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Having worries about what to get your kids, girlfriends, grandchildren, and other general loved ones, for Christmas? No need to fear, since I have all your shopping tips you need right here in this easy to read, sub-800 word article! Just sit down, cut this article out, and start reading as you drive your way to your nearest local place of shopping!

Actually, wait on driving to your shopping place. Before you go, you have to be prepared for your shopping trip. Though that may sound easy–”Have gas in the car, keys in the right hand and charge-card in the left”–it’s not. To really be able to get the right gifts you want for the significant people in your life, you have to be organized, as well as being both physically and mentally prepared.

When buying gifts, try to decide for whom you're really buying the gift. Other than actually finding out who it is you're buying for, also think about what kind of people they are. Do they love the outdoors? Are they computer guys/gals? Do they hate computers? What's their favorite activity? Once you ask these questions, identify which one of these groups your gift recipients fall into and, if you like some of my gift ideas, do your shopping easily from your phone or computer!

One unique idea is to carve their name in stone. For those people you don't like, a tombstone would be one idea, but for people who you like more, get them a stone with a special message in it, including pictures and different type styles! Order it online at , or call long-distance at (812) 634-9022. For a low price of $80, you can have them engrave your own personal message and carve in a nice picture into a 12" by 14" stone! Also available at The Pink Flamingo, you could get a "bat house" for only $36! Yes, it really is a house for bats, being 16" high and 7" wide, it has enough room to house six bats. Somehow, the rock will probably appeal to more people I think...

For the outdoors people who like flowers, a very special gift is waiting for you at , where you can get roses dipped in actual 24 karat gold! That's right, a rose dipped in real 24K gold from bottom of the stem to the tip of the petals. A very interesting gift indeed, and an 11 1/2" gold rose costs $49 for one rose wrapped in an elegant box. Also available here is the Proximity Breath System. It claims to neutralize the sulfur in your mouth that causes bad breath, and prevents bad breath even after eating foods with garlic and onion in them. If it works, this could be perfect for someone in your life that you just can't tell to their face that their breath smells putrid. $29 for special toothpaste, rinse, and breath-cleansing pump.

For the guy who loves techie stuff, there's many hot things this winter that'll get him interested. A huge number of video games are available for PC and Mac, as well as Playstation and Nintendo 64. One big item this Christmas will be The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for Nintendo 64, while Playstation has, among others, Metal Gear Solid. Both are very high-quality games that can be enjoyed by many people. Be forewarned, though, that Metal Gear Solid has some mature parts in it, including a bit of violence and some foul language, though nothing worse than what you can see on NBC after 7:00 pm!

For people who like strange and creative gifts given to them, a browse of the catalog of Cool Stuff Cheap, or 1-888-463-3332, will be sure to raise some people's eyebrows. Pick up such items as genuine Lava Lite lamps for $38, fog machines for $99, a disco ball and all needed accessories for $50, and even South Park doormats for $18 each!

Of course, if you’d really like to make this Christmas happy for some people, do something that won’t just benefit people who you know already have good lives. I encourage everyone who doesn’t have a shortage of money to go out and donate some of their resources to charity. Donating just a few bucks could save someone from going hungry this winter! Places such as the Salvation Army, the Ruth Meiers Hospitality House, and AID Inc. would all appreciate your time and, for those who don’t have time to give away (and who does nowadays?) , a monetary donation would help them out a lot. Merry Christmas to you, and a very happy new year!

Other things to pick up for your techie friends include brand new systems from companies such as Dell or Apple. Although Dell and many other Windows-compatible computer companies tout processors running at 400 to 450MHz, Apple Computer Inc.'s new iMac is actually faster than any of them. Although it's 233MHz processor may not seem like it could be faster than the 400 and 450s, it is. In fact, it runs up to twice as fast as a 300MHz Intel chip! An iMac is priced to sell for $1299 direct from Apple , and it includes a 233MHz G3 processor, a 15" monitor built in, a 56K modem for surfing the internet, plus lots of other really neat features. It also comes in one of the most original case designs ever made for a computer, with it's nice bright blue casing making a statement in whichever room you decide to put it in. A definite must-have for people looking in to buying their first computer, as well as people planning to upgrade to get a faster one.

Questions? Thoughts? Concerns? Dinner and a movie? Contact us.
Karl Becker, the author of all these articles, uses New Tricks for his writings.

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