This time of year, the dizzying array of gift guides can be downright overwhelming: 50 Gifts Under $50, Amazing Affordable Gifts, 250 Gifts Under $25. So how about a guide to the gift guides? We asked 10 magazine editors for their top gift guide picks. Here are the results:
Magazine: House Beautiful
The pick: Cute as a Button Soap Set
These soaps from LoveLeeSoaps look like actual buttons. They are made with creamy shea butter and have an added clean cotton scent.
“The name says it all, and the price is right, too,” says Stephen Drucker, editor in chief of House Beautiful. “At $4 for 12 soaps, you can certainly afford to buy an extra set to keep for yourself.”
Price: $4 for 12 soaps weighing 3 ounces total
Where to get it: www.etsy.com/shop/LoveLeeSoaps
(Check out www.housebeautiful.com or the December issue of the magazine for more gift ideas.)
Magazine: Disney FamilyFun
The pick: Invasion of the Bristlebots
Part robot. Part toothbrush? Send these motorized toothbrushes spinning, skittering and bouncing off the walls. The accompanying book includes ideas for robot games, such as racing and wrestling.
“These tiny toothbrush robots capture everything families look for in a toy: quality, value and a high fun factor,” says Ellen Harter Wall, senior associate editor for Disney FamilyFun.
Price: $19.95 (recommended for ages 8 and up)
Where to get it: www.klutz.com
(Check out www.FamilyFun.com for the full gift guide.)
Magazine: Good Housekeeping
The pick: Become telekinetic with Mattel’s Mindflex
Put on the headset, attach the ear clips and then concentrate to guide a foam ball through a customized obstacle course.
“It blew our minds,” says Rosemary Ellis, editor in chief of Good Housekeeping.
The secret is sensors in the headset that read naturally occurring brain wave activity during concentration and relaxation.
The sensors transmit a signal to a fan inside the game’s console, levitating the ball. The more you concentrate, the stronger the fan blows, and the higher the ball floats.
A hand dial on the console directs the ball horizontally.
Price: $79.99 (recommended for ages 8 and up)
Where to get it: Amazon, Target, Toys R Us and other retailers.
(Check out the December issue of Good Housekeeping for more gift ideas or log on to www.goodhousekeeping. com.)
Magazine: Men’s Health
The pick: Klipsch Image S4 Headphones
Most noise-isolating earphones feel uncomfortable after a long listening session, says Matt Bean, brand editor for Men’s Health.
“Not this set, which features an oval earpiece, matching the shape of most ear canals,” he says. “The snug fit relieves strain and provides a tighter seal for better sound.”
The headphones come with four different sizes of ear tips and work with iPod, iPhone and other MP3 devices.
Where to get it: www.klipsch.com
(Check out the December issue of Men’s Health for the complete Tech Gift Guide or log on to www.menshealth.com/ techguide.)
The pick: Power Smart Tower with iGo Green Technology
“Not sexy, but very, very smart,” says Mark McClusky, senior products editor for WIRED.
This surge protector comes with four “always on” outlets for devices requiring continuous power, such as an alarm clock, and four that will shut off once a device is charged. There are also two USB ports.
Where to get it: www.igo.com
(Check out WIRED’s full wish-list in the December issue, or log on to www.wired.com.)
Magazine: O, The Oprah Magazine
The pick: The Conspicuous Consumption basket contains foie gras from Quebec, Vermont cheddar cheese, Spanish blue cheese, handmade Salame Tartufo from Utah, stone ground chocolate discs from Massachusetts and all-butter crackers made in England.
“Everything tastes as fresh as it looks,” says Adam Glassman, creative director for O, The Oprah Magazine.
Price: $99.99, but basket options start at $34.99
Where to get it: www.pastoralartisan.com
(Check out O, The Oprah Magazine’s full gift guide in the December issue or at www.oprah.com.)
The pick: Lululemon Lucky Tote
“This tote is not only super stylish – it had us at hello – but it also features all of the smart compartments you need for a quick trip to the gym or an active weekend getaway,” says Lindsey Emery, senior fitness editor for Fitness.
The tote has an exterior water bottle pocket, a removable shoulder strap and a water-resistant lining that wipes clean. It can even fit a 15-inch MacBook.
“In essence, it’s the perfect bag,” Emery says.
Where to get it: www.lululemon.com
(Check out www.fitnessmagazine.com for the full guide.)
Cat egory: Beauty
The pick: Beryl’s Crystal Chandelier Earrings
Make any dress New Year’s Eve-worthy, says Hedy Gold, accessories director for SELF.
“These brilliant sparklers catch lots of light and frame your face for a festive finishing touch,” she says.
The earrings come in several colors and feature a teardrop outline of round cut stones with a larger round cut stone in the center.
Where to get it: www.emitations.com.
(SELF has other gift ideas in its December issue or at www.self.com.)
Magazine: The Daily Green
The pick: America The Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass
A great gift for the traveler, or the armchair traveler who was inspired by the recent PBS documentary “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.”
Says Dan Shapley, editor of The Daily Green: “The pass is also a great gift for families since it admits not only the pass-holder, but all passengers in the vehicle.”
Where to get it: http://store.usgs.gov/ pass/index.html
(Check out www.thedailygreen.com for other top green gift picks.)
Magazine: Modern Dog
The pick: “Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know” (Scribner, 2009)
For the dog lover in your life, this book by cognitive scientist Alexandra Horowitz offers “interesting and valuable insight into canine couch mates,” says Modern Dog editor Jennifer Nosek.
Horowitz writes about what it’s like to be a dog, explaining how dogs view the world, each other and humans. Learn how dogs can smell time, why some love to play fetch while others don’t, and why leaving the television on for your pooch is pointless.
Where to get it: Book retailers.
(Check out the full gift guide at www. moderndogmagazine. com.)
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