Saturday, December 20, 2008

Giveaway & Last Minute Under $20 Gift Guide - Yes, Virginia, they'll get there by Christmas

Need some great, affordable gifts for delivery by Wednesday? Don't feel like venturing to the mall? (Don't do it!) All of the following recommendations cost less than $20 and will arrive in time for the big day.

GIVEAWAY: $10 in Build-A-Bear Bucks!

Hal Moose or Holly Moose toys from Build-A-Bear each $12, and accompanying book Hal & Holly Moose: Our Uplifting Christmas Adventure $15.99
Available for shipping before Christmas!
I love these cuddly Christmas friends and their light up antlers! They are soft and adorable just bare, as pictured, or you can add Christmas outfits and Build-A-Bear accessories. But the perfect accessory for these snuggly seasonal pals, I think, is the sweet storybook of how they saved Santa's flight.

Leave a comment on this post and you'll be entered to win a $10 gift certificate at Build-A-Bear online or in-store. Creating a personalized toy at a nearby location is a great way to spend an afternoon with your child, or what an easy way to knock out a present for the next birthday! I'll announce the randomly drawn winner on Christmas Day.

My Friends Tigger and Pooh: Hundred Acre Wood Haunt
$13.49 and can arrive by Wednesday
I try not to let my kids watch too much TV or videos, truly I do. But for the winter cold and flu season, one of the greatest aces for a mom to have in her back pocket is a G-rated, totally sweet and commercial-free BRAND NEW MOVIE to throw on for the kids.

My kids love anything Pooh and anything slightly spooky. They adore this show and the "sleuthing" kid participation. This video is cute, commercial-less and will keep any kid aged 2-7 totally engrossed so you can survive a winter virus or three-day snow storm.

The White Trash Mom Handbook by Michelle Lamar with Molly Wendland
$11.16 and available for shipping by Christmas Eve
You don't have to be white or trashy to laugh out loud while reading this humorous book on not playing silly mom games. "White trash" is just shorthand for not caring about pleasing others and instead, pleasing our kids. It's about giving up the silly artifice of being a perfect mother or member of "The Muffia" - the grown-up mean girls mom cliques. It's about keeping your sense of humor and being real. It's about buying your brownies from the bakery section and then cutting them irregularly with a dull knife so they look homemade. It's about beating your kids' butts at poker on a scuffed kitchen table instead of stressing out with the pastry dough and Pledge.

In short, it's a hoot! Send to that sister in law you wish you were getting sloshed with this Christmas.

Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl by Susan McCorkindale
$10.20 and available for shipping by Christmas Eve

I love memoirs, chick-lit and social commentary, and this book has all three. This enjoyable memoir is about a big time Manhattan magazine marketing director who decided to pack it all up and move to rural Virginia with her husband and sons to manage a cattle farm. Witty and full of satire, the author's voice is exuberant and the pace of her story is great. I giggled and thoroughly enjoyed Susan's transition from getting fitted for St. John's suits to seeing John Deere on her husband's Christmas list, to working out in fancy NYC gyms to burning calories by getting chased by 1500 lb beef cows.

Amongst the pithy one-liners, I found Susan's commentary on economic status and class and what those perceptions mean to a family very intriguing, especially in these economic times. Great for all girlfriends, whether they have a personal shopper chick to find them fresh fashions or a personal chicken coop for fresh morning eggs.


Canon Powershot Deluxe Leather Compact Case $16.28
Nikon Coolpix Deluxe Leather Case $16.79
Both can be there by Christmas
The perfect dad, he dutifully takes pictures of every little twirl, tumble, tutti-frutti ice cream cone. But don't let him get your nice digital camera all scratched and dusty! These slick, masculine cases can slide onto a belt loop for a quick camera draw at those perfect parenting memories that beg to be captured.

Meet the Eels: Essentials Eels 1996-2006
$14.97 and available for Christmas delivery
Whether he had a U2, Metallica, Lou Reed or Aimee Mann obsession when you first met, he will love the music of Mark Oliver Everett and friends. Soulful ballads, incredible instrumentals, gut-wrenching guitar and keyboards, edgy rock - they've got it all. This album has all of the best diverse tunes of E's catalog. Every male listener finds something he digs. Trust me.

See's Christmas Tree Lollypop Box $15 or Truffle Box $8.60-17.20 Available for delivery by Christmas
So, your office mate or next door neighbor showed up with an awesome honking gift for you and you lamely replied, "Oh, I forgot to bring yours!" Sucker! Well, send him some suckers by See's, a custom-mixed box of chocolates or a box of decadent truffles. Since See's makes the world's best candies but the prices are totally affordable, you'll be in the clear without having to bake or buy some stinky Yankee Candle or wilty poinsettia.

If you're the boss and there was no budget for bonuses, ya, you should feel bad. But give 'em some chocolate. See's makes cool business gifts. And if you're the boss of the PTA or home/school association, check out See's for your school fundraiser too.

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