In 2009, ThinkGeek created a brilliant gift: the Star Wars Tauntuan Sleeping Bag. Imagine your Star Wars fan seeking warmth from the inside of a mounted tauntaun — without the stench — as seen in The Empire Strikes Back. The problem: it was an April Fool’s Joke. You couldn’t really order it from ThinkGeek.
But the masses spoke, blogged, tweeted and emailed, and the prank became a present, thanks to licensing from LucasFilms. You’ll find this plush Tauntaun sleeping bag, with lightsaber zipper pull and printed internal intestines, for $100 at ThinkGeek.
So I knew exactly what to get my Star-Wars-fanatical, five-year-old nephew this year for his birthday. And he loved it. The gift was so well received, his seven-year-old sister cried because she wanted something so great. I didn’t see that coming. But I did believe their father, a devout Star Wars fan, would be driven to tears of joy.
Oprah Winfrey loves to give. She graciously signed off today after 25 years of daytime television and nearly a decade of her audience-swooning Favorite Things. The blog Jezebel estimates Oprah gave $23,809,050 worth of products since 2002. Not every gift stood the test of time — like Dell’s Pocket DJ MP3 player and J.Lo’s velour sweatsuit — but most have. Let Oprah be your guide for your next gift.
Beauty and Body Care
Books and Magazines
Clothing and Accessories
Home and Office Furnishings
Kitchen and Appliances
Movies and Television
My dad loves London’s consulting detective. For his birthday, I tracked down two Sherlock Holmes DVD gifts. The TV show Sherlock: Season One ($24) re-imagines Holmes as a 21st century sleuth (with GPS, Internet and texting).
Next, I paired 2010’s Sherlock with the classic 1940s Holmes. The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection ($75) features all 14 Sherlock Holmes films, starring the inimitable Basil Rathbone. If you think the complete DVD box set is too much, consider giving these two double feature DVDs:
Depending on what DVD he plays, either “The game is afoot” with classic Holmes or “The game is on” with the new Sherlock.
Every year on December 31, my wife greets me with a “Hap-py birthday!” — said just like Frosty the Snowman when he magically comes to life. And I am happy. I received two cool techie birthday gifts today. First, she gave me a cast-metal at‑sign (@) paperweight. It’s the ubiquitous at-sign that makes e-mail addresses and Twitter replies possible. Finished in weathered zinc, this hefty, four-inch-high at-sign is from Restoration Hardware’s cast-metal letters collection.
Next, I became the proud owner of the new, second-generation Apple TV. I connected this black box to the new 32-inch Toshiba HDTV/DVD combo in the master bedroom. In no time, my TV tapped movies, television shows, songs and photos from my iMac in the second-floor study. YouTube and Flickr came in flawlessly. I haven’t tried Netflix or video rentals yet. Overall, I love the clean simplicity of Apple TV’s on-screen menus, the gorgeous album covers that float in while my music plays, and the sleek, small design of both the box and the remote. All for an amazing price of $99.