Picking the perfect present

It is that time of year again. The holiday season is in full swing. It’s the annual period of parties, cookies, family gatherings and, of course, presents. Now is the time students wish they paid more attention when mom pointed out that vase she always wanted, but not to worry. Say goodbye to the nauseating five-hour trips to the mall. The thinking has already been done. Grab the list of names and get ready to fill in the empty spaces next to them, here are some great gift ideas for everyone.

In the age of e-everything holiday shopping can be finished in half the time without leaving the comfort of a cozy, heated dorm room. Many Web sites, such as excite.com, offer gift idea pages. Simply click on the type of person the gift is for and a variety of gift ideas appear on the screen. A few more clicks of the index finger and shopping is done.

For mom, most gift ideas revolve around household decorations and jewelry. The latter are a little more costly than the average college student can afford. Some of the gifts include an oil lamp trio, a Chinese character votive set, a monogrammed photo box, tea time (a teapot, assorted teas, scone mix and honey in a country basket) and a freshwater pearl bracelet with a silver Mom charm. These gifts range in price from $20 to $110.

Gift ideas for dad revolve around the assumption that a father has only two missions in life – to fix things and play golf. A 20 piece all-purpose tool set and a digital tape measurer, along with golfing knick-knacks including sterling silver golf ball cuff links, a golf-ball personalizer and a video documentary on golf are just a few ideas. These gifts range in price from $20 to $125.

Gift ideas for not-so-handy fathers who don’t play golf are few and far between. But a Zippo money clip, complete with a blade, file and scissors for $22 and a travel shave set for $65 are good ideas.

There are several gift ideas for grandparents as well. A special grandmother’s picture frame with a picture of her with her pride and joy is priceless. Also a good idea for the family matriarch is the grandmother record book so grandmothers can write down the family history for future generations. The gift ideas for grandfathers were quite similar to the ideas for dad: tools and golf. But slippers are great for their tired feet after a long day on the green and at their workbench.

Ebay.com is another excellent option for internet shopping. Shoppers can find less popular CDs at much lower prices than at music stores. Most people like receiving gifts that remind them of their childhood, and it is a great way to personalize a gift. Find the Rainbow Brite and Transformers movies your siblings rented as a child, or mom’s favorite book from her childhood that is now out of print. Ebay is usually very reliable, although it does require giving up a little time to search for the item you want.

If money is no option, Oprah’s list of gift suggestions, which includes Nike Air Presto lightweight sneakers for $85, is a good place to look. The sneakers come in all sorts of colors and designs and can be custom made. For the technology buff, the JEM Start Ebook from RCA downloads books into e-books for $300.

For females still stuck on what to get their special man or guy friend, men’s magazine Maxim has a few gift ideas. The Skip Doctor CD repair kit for $35 eliminates scratches from CDs, DVDs and video game discs. The AW810 Wireless indoor/outdoor speakers for $130 blast music up to 150 feet away from a stereo. Maxim’s other suggestions include Shootin Darts II by Marksman for $17, which shoots darts from a .177-caliber pistol and a remote-controlled fart machine for $15.

For younger siblings or cousins, toys from the movie 102 Dalmatians are hot this season. The Tekno dog, a robotic pet selling at $40, and scooters are fads from the summer that are still on every kid’s wish list.

Whether by braving mall lines or peacefully sitting by a computer and clicking presents away one at a time, there is always something to fill any holiday shopping list.

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