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Gift giving this year

Lifestyles | December 4th, 2006

Homemade Ideas
If money is your biggest worry this season, or your consumer mind doesn't want to give-in to the big corporate controllers, why not make your family and loved ones their gift this year. From cookies, to ornaments, scrapbooks, CD's or an entire meal, homemade gifts take time, effort, originality and creativity, but what is most important is that they come from the heart. If you are going to bake or go into the kitchen, please remember to follow the recipe. The last thing you need is for your entire list of loved ones getting sick because of your generosity.

Magazine subscription
You really have to know the receiver when you seek out this gift, but on the bright side there are literally thousands of magazines out there just waiting to be given as gifts. Usually falling between $20 and $50 (you will pay more for weekly subscriptions, like MacLean's). Keep your mom in mind for this gift because it lasts all year long, plus who doesn't love getting mail.

If all else fails this gift is right for just about anyone with any budget, as long as you know his or her size. From comfy hoodies, turtlenecks or a casual t-shirt, everyone needs clothes and will appreciate the gesture of trying to guess what they like. Clothes are the perfect gift if all else fails and a gift card is not an option. Just make sure you ask for a gift receipt and their return policy.

Cell Phone
There are hundreds of brands out there, but keeping in touch 24-7 via cell phone is a must this day in age. Make sure the phone has the capability to text message and has some style to it, like the Razr or Sharp. If you are shopping for someone with out an Ipod or Mp3 player, there are many options for a duel device. A great stocking stuffer this year by Red Envelope is the cell phone back-up drive ($40). If you have ever lost your cell phone this little gadget is a life-saver because it stores all your addresses, numbers, texts or any other info on your mobile.

Tickets to a Knights Game
If you are in London over the holidays what better way to get into a true Canadian holiday spirit than watching some hockey. Tickets range in price from $12.50 to $15 and the games are comparable to the big leagues.

Gift Certificates
Can't decide on what to get your sister, brother, boyfriend, girlfriend or dog? Gift certificates are a foolproof gift, which was once seen as tacky, is now extremely popular and you can choose whatever price you are willing to pay. In fact according to VISA, Canadians plan on spending $20 billion dollars on gifts over the next month, so instead of the tacky slippers or age-old socks, give the gift that they want and pick out themselves. Even if it screams impersonal, at least they will enjoy it.

Name a starů
how often has someone named a star after you? You can do this online or by phone, through the International Star Registry, starting at $54

Board Games
Keep it Canadian and give the gift that keeps on giving; Trivial Pursuit ($30 -$45). This game has now gone digital, with a DVD version and more entertaining Pop Culture editions for those who retain useless facts. Other editions include Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Totally 80's and Silver Screen.

Poker set
With online poker gaining popularity by the second, why not give the gift of social interaction this year and buy your little gambler a poker set. The trend is so hot right now you can get these little puppies anywhere, from Giant Tiger to high-end specialty stores. You never know you may end up winning the difference back.

Doggie Attire
No one can forget man's or women's best friend this time of year and stores sell a variety of puppy-T's, like Giant Tiger ($10), Old Navy and certain department store have plenty in stock.

From “Lost” and “24” to the “Family Guy” and “Friends”, not to mention “Sex in the City”, complete seasons are available on DVD with prices ranging from under $20 (for older releases) to well into the hundreds for a complete series. This has become a popular gift for those who love a particular show and could watch it over and over. DVD's are available anywhere from HMV to Shoppers Drug Mart, but make sure you do your homework to get the right price.

Martini Set
Every college student needs one to throw a good party and martinis are soon becoming some of the most popular drinks. These sets can be picked up at the LCBO, department stores, home stores and discount centres, and range in price from $10 to over $100. Combine that will a couple of bottles of vermouth and some olives and you have yourself a party.

Ipod accessories
With every student, professional and granny sporting an Ipod these days, one way to stay ahead of the music/video lover in your life is to accessorize the hell out of it.

There are over 2000 accessories available for your Ipod, like snazzy covers ($3 plus), expensive speaker-docks ($70-$300), work-out armbands or car adaptors, but this years must have are wireless headphones (Logitech Wireless MP3 Headphone- $194 Future Shop) that can transmit a signal from 30 feet. If you have the cash you can invest in a new [RED] Ipod and 50 per cent of the proceeds will go to those living with AIDS in Africa.

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