Thursday, December 02, 2010

Best Christmas Gifts 2010

I've nearly got all my Christmas shopping done which is a Christmas miracle in itself. I'm organized, I'm top of things, but when it comes to holidays I'm always busy having fun rather than shopping and planning.

Here's my list of Christmas gifts I'd recommend. Some of them are already here and wrapped, some are on the wishlist for coming years, but all are guaranteed and certified to be 100% great gifts.

1. The Icelandic Design Nepalese Cardamom Earflap Hat from REI. (have you ever had such a string of modifiers in your life??)  But despite the offensively long name that means so little I am in love with this hat. I can see myself skiing with those cute little pompoms waving in the breeze. I hope they make it in godzilla size for my extra enormous head.

2. The Kitchen Sink from Sea to Summit. I have a man who is obsessed with backpacking and light weight camping who would go bonkers for this. You can see how tightly it folds up and how big it gets so you can . . . do dishes on your vacation??

No, it doesn't make sense to me either but I know he'd love it.  Lightweight, waterproof and folds away--three things that he adores.

3. Lego Board Games. My boys are big Lego fans and have a Chevrolet-sized tub in their closet that they still bring out when they're looking for a good time. They've played the Lego video games but since video games are not kosher around here I was thrilled to see a new line of Lego board games.

You see here the Minotaurus game but they also have the Ramses Pyramid, the Pirate Code, Creationary, and Monsters--all promising to be just as interesting as this one.  And the best thing is that, unlike the regular Lego blocks which have a 7000% profit margin on little cheapo pieces of plastic that they sell for a fortune, these games are actually quite reasonably priced.  $20-30 depending on where you shop. Now that's a good buy.

4. Dragonstrike. When my kids were little they had a babysitter who brought this game with her when she came over and it made her their very favorite babysitter. They loved the game so much that I thought about buying it for them myself at Christmas but then I decided that that would just ruin the whole magic of her visits.  You can't put a price on a good babysitter now, can you?

Anyway, it's a board game with a mechanical dragon that attacks players' pieces and I don't remember much more about it than that. What else do you need? It's on sale at Amazon for $40 but I've seen it on sale in stores for as low as $10.

5. Go! Go! Sports Girl Dolls. For those of you who are just as disgusted with the creepiness of the Bratz plague these dolls ought to please you. I was sent one to review and immediately gave it my mother's stamp of approval. Lillian is a big fan of the Groovy Girls dolls and these look and feel very similar to those only they are athletic-themed.  One is a gymnast, one a swimmer, one a ballerina, etc. This one (the gymnast) is Maya and Lillian will be getting her for Christmas.

Plush, huggable bodies that are perfect for a purse or pocket and won't jab you in the eye when you take them to bed.  They are the same size as the Groovy Girls so you can use the accessories interchangeably.

6. Plush Animals by Mamma4Earth. Since we're talking huggable you can't get more huggable than these knitted animals in 100% soft merino wool.  Horses, chickens, giraffs, daschunds (or "dash-hounds" as Grace used to call them) and aardvarks are all there and they're seriously adorable.

If you'd rather make one yourself you can also buy the patterns there at her Etsy shop. Now go and see for yourself and tell me that that lion isn't the cutest thing you've seen all week.

7. Leather Bags from Adeleshop. I mentioned earlier that I bought one of her bags this fall and I absolutely love it.  I get compliments on it all the time (someone even mentioned that a little leather yellow purse is the "it" accessory to have this year) and I still can't believe that it's handmade it looks so professional and high-quality.

Working in Halifax she's sold a lot of bags and her best ones are gone but I bet if you dropped her a note you might be able to get a custom order if the one you love is sold.  Her prices are quite good, you'd never be able to get as fine a bag at a department store for the same price.

8. Sea Glass Bangles from Sistercreation. Again with the Etsy (I love shopping there, you can find the most unique gifts) and though these are sold, another benefit of Etsy is that you can often get the seller to make you one as a custom order. These bracelets are so beautiful and simple and I have this thing for beach glass.  I even sent Andrew the link with a not-so-subtle note that if he wanted to know what I wanted for Christmas this would be it.

9. Battleground game. My nephew has this game and every time he and the boys get together to play it it's a success.  It's just a whole bunch of pieces of medieval warfare--catapults, trebuchets, projectiles, etc.--and the boys spend hours hurling things at each other for points.  Better for points than for blood I suppose.

Anyway, my sister got her version for $10 and my brother in law found one on clearance at Toys R Us for $10 but I have looked for two years and have never seen such a good deal since.  The one on Amazon is $80 (but hey, free shipping, right??) which I can't bring myself to pay but the game is nearly worth that much it's so fun.  Maybe I can find one after Christmas.

10. The Name of This Book Is a Secret by Psydonymous Bosch. I have a reader who loves puzzles and anagrams and humor and this book promises to deliver.  The first of a series of five (or in hoity-toity language a "pentology") where each book is based on one of the five sense, this one incorporates the sense of smell and was published in 2007.  All five have now been published so if your little reader likes this one they won't have to be kept waiting to find out what happens next.  


Reno said...

Oh, my husband would love the kitchen sink. Not that he'd ever use it because he has an old icky looking pan to do dishes in and he doesn't care how much room things take up. It takes him forever to load everything to go camping. But he would still love it because, after all, it's for camping.

Nanette said...

I just bought a couple of those Lego games for my nephews this year. They look like a lot of fun

trade show exhibits said...

Just wanted to say I enjoyed the post. You have really put a lot of time into your article and it is just great!

Lori said...

Just an update on the Bosch series--the second and third books are equally fantastic and it's been borderline child abuse around here making my daughter stay up and read with me (since she'd be crushed if I read without her).

Thanks for the guide, I love that it's not laden with video games.

Susan Tidwell said...

thanks for all the ideas!

A question on the Bosch books - my grandkids are all avid readers, but (OMG) they are all TEENAGERS now (where did the time go?) and I was wondering about the reading level of these books, they sound fantastic, but what do you think? My GKs are 13, 14, 16, 16. Thanks for any input.

Scribbit said...

I'd say they're probably on the level of 6-8 grades rather than teen books though not having read them I'm not sure. They looked similar to a Series of Unfortunate Events--if you're familiar with that series.

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

Those leather bags are amazing!!!

Daisy said...

That little elephant makes me wish I could knit. i've tried. I'm just hopeless.