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Jewish Journal

Skip the Tsuris of Chanukah Shopping

by Lisa Alcalay Klug

December 15, 2005 | 7:00 pm

With Chanukah coinciding with the rush for the "other holiday," why spend unnecessary time hunting for parking at the mall or waiting in line? We've surveyed some of the hottest catalogs and Web sites for eight nights of creative gifts. Best of all, you can order in a hurry online or by phone.

For Kids

Busy little ones with activity books, postcards and more all packed in a box of 101+ Things to Do on Chanukah. Or just keep it simple with a roll of 168 Chanukah stickers, $4+, PlumParty.com or (800) 227-0314.

Continue the fun for preschoolers with the "Ultimate Hanukkah Sticker Book" and "My First Hanukkah Board Book" ($7 each). Kosher.com or (866) 567-4379.

Keep kids in touch with walkie-talkie wristwatches within a range of 400 feet ($30 for two). RedEnvelope.com or (877) 733-3683.

Conduct a miniarchaeological dig at home with Dirty Old Coins. A CD comes with directions on how to clean and restore 10 ancient finds, including possible Roman, Greek, Spanish, Judean and other authentic pieces included in the kit ($39). NormThompson.com or (800) 547-1160.

For Her

Warm her up with stylish sweaters and an Oprah favorite: shearling lace-up Uggs ($180). NormThompson.com. For casual times at home, comfort her with ultrasoft Wooby sweats, hoodies, hats and more ($14.50+). Sahalie.com or (800) 458-4438.

Surprise her with an adorable hand-painted, numbered-edition enameled miniature copper teapot with the sweet image of Klimt's "The Kiss" from the Charlotte di Vita collection. A portion of every sale benefits long-term poverty relief projects through the Trade Plus Aid charitable trust. ($49). NormThompson.com.

Tummy control knit pants ($59) and a "wearable art" Mirror Lake silk shirt make for easy wash and wear ($69). TravelSmith.com (800) 950-1600.

For Him

Adorn your favorite guy with new National Geographic gear, like a cozy fleece-lined sweatshirt. Classic more his style? Supersoft crewneck cashmere sweaters double for work and play ($49 and $99, respectively), NormThompson.com.

Treat him to sand-washed silk or silky microfiber shirts ($60 each). And splurge on high-tech, moisture-wicking Ex Officio's knit boxers that double as travel gear by drying within two to four hours ($25). TravelSmith.com.

Suit him up for action with deliciously soft Lost Lake shirts ($79.50) and stretch corduroy pants ($68). Team with a boiled wool vest ($99) and a four-in-one Day Pack complete with Platypus hydration system ($54) and he's good to go. Sahalie.com.

For Travelers

Gift a friend with IOU a Trip, complete with leather world travel atlas and a "let's take a trip" postcard. Your friend fills out the postcard with a date and time for your future get-together and then mails it back to you ($55), RedEnvelope.com

Next generation Ultra-Organized Rolling Carry-On teams with a free tote that attaches to the carry-on. Meets airline restrictions and satisfies the neat freak ($119). TravelSmith.com

Can't sleep in-flight? Convert your coach seat into a much more comfortable ride with a remarkable, inflatable seat cushion. It really works! ($40). FirstClassSleeper.com or (866) 766-6947.

Gear up with a vibrating neck pillow ($35), then plug into a Tranquil Moments sound soother ($75) for improved snoozability. Brookstone.com or (800) 846-3000.

Never stub feet again with rubber reinforced toes and unparalleled comfort soles from Keen Footwear ($80+). REI.com or (800) 426-4840.

For Techies

The Dynamo Flashlight doubles as a cellphone charger by cranking the flip-out handle ($25). Sahalie.com.

Capture time worldwide via radio signals with the self-adjusting Atomic Travel Alarm Clock ($39). NormThompson.com.

Tote along favorite songs with a minuscule Tiny Tunes MP3 Player ($99). Convert it into a stereo-to-go with a Wireless Transmitter ($150) that plugs into your car's 12-volt socket and plays via your FM radio. Brookstone.com

For Home and Hearth

Grow Israel-inspired Inbal paper-white flowers ($35), burn a romantic bouquet of carved waxed poppies ($20) or cultivate a wish with "magic beans" that grow imprinted with inspirational messages, such as "heal," "faith" and "love" ($15). Gardeners.com or (800) 427-3363.

Jewish-owned Bathtopia, founded in 2003, boasts a plethora of options to turn your tub into a spa with gift kits designed to refresh, revive, rejuvenate and intoxicate. Free samples with every order ($25+). Bathtopia.com or (888) 717-2284.

Lavender-scented eye masks and hot/cold heart-shaped pillows filled with whole buckwheat seeds ease tensions ($18+). Bucky.com or (800) 692-8259.

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