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Holiday shopping, even for the most enthusiastic of consumers, is never easy. No one wants to overspend on gifts especially in a sluggish economy. Here are some diverse holiday present ideas that should fit most budget parameters. If there is anything good to be said for a recession is that household goods, which normally would not be thought of as presents, do make for thoughtful gifts. Honeywell’s Air Purifier helps keep rooms free of dust particles while Bissell’s PowerEdge vacuums have a similar design to the expensive Dyson brands and are more adept at cleaning up after pet hair and dander.
Staying is always a good thing in winter and being able to do so fashionably is a nice bonus. Columbia Sportswear’s Titanium jackets keep you warm without needless bulk thanks to its patented “Omni Heat” technology. Armani Exchange, American Eagle Outfitters, French Connection and Lands' End also have a large selection of outerwear and accessories.
Lands' End has also expanded into the luggage business and has quickly grabbed market share from Samsonite and American Tourister thanks to its FlightWise line which is designed to provide ample space for clothing but can still fit in overhead bins on aircrafts. Vera Bradley, long a popular women’s handbag company because of its floral patterns and spaciousness, now offers backpacks and duffel bags. Jewelry is always tricky to buy for someone else for numerous reasons. Ramona Singer, who has achieved a certain amount of celebrity for being one of “The Real Housewives Of New York”(cable’s Bravo Network) has teamed up with noted Long Island designer Nancy Rosen for a venture called True Faith Jewelry that features pendants for various faiths as well as secular pieces as earrings, bracelets and necklaces.Watches run the gamut from the functional Timex to expensive timepiece brands as Tag Heuer and Rolex. Fossil is about as diverse a company as you will find as it makes everything from handbags to clothing for men and women and it has rightfully earned a reputation for making reliable and stylish watches with price points under $75.Just as buying jewelry can be risky because it depends so much on personal taste, so is choosing a wine for someone else. Tasting Room is a California-based company that will send six 50-ml bottles of various California, Oregon and Washington wine brands for sampling. If someone enjoys the sample, he or she can order full bottles of the brand. Cigars are similar to wine in that tastes vary from person to person. Based on my experience, you can’t go wrong giving a cigar buff a small box of Camachos, Cohibas, or Macanudos and/or a subscription to Cigar Aficionado Magazine. The popularity of iPods, Zunes, and other portable music devices has created a demand for docking stations with both charge these aforementioned devices and provide top-flight speaker sound quality. The Philips Fidelio DS 8550 Docking Speaker offers great sound quality for a minimum price. Most guys still use the classic disposable razors made by Gillette, Schick and Bic. Norelco’s new Senso Touch 3D electric razor gives one the closeness of an old-fashioned barber shave without the bleeding that comes from those irritating nicks.While most think of sunglasses as a summer item, the truth is that they are needed just as much, if not more so, in the winter when the sun’s rays come in at a lower angle creating serious glare on ski slopes and on the road as anyone who has ever driven westward on a sunny late afternoon will attest. Marchon’s Nike line and Safilo’s Carrera brand of sunglasses offer style and vision protection at a reasonable cost. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean that golfers have to let their putting game go to ruin. Greens Professor is an electronic device that lets you know if your blade is either too open or closed while you practice putting on a rug in your home. The Stick is a beaded wand-like instrument that helps circulate blood in the legs, neck and shoulder regions of your body and helps relieve pain after everything from a solid workout to a long drive in a car. It is used by the US Olympic Committee trainers and by numerous professional athletes. You can never go wrong with reference books. Trivia fans will love the 2011 Sports Illustrated and Time Almanacs as well as Guinness Book of World Records 2011. If you know someone whose guilty pleasure is watching Bravo’s tawdry reality programs, get them a copy of “Real Housewives Get Personal” (Chronicle Books). A useful item that is certain to be appreciated is a battery recharging device. Both Eveready and Duracell make them.
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