas

Ever do a gift exchange with your family? How about Secret Santa with your
co-workers? Or even watched in anticipation at a friends or child's birthday
party? The excitement builds and everyone can't wait to see what unique holiday
gift ideas the rest have gotten, and you just know that this year is going to be
different. Finally the time to open the gifts has arrived, and you watch as all
the gifts are opened and to everyone's disappointment, the presents are the
same old ones from last year, and the year before, and even before that one.

It appears that there is no uniqueness to anyone's gifts anymore. Ties, socks,
even underwear has become second nature to some gift-givers. To others, you
receive watches, earrings and other jewelry, and even kitchen utensils. And for
those who were in a hurry and could not make up their mind, a simple card that
said they thought of you on this special day.

So this year you want to be different. You swear that the person who receives
your next gift will not have to suffer with a boring gift that took very little
thought to purchase. You sit down and start to brainstorm what unique holiday
gift ideas you can come up with to really surprise the entirety of the
celebration party.

To start with, there is your female co-worker, Jane. What unique holiday gift
idea can you come up with for the woman who loves gardening and especially
loves to receive roses? Well, to start, a glass crystal rose would be a perfect
compliment to her cubicle's decor, or even her own windowsill at home. Yet
another unique holiday gift idea would be a Chia-plant herb garden. This way
she can show off her green thumb, while also using fresh herbs in her cooking.

Next comes Ted, your boss. He always appears to be in a bad mood and very
rarely smiles. Ted is always given ties and accessories for the ties he
receives, and every year he takes the gifts cordially but never wears the ties
he's been given. This year, as a unique holiday gift idea, you decide you're
going to give Ted something he can really use and be proud to display. You
notice that he always has a cell phone, the new PDA he just acquired, and his
iPod that he loves to use to unwind during slow times of the business. So you
decide a multiple electronic charging station is just the unique holiday gift
idea you've been looking for.

So, you've taken care of the office, but what about your spouse? What unique
holiday gift idea can you give your wife or husband. You scramble to think of
the best, most unique gift for your spouse when it comes to you like a
brilliant spark. For those of us who have wives, the perfect unique holiday
gift idea is a digital picture frame that can show multiple family photos all
in one location. However, for those of us who have husbands, a wonderful idea
is a portable propane grill that attaches to the hitch of the truck for true
tailgating occasions. Both spouses will love showing these items off, as well
as using them quite often.

Finally, you have the grandparents. They brought you into this world and reared
you up right. A unique holiday gift idea for them is only natural to want. So
with a lot of love an consideration, you figure a nice new pair of slippers
that have a pair a bright lights built into them would make walking to the
bathroom at night, or even to the kitchen for a late snack, much more safe for

You sit back and think how you are going to be the envy of all due to your
creative genius and the creative holiday gift ideas you were able to give.

Top Five Homemade Holiday Gift Ideas

When we find that the days are approaching towards the next festive holiday or
special occasion, we all get the dreaded feeling of not knowing what to give
out as a great holiday gift idea. We worry that whatever it is that we choose
for the person or people we have in mind, there is no way that they will be
truly happy with what we bring. That is, until you remember the old saying that
items made from the heart last a lifetime and are always the best gift to give.

So you sit down and start to think over this holiday gift idea, and which one
you should do for this special celebration. You pound your mind trying to think
how you can beat out all the other gifts as the top prize this person has
received. You imagine how you become the envy of all the other givers, who are
now wishing they had thought of this holiday gift idea first. The only problem
is, you doubt you know what the most popular homemade gifts are, so you scour
the Internet in hopes of finding some simple yet extravagant patterns or
recipes you can make for this holiday.

As you search you start to notice how pictures keep coming up in a recurring
theme as the hottest holiday gift ideas ever since acid-free paper was born.
The first idea you get in your head is how you could take pictures with your
digital camera of the event in question, buy a multiple picture frame from the
nearest superstore, and bring your picture-printer with you so that by the end
of the night you may present the item as the last and most perfect gift. This
would indeed be the last laugh and memory of the evening, but this leads you to
your next idea.

Whenever you have wanted to keep the memories and feelings of an eventful
moment of your life, you remember how your mother or best girlfriend would make
scrapbooks of the event. As an extra-special holiday gift idea, you could get
together pictures of some great times with this person, as well as stickers and
other items to remind them of wonderful times gone by. But what if you don't
have any pictures of this person, what ever are you to do? Well, a tangent of
the scrapbook called a dream board is also an amazing holiday gift idea.

A dream board, also called a vision board, is where you place the items you
want on a poster board and hand it up where you can see it everyday. Ever since
The Secret has become popular, a vision board has become yet another hot holiday
gift idea to give. You realize you can decorate the board with whatever the
theme of this person's dreams are, such as money for wealth, palm trees for
travel, or car keys for a new vehicle. This could be a fun project to make, but
you wonder if you really know what this person wants. You mark this holiday gift
idea as a distinct possibility, but move on with your research until you find a
blog talking about Vanna White.

You find out that Vanna, a star from the Wheel of Fortune game show, is an avid
crocheter and loves to make afghans as presents for everyone in her family and
circle of friends. However as a popular holiday gift idea she recommends
lap-ghans or baby blankets. A lap-ghan is pretty much half of a full afghan
that an adult uses to keep their legs warm at night. This would be a cool gift
that would be received well, but you still want to see what lies at your
favorite on-line recipe sites.

Baking goods have always been the biggest homemade gift that is given out,
whether it be cookies, pies, or cakes. Being that this is going to be a
potluck, and that these gifts are given out all the time, you are about to give
up on this idea until you find a new trend: cookie, brownie and other such baked
goods' dry ingredients are placed inside mason jars, topped with fabric, a small
wooden spoon, and the recipe. This way, the recipient of the holiday gift idea
can make the item whenever they want it. You decide that this is the way to go
for this occasion, but are thankful at the information you now know.

The Six Worst Gift Ideas Ever

All of us have heard at one time or another seller or buyer beware -- but in
this case, the saying now becomes gifter beware. Many of us give with the best
of intentions, but never realize that the gifts we are about to give are truly
nightmares -- or worse -- in disguise. No one ever means to make such a
mistake, but these do occur and we are here to help you avoid these mishaps.
The following are the six worst gift ideas ever to cross our paths.

The first and biggest of the six worst gift ideas ever to give is the item that
tries to give a subtle hint for what you consider a needed change in this
person's life. We think this is a polite way of doing it, but all in all we
cause more pain and trouble than it is worth. Some examples of these types of
gifts are things like books for losing weight, an audio book on helping someone
with their memory, or even a book on finding the right guy or girl. For the
recipient, all they experience is you calling them fat, stupid, and unable to
meet good people for relationships. The gift causes pain and depression -- the
opposite of the intention you had for it.

The second of the six worst gift ideas ever given is giving something that
shows how little, if any, thought you put into your gift. This happens more
often than people like to admit to, and this is why it is number two on our
list. Some examples of these gifts would be giving body jewelry to someone who
doesn't even have an ear pierced, an 'I believe in Xenu" T-shirt for a
Christian, or even a box of chocolates for a diabetic. If you truly don't want
to put your heart into giving gifts, then don't even bother -- those you call
friends will appreciate it.

The third out of six worst gift ideas ever thought of would be the extremely
large books often referred to as coffee table books. The typical thought when
giving these books is that the large wrapped item will make the person so much
more happy -- but upon opening this tome of a book, almost always the person is
anything but happy. Books can be a great gift, but remember that in this
instance, regular sized or even pocket sized is better than extraordinarily

Fourth of the six worst gift ideas ever attempted is giving a gift that the
person has no way to exchange or even be able to give away. We all want the
recipient to love our gifts, but we can't get it right 100 percent of the time.
So please, do not give a gift from a specialty shop that does not exist in the
recipient's part of the country unless you know for sure they want this item in
question. If you don't, the person has the potential to be quite angry and
disappointed in you and your gift.

Of the six worst gift ideas ever to see the light of day, number five may
appear harmless enough, but don't allow it to fool you. We all forget a holiday
or special occasion and find ourselves desperate to come up with a gift. We know
we don't have enough time to go out and purchase something, and making something
is out of the question. So we look through what we own and give the special
someone a gift we ourselves were given before, or even something we had bought
for ourselves. The problem is the immense guilt you feel after the fact for
doing so. Remember, even items that at first appear free to give away -- there
is always a cost.

Finally, the sixth worst gift idea ever is the one where you buy the item,
actually wanting it for yourself, but you figure the recipient will not want it
and will give it back to you. Please know this: this type of plan will always
backfire on you, and is horrible to attempt in the first place! If you want the
item, buy it for you -- or you will be ending up buying two when you could have
only bought it once.

Always remember the golden rule: Buy for others, then buy for you as well. You
will both be happy!

How The Price Of Your Holiday Gift Idea Does Not Matter

If you were to ever go out and ask what someone's biggest concern was when
choosing their next holiday gift idea, you would find that the overall
perception is one that price matters. That is to say, most everyone feels that
the more something cost, the higher it's value to not only the person
purchasing the one who had the holiday gift idea, but also to the person who is
to receive it. This perception could never be more further from the truth.

First off, when thinking of your next holiday gift idea, you must understand
that money in and of itself is worthless. That is correct -- the money you have
to spend on a gift is worthless. Now, at first blow this might hit you as a
bizarre statement that is hard to grasp, but stay with me. Think of this: If
you were to go to another place where your currency was not accepted by the
country you were visiting, what would you do?

Now I know what you are thinking: But I am not traveling to another country
that does not accept money for items to purchase. This statement does not
pertain to me. I am here to tell you that yes indeed it does, and here's why:
Even if you decide to give cash as the holiday gift idea to the recipient, is
this -really- the gift in and of itself? No! The money is being given so that
the recipient may buy something they really want. This is why gift cards have
become such a hot commodity in our culture now more than ever before. It does
not truly matter if it is $10, $25, $100 or even more -- the fact of the matter
is the reasoning and feelings behind it.

I do not know of one person who has ever opened their gift to find a gift card
inside complain that it was only good for $10. Unless the person is truly
shallow, the reaction I have seen towards this holiday gift idea is that of joy
and surprise. To them, this is free money to one of their favorite places. And
even if it won't buy the expensive item they really want, it brings them closer
to achieving that result.

However, let us not forget the physical holiday gift ideas as well. One thing I
was taught by my own mother was that those who are wise know where to shop for
deep discounts, but at the same time know when to keep quiet as to the price.
Allow me to explain this statement a bit more. What my mother was saying is if
you can find the item the person is wanting at a discount, don't feel bad about
it -- just buy it. When you give the item away, it doesn't matter how much it
cost you. All that counts is the joy the item brings to the person receiving
the holiday gift idea.

Some places that have become popular for buying your holiday gift ideas on-line
at discount include the Amazon bookstore, Overstock warehouse and New Egg
computer store. These options help buyers purchase holiday gift items at a
great deal -- sometimes quite a lot less that purchasing at retail prices. Yet
the biggest secret of them all when coming up with holiday gift ideas are
dollar stores.

Dollar stores have increased in popularity, and are always sprouting up almost
as much as a new convenience store or fast food restaurant. What many people
don't realize is that your holiday gift ideas can quite often be found residing
in these stores for ridiculous prices way below their original price. There are
those who don't yet have these types of stores, so one last option exists for
them: outlet malls.

An outlet mall is a great way to say on your holiday gift ideas. Whether it is
name brand shoes, clothes, and even accessories such as watches, purses or
perfume, you are sure to find some fabulous deals at these locations. But not
only clothing is available -- Electronic goods, books, and even children toys
will be found awaiting the smart shopper. So remember, it's not the price that
counts with your holiday gift ideas, it is the meaning behind them.

Holiday Gifts: Storm Chasing

Is your significant other a "thrill seeker"? Is it hard to get them to come
away from the window during a storm? Are they the last ones down to the
basement when there is a possibility of a tornado? Do they watch the weather
channel's storm stories over and over again? Have you watched the movie Twister
until you know the entire script by heart?

Then you have a prime candidate for the gift of a storm chasing adventure.
Storm chasing although definitely not inexpensive, is without a doubt a once in
a lifetime thrill. The trip can run well over $2,000.00 -- which usually
includes lodging but not food or transportation to and from the base motel.
Some companies will offer you discounts for things like booking more than one
trip, room sharing or filling the last couple spots on a trip.

Tempest Tours and Silver Lining Tours are just two of dozens of companies that
offer storm-chasing trips. These companies use storm chasers with years of
experience. They offer trips of one to two weeks. Before the actual chasing
starts there is classroom type instruction so you will know what to expect and
what is expected of you.

There are usually at least half a dozen guests in each trip. Besides being
instructed on the art of storm chasing you will find you also learn a great
deal about meteorology and the discipline necessary to be a successful storm
chaser. Although the staff does try to figure the times you will need to head
out the night before you do have to be able to be ready to go on a moments
notice. You will normally leave in the morning and your leaders will
recalculate your target throughout the day as new weather information becomes
available. Most companies operate within Tornado Alley (Texas, Oklahoma,
Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Wyoming Colorado, New Mexico and the Dakotas).

During the time between storms the instructors will take you sight seeing
through miles of gorgeous scenery. Some days the chase will continue after dark
when you will be awed at the sight of fantastic lightning displays. Even though
some companies provide you with a video of your trip you really want to make
sure you have your own camera equipment with you.

You will spend 10 exciting days living the life of a storm chaser. Although no
one can guarantee that you will see a tornado, due to the fact that trips are
scheduled during the peak storm season you can be pretty sure you will at least
see some incredible storms.

If by chance the person on your list is an avid storm fan but not quite
daredevil enough to want to actually get in a car and chase them, there are
numerous videos, books and virtual storm chasing CD's out there to keep them
happy for many holidays to come.

Storm chasing is a holiday gift that will be re-lived and remembered for many
years to come.

Holiday Gifts: Parachute Jump

If you are looking for a gift for someone who isn't afraid of heights, has a
good amount of daredevil in them, and doesn't find anything wrong with jumping
out of a perfectly good airplane, this is one gift that will earn you eternal

This is just the holiday gift for that special someone who you know has always
wondered how it would feel to just jump out of an airplane, let alone fall
10,000 feet. A single tandem sky dive session will run you an average of about
$200.00 which includes instruction that runs about half an hour and one jump.

That is also what makes the tandem jump such a great gift, since it is a
one-day event, you get the opportunity to see how much you really enjoy it
without investing a lot of time and money learning to dive on your own, then if
you complete the jump and find yourself wanting to get back up there and do it
again you have the option of signing up for classes where they will teach you
everything you need to know from packing your own chute to landing in your

The tandem jump is done while you are harnessed to a professional diver who
helps control the fall. You will undergo on the ground training and perform the
jump the same day. You start out taking a plane up to around 10,000 feet. At
that point you will jump and free-fall for several thousand feet at
approximately 120 miles per hour. Contrary to what most people think free
falling doesn't make your stomach roll like a roller coaster might. It's more
like floating on a cushion; similar to the feeling of buoyancy you get in the
water but to a much greater degree.

After the minute or so of free fall you toss the toggle, which is attached to
the pilot chute, into the airstream, deploying the canopy and float to the
ground. There is no worry that you will forget or freeze and not open the
chute. If you don't open it when you should the instructor will use hand
signals to let you know what you should be doing. If you still don't react the
instructor will deploy the chute. Most schools also have a device that will
automatically deploy the chute at a certain point if it hasn't been manually
opened. Now that you are floating downward you have time to relax and enjoy the
scenery, while the instructor helps you guide both of you down to the target
where thanks to new technology you can make a nice soft landing.

This wonderful holiday gift of skydiving will provide you with an entire
spectrum of emotion. You start with the anticipation as your plane climbs. Then
there is the excitement and adrenaline rush of the jump which is followed by the
exhilarating yet tranquil feeling of the descent, ending with the pride and
satisfaction of accomplishing something that up until now has only been a
pleasant daydream.

Holiday Gifts: Pets

Pets are wonderful. They cheer you up when you are down, keep you laughing, and
love you no matter what. There is very little more heartwarming than seeing a
child who has fallen asleep curled up next to a puppy.

Pets are a very common gift for children at holidays. Puppies and kittens at
Christmas, baby
ducks, chicks and bunnies at Easter and so forth. What child's eyes wouldn't
light up at the sight of a brand new baby animal to hold and hug? The promises
to love, feed and take care of the new additions to the family flow like water.

The critters are soft, warm and fuzzy gifts for certain but, and it's a big
but, they all grow up and in just a few short weeks are no longer cute little
puppies but big romping barking dogs, the cuddly little kittens have turned
into large aloof cats. The baby ducks and chicks are no longer soft and fuzzy,
but big, noisy and messy, and those two bunnies, Fred and George turned out to
be Fred and Georgia!

Pets are a long term commitment and buying a pet as a gift should be a well
planned and thought out move not a spur of the moment decision based on
emotional reaction.

If you are honestly thinking of getting someone a pet for the holidays (even if
it is not for a child) be sure it is something you would do even if there were
no holiday involved.

Make sure the gift fits. If the primary responsibility of caring for the animal
is going to fall to a young child you don't want to get a dog that will quickly
grow to the size of a small pony which the child wouldn't be capable of
handling. You might also want to make sure you expose your child to other
people's pets for decent lengths of time before buying a pet, so if by chance
they have allergic reactions to animals you will know before you bring one home
for them to fall in love with. This will also give you the time to convince them
that they would really prefer a turtle, lizard or something else that doesn't
have dander.

Keep in mind those animals, like babies, cost money way above and beyond the
purchase price. Food, leashes, food, collars, food and water bowls, training
supplies, food, toys, vet bills, food, licenses and tags, and more food!

There is a great deal of time that has to be invested in most any pet and the
holidays are not always a good time to be doing that. The hustle and excitement
of a houseful of friends and family may not be the ideal setting for a new
puppy, kitten, or any other young animal. A better idea might be to cut out a
picture of the pet you have in mind and put that in a card and make sure the
child understands that as soon as the holidays have passed and things have gone
back to a normal relaxed state they can help pick out the newest member of the

Holiday Gifts: Home Parties

Shopping the stores for holiday gifts can be a real hassle what with the stores
being so crowded, and shopping online you really don't get to "see" what you are

Home parties have come a long way since the Tupperware Party days and they are
no longer something you "have to go to and buy something" because your
sister-in-law is hosting it -- they are a great gift buying venue. Whatever you
are looking for there is probably a home party that will provide it. No crowds
to fight they bring the product right to you in the comfort of your own home
where you can see exactly what you are buying, they deliver your order to you
and best of all you can pick up several items at little or no cost to you!

Hosting a home party is simplicity itself. You can contact any company online
or by phone and they will give you the name of a representative in your area or
you can go to parties demonstrating the kinds of products you are interested in
and let the representative know that you are interested in hosting your own
party. The latter has the added benefit of giving your host credit for a
booking, which usually results in their being eligible for free, or discounted
items. Once you have picked a date for your booking the representative will
either give you invitations that you can send out or some will just take your
guest list and they will send the invitations out for you.

The day of the party all you have to do is make sure you have enough seating
and a table for the demonstrator to display her items on and have some drinks
and snacks handy. How fancy you get is up to you. You can just serve some chips
and dips or you can make appetizers and put them out. One of the advantages of
the parties that sell food products are they bring lots of food samples for you
and your guests to try.

The demonstrator will come in and set up, do her demonstration take all the
orders, figure out how much you have coming in free or discounted items, let
you know when the delivery date is. Some companies deliver everything to the
hostess and she delivers them from there and others deliver directly to each
person who places an order.

So many of the companies have branched out and sell a great variety of items
that you can probably do a lot of your holiday shopping at one or two different
parties. There are companies that sell clothing and lingerie, cookware, bake
ware, food products, jewelry (including "pearl" parties where everyone gets a
chance to pick an oyster and if your oyster has a pearl you get to keep it --
of course they are hoping you will pick one of their settings to put it in!),
country style furnishings and decor, wrought iron decor, candles and the list
just keeps going.

There is one last advantage to doing your holiday shopping at home parties; you
may very well run into one that you like enough that it could become a part or
full time income for you!

Holiday Gifts for the NASCAR Racing Fan

Is your husband a NASCAR fanatic? Does your girlfriend count the days until
it's time for the Daytona 500? When your child hears the numbers 8, 24 and 48
does he automatically think Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson?
Are more than half the products in your home sponsors of a NASCAR team? Are you
looking for the perfect gift but just don't want to buy another T-Shirt, hat or
1/24th scale car?

Give your race fan the thrill of a lifetime with a gift certificate to any one
of a dozen race schools. For as little as $100.00 to several thousand dollars
you will give a gift that will never be forgotten. Not even Santa could do

For the NASCAR fan there is the Richard Petty Driving Experience and the Dale
Jarrett Driving Racing Adventure among others. These classes are held on real
racetracks in real Cup cars. The Richard Petty Driving Experience holds their
classes at tracks like Charlotte, Atlanta, Las Vegas and many others.*

At the Richard Petty Driving Experience the beginner level runs between three
and four hundred dollars. For that your speed demon can hop into a race suit,
don a helmet climb through the window of a Cup stock car (remember the doors
don't open) and tear around a mile, mile and a half or two mile track for 10
laps. When you arrive, there is a half hour briefing and you are driven around
the track while they explain the different driving lines. Then you hop into
your car and get ready to go out onto the track.

The instructor is in the lead car with two or three cars behind him each
containing one student. Once out on the track, as long as you are keeping up,
the instructor will push his car faster (going up to around 165 mph). If any
student runs into a problem or just cant keep up with the others another
instructor will drive out onto the track and pick them up so the others can
continue at a higher speed. After the laps have been completed and you have
returned to pit road and left your car you are presented with a print out
showing your average lap time, fastest lap and mph for each lap. For a few
extra dollars you can also have your picture taken in victory lane. This level
is usually required before going on to any of the other levels which increase
up to classes that span a whole weekend running more than 80 laps under actual
race conditions at night with the other students. .

For those who would really like to know what it feels like but aren't ready to
drive the car themselves each track has a "ride along". The ride-along usually
runs around a hundred dollars and is exactly what it sounds like -- you get
into a car that has had a passenger seat added with an instructor and take
three very quick laps (about 165 mph) around the track. They send two cars out
at a time and each one takes its turn passing the other so you can get an idea
of how close they drive and how close they come to each other when they pass.

Have non-NASCAR race fans on your gift list? There are also driving schools for
top fuel, open wheel, corvettes and just about anything that goes fast!

Holiday Gifts: Books, Movies and Music

One thing you can be fairly certain of is that you can always find a gift of
movies, music or a book for anyone on your holiday gift lists.

Movies are sold everywhere from Blockbuster Video Rental stores to Walgreen
Drug Stores. You can find movies in convenience stores and grocery stores. Many
of the larger retailers, like Wal Mart, have bins of "bargain" priced movies and
if you don't mind digging through them you can find some really good movies at
rock bottom prices. If you aren't bothered by the words "previously viewed" you
can get some current hits for $8.00 to $10.00. With a diligent search and good
timing you can get some great new unopened movies off of ebay for a fraction of
the cost in stores. It's also a good source for movies that are out of print.

Not sure what kinds of movies they like? Perfect time for a gift card. You can
get a gift card for purchase or for rental. A really nice basket to make
contains a gift card for movie rental, a box of microwave popcorn and a few
candy bars.

You can also purchase some great boxed gift sets. Many of these sets, like the
Lethal Weapon series, are made up of the Directors Editions which contain a lot
of extra scenes that were cut from the theater versions and an extra tape with
interviews, bloopers and other interesting information. Have a John Wayne or
Will Smith fan on your list? There are several different boxed sets combining
each of their movies or put one together yourself.

Not sure about their favorite movie, but you know they are addicted to the
television show Boston Legal? A large number of the television shows release
entire seasons in a set format. Does your spouse love watching Discovery
Channel or The Learning Channel? You will find many of their shows and specials
can be found on tape or DVD. Whether you are looking for VHS tapes or DVD's
you're sure to find the perfect gift.

The same can be said for gifts of music. There are music stores where the
selection is enormous and like the movies you can find CD's in just about any
store you walk into. With an idea of the type of music or the favorite singers
you're looking for you can put together a really nice gift without a lot of

There are an amazing number of bookstores out there, ranging from the small
corner bookstores to the mega chains with a cafe and reading areas that contain
comfortable arm chairs so you can sit back with your cup of coffee and enjoy a
good book. You aren't limited to hard or soft cover books. There are also books
on cassette tapes and books on CD's. There are even e-books that can be
downloaded onto their computer and read that way. Love stories, detective
novels, horror novels, westerns, science fiction, biographies, cookbooks,
instructional books, children's books. Your bookstore can be your one stop
holiday gift shop.

Holiday Gifts: Crafts

Craft gifts are available just about everywhere, from small craft shops to
large malls, to state fair craft booths. You can buy them, you can make them
yourself or you can give a craft kit and open up a whole new hobby for the
people for whom you are buying. There are specific "holiday" themed crafts such
as wreaths for Christmas or Halloween, straw scarecrows and corn husk wreaths
for Thanksgiving or more general crafts like birdhouses and dollhouses complete
with miniature everything, which can also make great holiday gifts.

Ceramics is a relaxing hobby that allows for great creativity and
personalization. There is enough in the way of simple projects that even the
beginner can put together a beautiful array of holiday gifts. You can start
from scratch using poured pieces (green ware); cleaning, painting, firing,
glazing and firing again or you can buy pieces that are already cleaned and
fired (bisque) paint and glaze them. There are an almost infinite number of
different pieces to choose from. You can make statues, candy dishes, lamps or
chess sets. You are really only limited by your imagination. Children love
painting on bisque (much easier for a child to work with as it isn't as easily
broken as green ware) Check your local phone book for ceramic shops to find the
ones that offer lessons and in no time you'll be making gifts people will
cherish. You can find Santas and pumpkins, turkey platters and figurines of
Uncle Sam. You can put together a base topped with several figurines and make
it into a night-light or dresser lamp. In fact you can find something for just
about any holiday as well as for other gifting like showers and birthdays or

If you don't have time or the inclination to make your own there are ceramic
pieces for sale in just about every store you go into. There are decorative
plates and glasses, vases and jewelry boxes, dolls and figurines. There are all
kinds of sets of figurines; storybook characters, wild west towns, the entire
cast of Star Wars characters, complete Christmas villages, entire renaissance
worlds with castles, wizards, trolls, dragons, kings, queens, knights. The best
part about some of these is that you can buy one piece for each holiday building
the set slowly or buy it all at once.

Other great crafts for holiday gift giving are knitting, crocheting,
cross-stitch and sewing. Scarves, sweaters, potholders, Afghans, dresses,
shirts and the list goes on. Change the color and the design and you can have a
gift for any holiday. When you knit, crochet, sew or cross-stitch a piece for
someone you can personalize it in the colors and styles that you know suits

You can always hook a rug or pillow. There are complete kits that come with a
preprinted canvas the hook and all the yarn you will need or you can buy a
piece of canvas and draw your own design, buy a hook and your yarn and you're
good to go.

Why Crafts Are Still A Wonderful Holiday Gift Idea

Whether it is a birthday, an anniversary or even a federal holiday, the number
one thing on everyone's mind is: what on earth am I going to give away this
year? Most of us when trying to figure out our holiday gift idea first think of
how much money we have, and what that money can buy. Yet a few of us out there
start to see all sorts of possibilities of what we can make to give our special
someone(s) that is sure to be cherished more than a store-bought item.

The first type of person looking for a crafty holiday gift idea is what I like
to call the needle worker. Needle workers enjoying sewing, embroidery, or other
such needle arts. Depending on the occasion, they may choose something small,
such as sewing napkins and potholders or cross-stitching a magnet or a small,
simple picture or a key-chain. For occasions that require a bit more,
embroidering a larger picture or sewing a cherished item like a handbag or bath
robe are great holiday gift ideas.

The next crafter are those who knit or crochet. Holiday gift ideas that a quick
and inexpensive would include, but are not limited to, winter hats, scarves,
gloves and/or mittens. A more intimate gift would be a poncho or slippers.
However, for those who have the time and want to give a larger gift, afghans
are the way to go. With all the different ways one can incorporate color,
texture, and different designs into their afghans, the holiday gift idea is
sure to be cherished for many years.

Besides the crafting arts considered more on the feminine side, there are also
those holiday gift seekers who are into woodworking. Some examples they may
come up with are small picture frames, carving a small statue of something
their friend or family member would be quite fond of, such as fish, birds or
even a caricature of themselves. Larger projects for holiday gift ideas would
be creating a headboard for a child's bed, a jewelry box for the wife, or even
a spice rack for the cooking enthusiast.

Tangents of woodworking would be wood-burning and basket-weaving. Wood-burning
may not seem like such a great holiday gift idea, but when you receive your
name or favorite saying as a sign you can display, you realize how personal the
gift truly is. And we all know that gift baskets are always a crowd favorite
when it comes to holiday gift ideas -- but how many people can truly say that
the basket itself was made specifically just for them?

One last crafting area I would like to offer as holiday gift ideas: The
painting arts. These arts include such things as oil and water-based canvas
paintings. Having an art piece creating by an endearing friend is sure to be
passed down in the family, and the painting will always be worth much more than
any mere price tag due to the love put into it. Yet another painting art would
be airbrushing. A still hot holiday gift idea is airbrushed T-shirts, and when
one is created by someone you know, it feels just a little better when wearing

The point to all these options is this: taking the time to make something for
someone else will always beat out anything that is merely bought. It may not
always appear that way at first, but over time the gifts that leave the most
lasting impression are those made for us by those who loved us enough to make
their very best holiday gift ideas for us.

Holiday Gift Subscriptions

Holiday shopping can sometimes be a real headache. Some people are incredibly
difficult to buy for. What do you get for the person who has everything? The
person who doesn't seem to want or need anything? Or maybe you are in a
position, thanks to those wonderful Christmas grab bags, of having to buy a
gift for someone you really don't know all that well. A magazine subscription
provides for a gift that has a nice personal touch yet doesn't require that you
know anyone's shirt size or favorite perfume and as an added bonus can run you
as little as $10.00 for a full year. With a little general knowledge of the
kinds of things they like you can give a gift that they can enjoy all year.

Do they enjoy cooking? There are dozens upon dozens of food and beverage
magazines on the market running the gamut from backyard barbecue to gourmet
dinners. Southern Living, Taste of Home, Light & Tasty, and Diabetic Cooking
just to name a few. Appetizers to desserts, diet advice, helpful hints, step by
step "how to's". As a nice little extra benefit, this is a gift that can get you
invited to a lot of really good dinners!!

Do you have someone on your list that is forever clicking away on his or her
camera? Outdoor Photographer, Popular Photography or Shutterbug among others
will keep them up to date on the latest information on equipment and techniques
for less than the cost of a couple good steaks.

For sports fans there are more magazines than you can imagine. Football, golf,
hockey, racing, tennis, and soccer -- you name the sport you'll find dozens of
magazines for the fan. Stats, biographies, interviews with players, owners,
coaches and announcers, the rundown on everything that is important to the
sport. There aren't too many people who haven't heard of Sports Illustrated,
BASS, American Rifleman or ESPN the Magazine, but there is also Shark Diver,
Watercraft World and Triathelete. Many sports magazines like the NASCAR Scene
also have online versions of the magazines that you can subscribe to once you
have a subscription to the paper version.

Without searching too hard you can find magazines for wine lovers, motorcycle
enthusiasts, crafters and people who love to travel. Avid campers? Backpacker,
Camping Life and MotorHome will provide them with hours of reading pleasure.
American Woodworker, Country Sampler and Dollhouse Miniature will keep your
favorite crafters busy for hours on end, possibly netting you a few really nice
home made gifts in return!

Boy's Life, Seventeen and CosmoGirl! are just a few of the magazines available
for the teens on your list. Baby Bug, Children's Digest and Disney's Princess
will give parents of toddlers plenty of "read to me" material.

Magazines provide, information and entertainment on just about any topic you
can think of. No matter what kind of person you have on your holiday gift list
you will be able to find an appropriate gift in a magazine subscription.

Holiday Gift Ideas That Are Perfect For Men

Although they hate to admit it, when it comes to men, they are like wolves in
their own little packs, searching for their next prey. Men act in ways contrary
to women, often seeming to approve of disgusting behavior and desires. The more
a woman tries to understand a man, then more confused she becomes about the way
he acts and thinks. It is no wonder why women have such a tough time figuring
out what to buy their male counterparts, whether it be a lover and mate, a
husband, a father or a superior. This article should prove helpful with getting
our female creative juices flowing.

Let us first begin with the hot stud we either have had our eye on for some
time, or even have had the luck to date and enjoy being with. Holiday gift
ideas that work well for him would be anything sports or electronic related. If
the guy loves to watch sports, a wall mural or posters of his favorite teams or
players would definitely send a good message. If our guy is into physical
activities, buying some of his gear such as snowboards, skateboards, footballs,
etc are also a great gift idea. However, for the tech-head guy, stickers for his
laptop or game console can excite them -- or even a new mp3 player for them to
play around with and show off to their guy pals.

However, our guys do grow up (even if just a little) and we get married.
Holiday gift ideas for husbands and fathers of our children deserve something
special as well. One idea would be to get him a beer gift basket that contains
bears from all around the world. He gets to relax and unwind, tasting a new
flavor he would otherwise never get before, and you get to feel wonderful as
the giver. Yet, some guys like only one kind of beer -- so a great compliment
to this would be personalized beer mugs. Just think of his guy friends seeing
this great gift -- he won't stop talking about it and who gave this gift to him.

Of course, dads and fathers also deserve a wonderful holiday gift idea as well.
Fathers have been there to encourage you to grow and helped make you into the
fine woman you are now. Us women should never forget this fact, and need to
show our gratitude for all they have done. Oftentimes our fathers love to fish
and hunt now that they have more time with us out of the house. So, why not
give a gift from within this category? Try for instance a set of binoculars
that has a digital camera built right in. Or how about a fishing rod attachment
that uses sonar to find where the fish are? Technology has truly come a far way
in regards to our dads.

This leads us to our grandfathers, or even how our fathers are becoming
granddads soon. Grandfathers are a special breed of men who have made it far in
their own lives, and deserve recognition of their status as a grandpa. Some
holiday gift ideas for these fine gentlemen would include movie collections
based on the would wars, or even a collection of John Wayne films. Yet another
idea would be grill set with tools and marinades for his meats, as well as a
matching apron that has the grand-children's faces on it so that grandpa may
show off his pride and joy.

Finally, we lead to our male co-workers and those in authority over us.
Although not as close as family, these men do spend quite a lot of time with us
during our lives, and showing respect for their positions and contributions is
always a wise choice. Holiday gift ideas for these gentlemen would include
personalized business-card holders, a monogrammed travel bag, or even a fine
watch (the guys version of high-class jewelry). These men will thank you for
your thoughtful gift, and will not soon forget you.

Holiday Gift Ideas For Under Twenty-Five Dollars

In our fast-paced world full of high-speed everything, one thing that seems to
be a prevailing factor in our lives is how so many things require so much of
our well-earned money. From paying for the necessities, such as rent or
mortgage, car payment, insurance, utility bills, as well as food and clothing,
most of our checks seem to fly out the door. Then there are entertainment
expenses as well, including cable or satellite TV and even our Internet access.
So when it's time to figure out what holiday gift ideas we are going to give out
this year, the decision becomes harder and harder on what makes a good gift to

In the past it was not uncommon for someone to receive expensive jewelry,
watches, handmade clocks and other such prestigious items. Unfortunately for
most of us, those days are gone, but we still want our holiday gift idea to
make the person feel like a million dollars. The question thus becomes how to
achieve this seemingly impossible feat.

Holiday gift ideas that cost under twenty-five dollars have the unfortunate
stigma that they are somehow cheap and gaudy, not at all what someone should be
giving away for the special occasion. This could not be any more untrue. The
fact of the matter is that being frugal in this day and age often times makes
sure that most, if not all, of those on your gifting list actually receive
something that they can cherish and enjoy from you. And truth be told the price
oftentimes does not equal the true value of the heartfelt gift.

Take for instance most books. To the wise shopper, many of the popular titles,
including even the new Harry Potter novel, can be purchased for less than $25.
And for those who would rather listen to the book than actually read it, there
are still bargains to be had. Literature in all its forms are wonderful holiday
gift ideas, for even in fiction there are lessons to be learned and fantastical
lands to escape into.

Another popular inexpensive gift to give is music and video. CD's are still a
popular holiday gift idea, but is more and more going into gift cards for
iTunes and Rhapsody services. On the other spectrum is DVD's and the movies,
television programs and other such videos that the smart shopper can find still
under the $25 range. For the adventurous shopper, with careful inspection and
research they may even find DVD, CD and MP3 players for under this range as
well, which many would be blessed to own.

Of course as a last resort for a good holiday gift idea, anywhere from five to
twenty-five dollars in a gift card (or even a combination of gift cards) will
always work. When your recipient gets the card, they will feel grateful for the
thought you put into it because it shows them how much you care. How does it do
this? Quite simple actually: You show that you have listened to their wants and
that you have gotten to know their desires over the time spent together, and
thus you buy the cards for their favorite places. What's not to love with this
holiday gift idea?

So there you have three wonderful holiday gift ideas, all under twenty-five
bucks. Just remember that if you use your imagination, you will find there is
so much more opportunity with this seemingly small amount if you but just look
for it! Happy bargain hunting and may your gifts be received with gratitude and

Holiday Gift Ideas For Those Less Fortunate

The holidays are a time to meet up with those you love and to celebrate your
precious time together on the planet earth. All of us enjoy getting together
with those we enjoy spending time with, and we appreciate the limited time we
get to do so. However there is a sad side to our celebrating that many have no
idea how to help with.

Every year there are those less fortunate souls who cannot afford to celebrate
with their loved one's. Many of these people don't even have any loved ones
left to visit, and thus they roam the streets alone. So many of us would like
to show compassion and kindness to these people, but where do we even begin?
How on earth can we make a difference in these people's lives?

One of the greatest holiday gift idea we can give this holiday season that
lasts much more than any game console or new exciting technological gadget is
giving of our time. Volunteering at a local church, mission or food bank is a
most rewarding experience, and I highly recommend it to all who read this.
Watching these lonely, almost lifeless people light up with hope and joy, just
because someone who cares and loves them has come into their life, is something
amazing to behold.

Serving food and drink to these less fortunate souls is also an amazing holiday
gift idea. This can be done at a soup kitchen, but if one does not exist in your
city or town, then an alternative would be to make up some simple paper-sack
lunches with a juice box, piece of fruit, and a simple sandwich inside. If you
are a believer, you could also include a scripture of how God love's them, even
in their time of need. Try this method and watch how blessed you feel when you
know you have helped someone out who desperately needed it.

If giving of your time this way is not possible, another holiday gift idea
would be to use your talents to create a gift. Making simple scarves and hats
are easy patterns to master, whether you knit or crochet with yarn, or even sew
with fleece. Another needed item are blankets -- you can find several non-profit
organizations who will take donations of knit or crochet squares, or even
finished quilt blocks, and then their volunteers sew the blocks together to
make completed blankets. These blankets are so very needed for these
unfortunate people, and your work will be greatly appreciated.

Another item you can make as a holiday gift idea to give away is stuffed
animals. Unfortunately there resides several homeless children in this world,
barely getting by while surviving with their parents on the streets and off of
the trash scraps they find to eat that night. Many of these children are
desperate for a compassionate person, and the volunteers who give these
handmade teddy-bears will tell you how a child's eyes open up with renewed hope
and life.

Finally, if you are not a talented creator, nor can you give of your time
freely, consider helping other organizations such as Christmas Unlimited or
Toys for Tots with your money or donated toys and clothing so that the parents
who cannot afford to give their children gifts this Christmas will still have a
miracle occur and Christmas be saved for their precious children. This can be an
ultimate holiday gift idea -- I should know. I was once one of these very

Holiday Gift Ideas For That Special Lady

Whenever a woman is out with her girlfriends, they love to chat about any and
all things going on in their lives. They go to the bathroom together to hold
secret meetings about their boyfriends and to gossip about one another. And of
course, women love to shop together. Unfortunately for men, this makes buying
gifts for a special lady, whether it be someone we are interested in, someone
we are dating, someone we are married to, or even our mother, grandmother, or
boss -- women confuse us when it comes to the right gift. This article should
help alleviate this dilemma.

To start, guys who are interested in a lovely woman, or involved with one, here
are some great holiday gift ideas for them. All woman love to be pampered, so
why not indulge their needs? One of the ways to do this is by giving a hand
and/or feet pampering kit. These kits typically contain lotions and other tools
to make a woman feel pretty and loved by you. Of course, the next step from this
would be a spa treatment for two -- you and her!

The spa treatment is also good for those of us who are married to our fine
wives. But it is not the only holiday gift idea that you can give your wife.
Many of us have children, and any husband should be able to agree that what our
wives go through in child birth and raising our children is not a simple task to
say the least. So why not show how very proud of them we are by giving them
jewelry that they can wear proudly as the mother of our children. One such item
would be the birthstone pendant or necklace, where the birthstones of the
children, the mother and yourself are arranged beautifully. Of course, if you
want it even more personal, having the names inscribed on a silver bracelet is
another option. The most personal item would be the photo-bracelet where
instead of having the pictures of her children in her purse or wallet, they are
proudly displayed upon her wrist.

This wrist photo-bracelet would also be great to give your mother with all of
her grandchildren inside. Unique holiday gift ideas abound once you see the
potential. Mom's will also appreciate items that they can show off while
entertaining guests, while also helping the grandkids feel special when
visiting their grandmother. Such items include personal photographic wall
calendars, photos on pillows and even a photo montage collection.

These photo holiday gift ideas also travel over to grandma and all she has done
as well. Grandmothers, and especially great-grandmothers are to be cherished for
the short time they will be on this earth. Most of us have fond memories of our
grandmother's in the kitchen making a fine meal, or even more so working on a
knitting or crochet project for a grandchild. Why not show how appreciated she
is, as well as her handmade gifts, by getting her a kitchen organizer or a
personalized craft bag to hold all of her things so that she doesn't have to
look all over the house for what she needs when working on her current projects?

Finally, we come to those special women who are in charge of us: our boss (and
even some of our co-workers). A business organizer bag would be an awesome
holiday gift idea to give to them. However, an alternative to this would be a
fanciful coffee or tea collection kit. This could be something simple such as a
few boxes of their favorite flavors tied with a ribbon, all the way to an exotic
mix of flavors from all around the world.

Whoever the lucky woman is, using these holiday gift ideas from this article is
sure to make you popular with the special lady in your life. Just remember to
have fun and always remain thoughtful!

Gift Giving Superstitions and Legends

Superstitions: There are a lot of superstitions and legends involving the
giving and receiving of gifts. For instance it was at one time considered bad
luck to give a pair of scissors or a knife as a gift because it was feared that
the act would "cut" the friendship in half. Therefore knives were never given as
wedding gifts as it was believed they would lead to a broken marriage.

Also never give anyone a pair of shoes as a Christmas gift because they would
make the person you give them to walk away from you. When you give someone a
gift of a wallet or purse be sure to put some money into it, even if only a
coin, to ward off bad luck. At one time bakers would throw in an extra roll
when you bought a dozen as a "gift" in case any of the other rolls were too
small. This "gift" became known as the baker's dozen.

Urban legends: Legends are told as having happened long, long ago whereas urban
legends are set in contemporary times and told as having happened to people
known either personally to the teller or to someone known by a person the
teller knows.
The places and names change as they are updated to fit current times and all
carry a warning or lesson of some sort. There may even be some truth to the
story although the people and places have been changed so many times that it
becomes hard to determine what the truth actually was.

One such tale recounts a king's offer of a gift to a famous golfer (sometimes
the golfer is named other times he is just "a famous golfer") who after first
declining the gift asks for a golf club only to find to his amazement that the
king has bought him an entire golf course.

In several different legends, although the people and circumstances change the
story and its warning are the same. A son (nephew, daughter, niece...) is
expecting a very expensive gift (car, house, inheritance...) from his father
(uncle, aunt...) but receives a bible. In a fit of anger he throws the bible at
the giver and leaves not returning until the givers death when he notices the
bible from so long ago, opens it and finds the (key to the car, check to the
car dealer, will leaving him everything etc.).

Then there are the one-up-manship legends. Two or more siblings vie to get the
best gift for their mother (houses, cars, jewels) with one going to great
expense to get a bird (myna, parrot...) that has been specially trained (to
read the bible, sing opera, speak Italian...). The mother politely thanks all
(while letting them know their gift wasn't very practical) then speaks proudly
of the child who had the sense to bring her the delicious chicken.

There is also a true story of two brothers who re-gifted the same pair of pants
back and forth wrapped in very creative ways, from rolling them into a 3' long
1" wide pipe to stuffing them into the glove compartment of a car that they
then had crushed and delivered in time for Christmas. The pants went back and
forth for 25 years before they finally fell apart.

Holiday: Scrapbooking -- The Gift of Memories

The holidays have always been a time for family, for friends, for reminiscing
and for making new memories. A perfect gift for Christmas, Mother's Day,
birthdays or any other holiday is the gift of those memories. Every family has
a treasure trove of photos and other memorabilia stashed away in boxes, drawers
and old albums that are falling apart.

Scrapbooking is a way to organize all those photos, postcards, programs, menus,
matchbooks, pressed corsages and other pieces of family history in a beautiful
album that will be looked at and treasured for years to come. Bringing all
those things together in an album often comes to mean almost as much to those
that create the gift as it does the person it was created for.

Scrapbooks are a very warm personal and sentimental gift. They can light up any
holiday celebration. Once the gift has been opened you'll find everyone spending
hours going through the book and remembering all the wonderful times and the
people that have passed through their lives. Photos that bring back memories of
weddings and birthday parties, the program from your daughters first ballet
recital, the matchbook from the restaurant where you and your future husband
had your first dinner. All these things make the scrapbook a gift that will be

Putting together an album has come a long way from the days of the slipping the
pictures under a plastic sheet or, for those of us old enough to remember,
sliding the edges of the pictures into the little black paper corners that are
glued to a black construction paper page. Modern scrapbooking is an art form.
Scrapbooking doesn't take any special skills. With a little patience and the
proper tools you can build a scrapbook that you would be proud to give as a
gift to anyone.

With beautiful decorative papers for the pages, special scissors and other
cutting tools for decorative edges and designs, stamps and other supplies you
can custom build a beautiful piece of family history. Scrapbooking is something
the entire family can take part in. Even a young child can enjoy helping. Just
the memories that are jogged and the stories that can be told while organizing
the items for the book make the project worthwhile.

There are websites that can walk you through the basics, there are community
classes for scrapbooking and there are people you can find through your local
paper, the yellow pages or on the Internet that will be glad to build your
scrapbook for you.

Another option as an alternative to the album is to gather all the photos
together, put them in some semblance of order and take them to a place that
will put it all onto a video tape or DVD for you, unless of course you're lucky
enough to have the knowledge and skill to do so yourself. This also has the
advantage of keeping your photos safe from deterioration due to age or normal
wear and tear.

Holiday Gifts: Unusual Gifts

When find yourself with someone on your holiday gift list who is difficult to
buy for, sometimes your best bet is to go for something out of the ordinary.
Gifts that work to bring about harmony and peace in the environment are sure to
please. From simple gifts of candles, crystals, and CD's that play the soothing
sounds of wind, rain and babbling brooks, to salt lamps, singing bowls and Zen
sand gardens, the choices are plentiful.

You can choose jewelry made of amber, an organic gemstone that is professed to
draw negative energy and turn it to positive energy leading to health and well
being. Most people, when they think of amber think of the honey colored or the
milky white but amber can also be found in brown, red, blue, black and green.
You can also buy gifts of jewelry made out of the crystals for your
astrological sign. Chlorite quartz is another healing mineral said to cleanse
ones aura and makes a gift that is beautiful to look at.

On the more unusual side would be a gift of a negative ion producing lamp made
of salt crystal rock. This rock naturally ionizes the air by releasing negative
ions (electronically charged molecules of oxygen) thereby removing things like
pollen, dust and animal dander from the air. The core of the piece of salt
crystal is hollowed out then a light bulb is placed inside. The resulting heat
from the light bulb starts the ions flowing into the air. Even if you aren't
interested in the healing qualities of the lamp, you end up with very pretty
pieces to display on your dresser or end table.

We all know our moods and our health can be greatly affected by sound.
Dissonant , loud sounds cause tension and if too prolonged can cause ill
health. Other sounds energize the body and relax the mind. Singing bowls fall
into this category.
They are made from a mix of metals from the Himalayas, Tibet and India. When
you strike and/or rub the bowl with a wooden mallet the multi-octave tones that
are produced will relax and heal your mind as well as your body. Hand made bells
called Rustic Noah Bells are believed to scare off bad spirits. Hang them near
your home for good energy. The beautiful deep tone of the larger bells provides
a superb sound to accompany your meditation.

In the Feng Shui shops you will also find a large selection of clothing to wear
when meditating, books, videos, prayer flags and lots of different oils to
energize the body mind and spirit. You might also be interested in the Chakra
Bears. Legend says that when the sun shines through the mist in the Smokey
Mountains it forms a beautiful rainbow. Every twenty years this rainbow touches
the earth and rainbow Chakra bears are born. Each color has a different purpose.
For instance the blue bear will listen with endless patience while the yellow
bear's purpose is to make you successful.

Visit a store that specializes in Feng Shui products and you will find gifts of
aromatherapy, incense, table top fountains, mirrors and plenty of books to
explain the theories behind everything.

Holiday Gifts: Tickets, Gift Certificates and IOU's

One way to handle the "what to buy" dilemma at the holidays is by purchasing a 
pair of tickets to an event that you know the recipient will enjoy. Especially 
nice when you are getting something that they wouldn't necessarily buy for 
themselves. I say a "pair" of tickets because most events are better if you can 
take someone with you.

A pair of tickets or a season subscription for any playhouse for those who like
watching plays. They don't have to be Broadway, or even off-Broadway,
productions. There are a great number of amateur playhouses (some that also
serve dinner) and many communities, colleges and even some high schools put on
performances that are highly enjoyable. The same goes for concerts, check your
local chamber of commerce to see what your community offers. There's nothing
like an outdoor concert under the stars to help shed the day's tension quickly.

Another possibility is a pair of tickets to any sporting event from football to
racing to hockey. They don't have to be tickets to watch a professional team to
be appreciated. You can find local AAA teams, college teams and high school
teams that are just as much fun to watch, if not more so, than any National
League team. The tickets are a fraction of the cost of the big leagues and the
variety of food, beverages and souvenirs will rival any pro stadium.

Getting NASCAR or Indy tickets can be nearly impossible and very expensive.
Local tracks offer stock car, sprint car, and demolition races that will get
your adrenaline going just as well for about $10-$15 dollars and most tracks
will allow you back in the pit area after the races so you can talk to the
driver's and get pictures of your favorite cars. This one is great for entire
families. Even young kids love to watch the cars run and you haven't seen
anything until you've watched buses run a figure eight race!

Gift certificates are a great way to go when you really don't know what to get.
You can get gift certificates for just about any store or restaurant. If you
aren't even sure what stores and restaurants they frequent you can get a gift
certificate from most chambers of commerce that are good in any place of
business in the city that accepts checks.

A gift certificate for a service is also nice. A day at a spa is a welcome gift
for anyone, (even men like the pampering of a good massage). Facials, manicures,
pedicures, massages, steam baths, and mud packs in just about any combination
you could want.

Have a set of new parents on your list? Sit down at your computer and design an
I. O. U. from you entitling them to one evening or one day's babysitting. Do you
have young children who need a gift for grandma? Let them design an I. O. U. for
a hug and a kiss, or they can make one for their parents gifting one hour
helping with housework or one car wash or anything else that strikes their

Holiday Gifts: Food in Baskets, Bottles & Boxes

Gifts of food, whether home made or store bought are always appreciated. You
can buy decorative boxes, all sizes and shapes of baskets, or use bottles
ranging from empty liquor bottles to the standard Mason jar. Visit your local
resale shops or check on-line auction sites for great deals on baskets, bottles
and boxes.

For those of you who love to bake, whipping up a couple dozen of five or six
different types of cookies and boxing them with a pretty bow make a delicious
holiday gift for friends, family or even your child's teacher. Kick the gift up
a notch by adding some homemade candies.

Need a gift for people who love being outdoors, pick up a nice inexpensive
picnic basket and add a bottle of wine, some cheeses and crackers with a small
cheese cutting board and a couple of pretty wine glasses for a classic gift.
They'll remember you for years to come each time they use it.

Empty liquor bottles that have been cleaned are perfect for making a gift of
flavored oils. Drop any combination of things like herbs, garlic, and hot
peppers into the bottle; add oil and cap it with a cork or a pourer. A pretty
bow around the bottle is all the gift-wrap you need. Most kitchen stores sell
bottles of different shapes and sizes filled with all sorts of things, beans,
peppers, herbs, pastas and oil that are strictly decorative for tables or
countertops. You can quite easily make your own. A pretty gift bottle filled
with colorful food items will add a decorative touch to their tables long after
the holidays.

Has a friend or family member ever told you how much they love a particular
recipe of yours? Find a nice basket, fill it with all the ingredients necessary
to make the recipe, type the recipe out on a recipe card (they come plain and
decorated), you can even find wire flower or butterfly shaped standing recipe
card holders that you can add. Or you can add candles and holders to use for a
romantic dinner. You can layer mason jars with the dry ingredients for a
favorite soup (the beans, rice, pasta, seasonings etc) everything except the
meat and the water. Again, you type up the cooking instructions, tie the jar
with a bow and you're ready to go. A small square of gingham cloth placed on
the jar opening before closing the lid adds a pretty touch

For an even more personal touch (makes a wonderful anniversary gift for a
couple you care about) you can use your computer to make a gift certificate (or
you can make it by hand) entitling the recipient of your gift to a meal cooked,
served and cleaned up after, in their own home. You go to their house with
everything you need, cook the meal, serve it, clean up after yourself and leave
while they enjoy a relaxing romantic dinner (or for someone you know well
breakfast in bed served on trays complete with a rose in a bud vase and the
morning paper).

If you don't care for the do it yourself approach, there are websites where for
around $100 you can have the fixings for a romantic steak and lobster dinner for
two delivered and that includes the pot! Everyone loves gifts of food.

Holiday Gifts That Give All Year Long

Sometimes a one-time gift just isn't what you are looking for. You want
something that will keep on giving throughout the year. Enter the "Of the
Month" clubs. There is an incredible assortment of "Of the Month" clubs.

One of the more widely known is the "Fruit of the Month" club. For a set fee
your gift of fruit is delivered on a timetable of your choosing, once a month,
every other month or 3 -- 4 times a year. Each delivery is a case consisting of
one or more different fruits. The fruits are sometimes exotic, sometimes
seasonal, and always delicious. They average around $30.00 -- $40.00 per month.

For the hops and barley lovers that you are shopping for, there are numerous
"Beer of the Month" clubs. Also on a timetable of your choosing, your gift of
two six-packs made up of 2-4 different beers from one of many domestic or
international microbreweries is delivered. Often the gift includes information
on the breweries that the beers came from along with suggestions for foods that
the beers will complement. These beer clubs also average about $30-$40 per month.

For those people on your gift list who prefer the grape to hops and barley,
there are "Wine of the Month" clubs where for about the same price as the fruit
and beer you can send 2 bottles of wine from award winning wineries around the
world. You can specify all white, all red or a mix.

Cheese, sausage, pepperoni, ham and pineapple, you name it! There are several
sites that offer "Pizza of the Month" clubs for the pizza lover's on your
holiday list. Most of these clubs send 3 -12" pizzas, which are delivered
frozen. You will receive one deep dish and two thin crust pizzas each month.
Prices range around $40 -- $50 per month.

Is the love of your life hooked on chocolate? Then the "Chocolate of the Month"
club is just what you've been looking for. For less than $25 a month a one-pound
box of some of the finest chocolate in the world will be delivered right to
their door.

For those times you don't want to send food or liquor there are the "Cigar of
the Month" and "Flower of the Month" clubs also. These would run you anywhere
from $25 -- $40 per month. The "Flower of the Month" club will deliver a themed
bouquet of fresh cut flowers and the "Cigar of the Month" club sends a selection
of hand rolled cigars from around the world.

No matter what your gift giving needs you will probably be able to find a
"club" that will suit you. There is the "Pasta of the Month" club or the
"Lobster of the Month" club. You can choose from the Cheesecake or the Cookie
of the month club. You can opt for ice cream or salsa, coffee or tea, bbq or
hot sauce and for those who prefer non-edibles the "Necktie of the Month" club
and "Movie of the Month" club.

This Holiday Give the Gift of a Star

It's that time of year again. Valentines Day is fast approaching and you are at
a loss as to what to get for the love of your life. You have already learned the
hard way that Valentines Day is NOT the time to buy her a frying pan or a vacuum
cleaner, but what can you do to show her just how special you think she is?
Candy? Boring! Flowers? Nah! Perfume? Not again.

What you want is something special and clever and unexpected. Take a look on
line and you'll find that there are dozens of companies out there that for a
fee will be happy to help you out by naming a star after your beloved. Those
fees range anywhere from twenty-five dollars up to over a hundred dollars,

In return for your hard earned money you will receive anything from a simple
piece of paper showing that you named a star in her honor to elaborate maps and
certificates some even come framed.

The gesture is sweet. It's not your every day ordinary gift. It paves the way
to other gifts, like a nice telescope (all the better to see her star!) It
clears the way to a romantic evening sitting on the balcony with soft music in
the background sipping wine and gazing up at "her" star.

Stars have been named by Hollywood celebrities for their significant others;
they have been named in memory of loved ones and heroes lost. They have been
named for parents, children, favorite teachers and even pets.

However, before you decide this is the perfect gift you need to understand one
thing -- it is a novelty gift. It is not going to be recognized by any official
organization and there is nothing stopping twenty other companies from naming
that same star for dozens of other people. There is not going to be an official
book anywhere that has an entry of your star, its location and its name. That is
not to say that some of the sites don't actually keep a record of the stars they
"name" and publish their own "book". Just that it isn't officially recognized by
any astronomer's organization anywhere.

At best some of the more ethical websites do state that it is a novelty gift,
but not too many explain that by novelty they mean it isn't in any way shape or
form official. None of the sites will tell you that only the International
Astronomical Union can officially name stars and other objects in space and
with the exception of a small number of extremely bright stars they are all
given numbers not names. Many of the sites work very hard to make naming a star
sound like a bona fide, official actual entry into a log of all the stars.

That is not to say it isn't still a clever gift that can be appreciated and
enjoyed, particularly if the recipient happens to have an interest in astrology
or just enjoys an excuse to curl up with a glass of wine and do a little
star-gazing with the love of her life. Just know what you are and are not

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