November 22, 2007
Our Chanukah gift guide for the <strike>weird</strike> <strike>odd</strike>
(Page 2 - Previous Page)You can always go for Judaica, like Marilyn Davidson's Dreidl With Wood Stand ($65, Nambe), with a decorative saucer-shaped silver top (which is probably not for playing, since it's hard to see which letter falls where!). Or a silver-plated lamp menorah ($30), but chances are your religious relatives may have all the Judaica they need.
That's where technology comes in. How about a Shaspod?
Yup, an iPod loaded with the entire daf yomi -- daily teachings of the Talmud -- running for seven years. It's $399 for a 20-gigabyte iPod (preloaded with the daf yomi shiurim from Rabbi Dovid Grossman). Although it sounds expensive, the company likes to point out that compared to a full set of Artscroll Talmuds, which cost about $2,000, it's a steal. (Not literally. No one is stealing it. Don't worry.)
Of course, if daf yomi is too much of a commitment or Talmud's not your relative's thing, there's always a gift subscription to religious podcasts, like at Aish, where for $10 a month for 10 classes from 1,500 lectures to choose from, including from luminaries such as Rabbi Zelig Pliskin ("Gateway to Happiness.")
Of course, your best bet for a religious relative is -- what else? -- a book. The People of the Book love to read, and unlike technological gadgets, they can be used on Shabbat and holidays. Now the trick is what book to get....
If you have loved ones who have recently entered "the real world," its time to get them some "real" gifts -- something to help them survive in the jungle we call life. Pajamas and electronics, although thoughtful and entertaining, probably won't cut it. You need to get them gifts that will make their lives just a tad easier, gifts they actually need. As someone who fits that bill, let me go down the list of some things that could make my holiday experience a little more real.
A new toothbrush, a tank of gas, about 100 more square inches of living space, clean linens, any kind of food that isn't tuna or Kraft Easy Mac, holeless socks, holeless shoes, holeless boxers, holeless undershirts, holeless sweaters, holeless jeans and, I guess, maybe a sewing kit.
However, while all these things have the potential to lighten up my holiday, they're all only temporary fixes. If you want to make a "real" impact, there's nothing more "real" than cash.
So, Mom, Dad or any other family or friends who may be sending me gifts this Chanukah, please find it in your hearts to pool all your love and support together and send me a check (money order, preferably) for about $13,000.
I know that giving money doesn't seem like the most thoughtful or loving gift. But don't worry, the first gift is always the biggest -- you have seven more nights to make it up to me.
Instead of buying yet another outfit to dress your dog up (admit it, you know she hates that), consider spoiling her instead with Three Dog Bakery's Good Golly Gracie Sampler ($16.95), a selection of indulgent treats, or enroll her in the Bone of the Month Club ($16.95).
The fur will fly when you open the Art-Casso Paint Kit for Cats ($24.99). This art project for cats features nontoxic acrylic paint, art paper, paw protectors and a picture frame to display your little Picasso's work for all time. And if teasing your cat with the laser pointer leaves you with a case of carpal tunnel syndrome moments later, the Bada Beam ($18.99) will do the work for you. Put the cone-shaped cat toy on the floor, open the lid and the laser moves and stops automatically, tapping your cat's hunter instincts for 15 minutes at a time.
If you believe in magnetism as a therapeutic treatment, Energetix features a line of magnetic jewelry ($37.50-$45) that you can add to your collars. The company also features a water magnet ($50.50) that can be added to your pet's water dish.
Woman in Your Life (A Guide for Bewildered Men)
Women love to be showered in gifts -- that is, if the gifts fit the girl. There's nothing enticing about returning a sweater that is too big or exchanging a top that is too small.
Clothes are not the only gift items to steer clear of this season. Chocolates and flowers have been the go-to choice for men buying holiday gifts or otherwise, but use some originality. We can get chocolates on our own, and we do.
Jewelry-related gifts can serve as a personalized, classy alternative. Women are just as mesmerized by shiny objects as men. A delicate silver or gold necklace from Banana Republic, where costume jewelry ranges from $14-$198, should do the trick.
Another idea is to buy a spa gift certificate. Most women would enjoy a deep-tissue massage, spa manicure or soothing facial. Amadeus Salon and Spa at The Grove is a good place to go for buying gift certificates.
Man in Your Life (A Guide for Bewildered Women)
Men are easy to shop for. No really, we are. (OK, you can stop laughing now.)
What guys truly want is stuff that makes us feel like we're men. And more importantly, we want things that reflect our interests.
It can be Harmony 1000 Advanced Universal Remote ($499, Logitech) or the