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PR.com Holiday Gift Guide 2007
By Carol Toscano - November 25, 2007

We all need a little help when it comes to holiday shopping. There’s always that one moment, at the start of the season, when I close my eyes and fantasize myself taking the shortcut of tossing fistfuls of cash and gift cards at friends and family. What usually snaps me out of it is the genuine desire to see the moment of delight when the perfect holiday gift finds its way into the right hands. In the spirit of helping our fellow harried holiday shoppers, PR.com has compiled this list of gifts and stocking stuffers that are sure to appeal to everyone on your list.

Swarovski’s Holiday-Themed Crystal Pieces

Swarovski’s Holiday-Themed Crystal Pieces
Swarovski’s Holiday-Themed Crystal Pieces

Sparkle with Swarovski Crystal this holiday season. From the folks who make the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree sparkle and shine comes the 2007 Annual Edition Christmas Ornament. Designed by Eva Ried for Swarovski, the ornament, in faceted clear crystal, hangs from a blue satin band. A small, silver-colored tag marks the issue year making it a family heirloom for generations to come. Though on a much smaller scale than the tree topper adorning the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree (that one measures a whopping 9.5 feet in diameter with 25,000 crystals and 1 million facets), the brilliance of this petite (2 9/16 x 3 3/16 inches) beauty dangling from a branch on your own Christmas tree is sure to sparkle and glow in your home. If Swarovski crystal can shine its way through an 84-foot Norway Spruce, think about what it can do for your tree. The 2007 Annual Edition Christmas Ornament retails for $70 and is available online at www.swarovski.com. Available in 2007 while supplies last.

For a more whimsical touch, Swarovski also offers this Peridot crystal tree in a clear crystal pot with a clear crystal star topper. Felix, the Christmas tree, also designed by Eva Ried for Swarovski, is decorated in light Siam red crystal accents. Peridot comes only in green (varying shades depending upon how much iron is contained in the gemstone) and the emerald-colored, gem-quality Peridot in Swarovski’s crystal trees is exceptional making Felix not only beautiful to look at but distinctive and precious. Felix is available in three sizes: small (15/16 x 1 9/16 inches) $45; medium (3 9/16 x 2 1/8 inches) $115; and large (7 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches) $600. Also available at www.swarovski.com.

Vermont Teddy Bear Company

Vermont Teddy Bear Company
Vermont Teddy Bear Company

Share those warm and fuzzy feelings for a loved one by gifting them with a Vermont Teddy Bear this holiday season. Ever since Teddy Roosevelt refused to shoot a bear cub too small to defend itself, the Teddy Bear has taken root in our culture like no other toy in history. The year was 1902. In 1981, the Vermont Teddy Bear Company was born when John Sortino, a Vermont-based artist selling handcrafted Teddy Bears in an open-air market in Burlington, VT was asked to mail a bear to a tourist’s home. That original “Bear-Gram” was the beginning of the Vermont Teddy Bear Company. Aside from the huge assortment of bears for every imaginable occasion, the Vermont Teddy Bear Company offers a wide variety of special bears for Chanukah and Christmas. These festive bears range in price from $49.95 to $199.95, depending on the size, material and adornment selected. The Vermont Teddy Bear is the only bear made in America and guaranteed for life.

Christmas Bears include classics like the Santa Claus Bear ($89.95) and Baby’s First Christmas Bear ($69.95). My personal favorite is the Gingerbread Bear gift set, an 11" bear with honey-colored fur dressed in a gingerbread man jacket complete with its own bear cookie cutter and ginger cookie mix. This bear is shipped inside a colorful, gingerbread house gift box ($69.95). And for that special Grinch in your life, there’s the Bah Humbear, a 15-inch bear made in bright green fur with a red Santa suit and pointy elf shoes ($79.95). Add a “Happy Holidays” felt gift tag (arrives looped around the bear’s neck) embroidered with the recipient’s name for an additional $5.95.

Chanukah Bears include the sweet, 15-inch classic Jewish Bear decked out in a gold bowtie embroidered with the Star of David ($49.95). Girls will love the adorable Chanukah Celebration Bear dressed in a blue velvet dress, matching hair bow and a removable Star of David pendant that can be worn by a child ($79.95). Boys will enjoy the handsome Chanukah Sweater Bear in vanilla fur with a Star of David pattern on its royal blue sweater ($63.95). The company also offers a bear-sized menorah for $12.95. And by the way, the chocolate sold by the Vermont Teddy Bear Company is kosher and made by Lake Champlain Chocolates – highly refined and extremely delicious chocolate.

According to their website, a Vermont Teddy Bear Company Bear-Gram includes the following:

  • A handcrafted, fully jointed Teddy Bear made in Vermont (choose from an assortment of over 100 bears)
  • Delicious gourmet chocolate
  • Your own personal message printed on a colorful gift card
  • A fun gift box with an air hole to ensure your Bear gets lots of fresh air on its journey

To buy a Vermont Teddy Bear, visit their website at shop.vermontteddybear.com or call 1-800-829-BEAR.

LP-to-MP3 Converter by Hammacher Schlemmer

LP-to-MP3 Converter by Hammacher Schlemmer
LP-to-MP3 Converter by Hammacher Schlemmer

Dust off those old, vinyl LPs from the 1960s (or whenever) – you know which ones I’m talking about – and start feeding them into your trusty iPod® or mp3 player. Listen up fellow shoppers, this is “the” gift for the music-loving baby boomer in your life. In fact, this is the gift I want as I glance over at the 200 or so vinyl albums in my own collection, many of which are out of print forever. This clever, belt-driven, high-speed turntable allows you to convert your prized collection of vinyl albums (including the ones you’d never admit to owning) into device-compatible format. Here’s how it works: plug the LP-to-MP3 Converter into your computer via the USB port, install the software (for PC and Macs, included with the system), select the speed (33 1/3 or 45 RPM) and start converting. It’s that simple. The recording and cleaning software included has the capability to break songs into individual tracks, remove pops, scratches and hisses and has adjustable anti-skating controls for increased stereo balancing. The system also includes the cable connections for a stereo system equipped with either a CD or Aux input. This baby sells for a mere $189.95 – a drop in the bucket when you consider the cost of replacing all of that vinyl – the LP-to-MP3 Converter is available on the Hammacher Schlemmer website: www.hammacher.com.

The Jeffersons - The Complete First Season (1975)

The Jeffersons - The Complete First Season (1975)
The Jeffersons - The Complete First Season (1975)

Set in the mid-seventies, this groundbreaking All in the Family spin-off, developed by Norman Lear, explores the themes of racial and cultural stereotypes in the life of a nouveau riche, African-American dry cleaner named George Jefferson (portrayed by the talented Sherman Helmsley). The Jeffersons was smart, well written and hilariously funny with humor that has held up over time. Most impressive of all is the way it still appeals to everyone, regardless of race, sex or class.

Season 1 begins when George Jefferson, the owner of a particularly successful chain of dry cleaning stores, moves his family from Queens to “a deluxe apartment in the sky” on Manhattan’s chic Upper East Side. There, George Jefferson and his independent-minded wife, Louise (Isabel Sanford) or “Weezy” as George lovingly refers to her, comically begin a new life amidst a mismatched assortment of neighbors that include, amongst others, one British expatriate, Mr. Bentley (Paul Benedict) and an interracial couple, the Willises (Roxie Roker and Franklin Cover); extremely bold writing for 1975. The Willises eventually become parents-in-law to the Jefferson’s son Lionel (played by Mike Evans when the series began). The Jeffersons ran on CBS from 1975 to 1983 and showcased the genius of Sherman Helmsley’s and Isabel Sanford’s perfectly matched comic partnership with standout performances from every actor in the cast, including Marla Gibbs as Florence, the Jeffersons’ ornery maid and Zara Cully as Mother Jefferson, George’s cantankerous mom. Over the years, The Jeffersons received eight Golden Globe nominations, numerous Emmy nominations and various other awards with wins by Sherman Helmsley, Isabel Sanford and Marla Gibbs.

For that special someone in need of the gift of laughter, The Jeffersons, Season 1 DVD is the perfect gift. The two-disc set includes all 13 original episodes and retails for $14.99 at www.Amazon.com.

Storm Watches

Storm Watches
Storm Watches

Try these offbeat watches for him and her from Storm London. These gorgeous, high-quality stainless steel watches range in style from minimalist to ultra-funky. With so many spectacular watches to choose from, I had a hard time deciding which pieces were the real standouts this holiday season. I was finally able to narrow it down to two unique designs.

For men, the clear winner was the Remi Mirror, a sleek, futuristic, limited-edition timepiece designed with a brushed stainless steel case and straps as well as a rotating disks mechanism. This is the kind of classic watch that never goes out of style due to its fine, sophisticated design that seamlessly transitions from everyday to formalwear. The Remi Mirror is one of Storm’s special seasonal watches available as part of a limited, numbered edition of 2,500 pieces worldwide. Each limited edition watch comes with a numbered certificate of authenticity and while supplies last, the Remi Mirror also comes with the Storm book, a beautiful hardbound, full-color design book featuring Storm memorabilia and design photographs for watch collectors and people who just love beautiful design. The Remi Mirror retails for ₤114 (about $240).

For women, I fell in love with the retro-styled Vessence in bright neon pink and orange. The Vessence, with its smooth lines and minimal detailing, features an elegant stainless steel case and a neon orange face with a fitted, durable zylonite strap in neon pink (zylonite is a special type of plastic, mainly used for eyeglass frames, that can be colored and molded into many different shapes and designs). This colorful, fun watch will get your loved one noticed for all the right reasons. And if the neon is just a bit too much fun, the Vessence also comes in a chic, understated black and stainless model. The Vessence (in either color) sells for ₤59.99 (about $125).

All of Storm’s watches are hypoallergenic and use only the highest quality Japanese or Swiss movements. Storm watches are made with high-grade stainless steel in a number of different finishes. Storm London offers a wide selection of watches with features ranging from simple analogue time display to more complex models with stopwatches, compasses and temperature gauges. Some of the super-complex designs sport extra-special features like rotating cases and shutters.

These distinctive watches are available on the Storm London website at www.stormwatches.com. International shipping is ₤6 (about $14) with a 7–10 day delivery time so order quickly.

Ojon Tawaka Beauty Products

Ojon Tawaka Beauty Products
Ojon Tawaka Beauty Products

Nourish your skin and hair this winter with anti-oxidant-rich hair and skin care lines from Ojon Beauty Products formulated with oils from the rare Tawaka cacao tree. I’m always drawn to products made with natural ingredients and no preservatives. What makes this product even more enticing is the anti-oxidant blend of ingredients from Central America’s Rio Patuca Rainforest – the anti-oxidant equivalent of hundreds of pounds of blueberries in each bottle. The main ingredient in Ojon products is Ojon oil from the rare cacao harvested from the savage tree at the highest point in the rainforest, the same ingredient used by natives for centuries.

Ojan offers several categories of hair care products including the Nurturing, Fortifying, Shine & Protect, and Special Needs lines. Depending upon your specific hair type and condition, you can select the products that best suit your hair’s individual needs. The lines consist of restorative products, hydrating shampoos and conditioners, detox cleansers, styling creams, finishing products and shine treatments. Ojon Tawaka Ancient Tribal Rejuvenating Cleanser nourishes without stripping away the natural oils we all need for healthy, dazzling hair. The 13.5-ounce bottles of the Ojon Tawaka Ancient Tribal Rejuvenating Cleanser and Conditioner sell for $32 each at www.Sephora.com.

Ojon has also developed the Tawaka Ancient Tribal Rejuvenating Cream for those of us who need a little extra help protecting our skin against the elements while increasing firmness and elasticity. The bonus here is that the savage cacao in Ojon Tawaka Ancient Tribal Rejuvenating Cream contains the anti-oxidant equivalent of 204 lbs of blueberries! The 6.1-ounce jar sells for $65 at www.Sephora.com.

To try Ojan’s Tawaka products or to pick up a few Ojan products for stocking stuffers, Sephora carries a four-piece Tawaka Collection Discovery Kit featuring mini versions Ojon's Rare Harvest Tawaka collection. The kit contains a 2.5 oz Ancient Tribal Rejuvenating Cream, 0.26 oz Restorative Hair Treatment, 3.3 oz Ancient Tribal Rejuvenating Cleanser, and a 3.3 oz Ancient Tribal Rejuvenating Conditioner and retails for $39 at www.Sephora.com.

PR.com Holiday Gift Guide 2007


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