* Prices may differ from that shown
I am one of those people who loves giving presents, and I like those presents to seem well thought out and apt for the receiver (as well as being a bit different from the normal socks and chocolate route). This year for my wife of one year this proved to be a difficult task. I had already bought her jewellery for her birthday and lots of healthcare and beauty accessories (including an electrolysis wand) for Christmas last year. This year I wanted something special, as it was our first Christmas as a married couple. My normal procedure is to wander aimlessly around the shops looking at everything. Alas except for a very nice evening dress I could not find inspiration. Not until I went to boots to get some flu tablets. Whilst looking around I noticed they have increased their range of gifts and in particular they now sell various activity packages. The list includes driving a Ferrari, a days flying, a complete hair makeover, salsa dancing lessons (which my wife showed a interest to earlier in the year but forgot about) and various other very well chosen packs. They all seem very well priced (at least for what I’m willing to pay ;-) ), and after remembering my wife’s brief interest in Latin dancing I decided that £30 for a 2 hour lesson and a cd was a reasonable amount and if we enjoy it we can continue going. I could then get her that dress I saw as well. The pack contains a telephone number for booking and has a wide range of sites around the country, as well as a cd of the sort of music you will learn to dance to A lot of the gifts are things that make you think “OH xxxxxx would love that!!” and some are things that you would love to get somebody but wouldn’t know how to arrange it. If only I had gone to Boots first it would have saved me 2 hours of shopping! So I say go and have a look I think WHSmith do a few as well now, let somebody else do the research!
These have to be the ultimate party gimmick. The idea of having shot glasses made out of ice really intrigued me so I just had to purchase Shotrock. What you get for your money is set shot glass molds and a freezing tray. Once assembled, just fill the molds to the brim with either water or fruit juice, and pop them into the freezer. Hey Presto! Six hours later the freezing process has finished and the glasses can be removed from the molds (a bit tricky), ready for use. Other than being great fun these glasses keep your favourite spirits and shooters really cold. Other advantages are that they will eventually melt, thus leaving you with no washing-up to do! Disadvantages, well there is a couple. The glasses are pretty heavy so when dropped they will smash any crockery they land on spectacularly. Another thing is that they are damned cold so if you hold them too long they will stick to your skin.? The novelty may wane after a while, but you could always adapt them to make ice lollies in the summer by sticking a lollypop stick in them before freezing. Cheers! Please note: In case of difficulty, this item is available from firebox.com and shotrock.com. The latter website also has a recipies section which sound rather fun!
SeaMonkeys are small shrimp-like creatures which come in a little packet of dried eggs. Somehow adding the contents of the packet to some treated water, brings these crazy little critters to life. Don't ask me how they survive in packets (something to do with suspended animation?) but after adding them to water you will definately know they're alive. They can grow to about half an inch long in the right conditions and swim around all day. The SeaMonkeys are very responsive to light, which makes you feel like you have some control over them when using a torch. SeaMonkeys are very easy to keep as pets. After the initial water treatment, all that's needed is a weekly feed. The longest I've kept them so far is 1 year (but they were flushed down the toilet due to me moving house). The water treatment sachets, eggs and food all come in the basic pack (around £5) or can buy SeaMonkey aquariums of various shapes and sizes if you want and so any pocket can afford to get into SeaMonkeys. They're really fun. My elderly parents like them and so does my little nephew. Giving them makes you feel a bit special because you know that a few months down the line your present will still be thought of. Give SeaMonkeys....available in all good toy shops and Tescos I think...
I was recently reading in a paper about a 12 year old boy who needed an organ donation of a Kidney to survive otherwise he'd die 3 weeks into the new year as he wouldn't have enough strength to carry on. The boy one of the lucky ones put on his Christmas list to Santa that for this Christmas he would like a new sport' s car for his Dad and a holiday for his mum along with those two things he put " Dear Santa can I please have a Kidney for Christmas so I can live," A women read this in a previous magazine article on dying young children. She then had the test's done and a one in a million chance a match and was cleared to donate one of her kidney's to the young boy you can imagine the joy the parents joy at this news the best Christmas present they could ever have expected and said they could never ever re-pay the great thing the women had done the women who didn't want her name published said she did this because she's been working with children all her life and they've made her a very happy person so she gave a helpless child a Christmas to remember. This made me think an awful lot and show's there's some very nice and caring people amongst the bad people out there that wouldn't even consider donating some blood.
Cheap travel is an incredible present; if you can’t think of anything else then give it a go. If you really can't think of anything that you want to get a close friend or relative then why not take a look around and try to find a cheap ticket to a destination of your choice. Your friend will, I can assure you, be absolutely shocked and, with any luck, they won't expect a present for a while! Try to make sure that you get a refundable ticket as there is always the chance that they won't be able to go, but if not you can always take the trip yourself! It really is a great present and, with the Internet bringing the prices of holidays down, one that is becoming more and more affordable. Go for it.
I watch television quite a lot , but I am unfortunate enough to have a computer , but not the internet . So , while my friends surf the internet , I am stuck with the age old pursuit of using teltext . As most of you will agree with me , teletext often has problems and is no where near as reliable as the internet . Teletext can though , if you know the right pages and channels to look on , be extremelt useful and interesting . I came home from a long day at the office and greeted with a completely pants night of television . So I decided to look on teletext . I found a page that describes how a man in America has laid claim to the moon and is now selling it at £15 an acre . You get a certificate of ownership and a map showing you which part of the moon your acre is on . It is a really great present idea and I will be buying some for all of my friends . The site is www.moonestates.com . A great alternative idea for a Christmas present .
Want a child? I got a little boy called Tanee. Pattaya has a multi-billion dollar multinational sex industry with links to drug trafficking, money laundering and an expanding regional cross-border traffic in women. Tourists who go there often get murdered (see my opinion on Thailand). In Pattaya there are street children who are orphans, or who have been abandoned, or who are runaways. They are often unwashed! They survive by begging, washing cars, selling gum or flowers and collecting plastic bottles. Reportedly some kids have been deliberately mutilated so they can earn more by begging. These street children do not want to become prisoners of the Russian or German mafias and end up dying of aids in a brothel prison. They do not necessarily want to sleep with fat and ugly London taxi drivers having a three months holiday on their ill gotten gains. A drop-in crisis centre for the street kids has been established in Pattaya. This is The Pattaya Street Kids' Crisis Centre. It is a Christian based organisation whose purpose is to provide a safe, non-judgmental, temporary refuge for all street children, regardless of their religion or ethnic origin. At the centre, children can receive a meal, a shower, a change of clothes and know that they are safe and cared for. Where possible, the children will re-united with their families. The Centre accepts donations of money. The Centre is also looking for people to sponsor children. I sponsor Tanee who has little use of his legs. His father is blind. Tanee is now receiving physiotherapy. The Centre is run by a number of volunteers. For example there is Roger who is a teacher and there is Dianne who is a Christian pastor. The centre is fairly new but it has now got a web site: www.pattayastreetkids.org http://www.pattayastreetkids.org/ e-mail: email@example.com address:
Post Office Box 174 Bang Lamung Chonburi 20150 Thailand For a Christmas Present with a difference, give your friend a sponsored child (£100 per year) or a donation to the Centre. Don't go to Pattaya. Read my opinion on the place.
It’s always the same old presents at Christmas isn’t it? Books, Clothes, CD’s, Socks, Underwear…. The list is endless. Well, how about buying something different this year, like one of the new “Amazing Adventure” packages from WH Smiths. I know your thinking ‘WHSmiths, that’s just a bookshop’, but the new products they’re offering are very appealing. Yes, you could be a passenger in Space on one of WHSmiths commercial Space flights, or even drive a Formula One car! They state that they have 48 different Adventures available. And I’m warning you some of them are quite extreme with a massive price ticket. But, I think some of the others are very reasonably priced and will provide that special present this Christmas for someone close to you. They categorise the Adventures in the following sections: Entertainment, Hobbies, Aqua, Flying, Ultimate Dreams, Driving, Thrill, Sport, Children and Indulgence. And the price tickets range from £29 to £100,000. Don’t worry I haven’t put too many 0’s it is that price! What makes these items so tempting is the fact that they contain such variety and come at all different prices. If £100,000 is out of your price range, don’t panic. I’m sure you’ll find something to suit you. Myself, I fancied the Ferrari driving experience for £219. Let me just pick out some of the ones I thought seemed very original: Fashion Model for a day - £159 Radio and Television presenter experience - £99 A Tour of your favourite Football Club - £49 Half a day Circus skills experience - £69 Flirting experience - £119 Recorder Studio session - £249 Of course in addition to these there are the usual adventure ones such as the Ferrari Driving, Helicopter and Plane flying lessons, Skydiving, White Water Rafting etc. And not forgetting that amazing trip into space for £100,000. (I couldn’t believ
e it when I saw this one!). However, a major disadvantage with some of these products is the ‘terms and conditions’. Beware; what may seem a good buy may not turn out to be! Although it may advertise that you can cook with Antony Worrall Thompson, what isn’t initially explained is that you will also have to share his culinary talents with another 25-30 people. Or, as in the case of the Space flight, £100,000 is only a deposit and there may be further charges. I found some of the terms and conditions for the Space flight quite amusing when I read them. Firstly, the fact that the £100,000 was only a deposit and also that the flight may never occur. Furthermore, they were giving an estimate of the date the flight would be launched, 2003 – 2005. To be honest I doubt that anyone is actually ever going to buy this one?! Perhaps WHSmiths should just cut them down to 47 affordable experiences! Don’t worry though all the details are given on the sides of the packages in store and are very informative of how many people you will be going with, what the price includes etc. Also included is the box pack that you get when you purchase the experience from a store. Each one is filled with books on that experience as well as all the terms and conditions, tickets, certificates and any other relevant pieces of information. Perfect for when you’re sitting around waiting to go on your chosen adventure, as some of them get booked up quite quickly! I understand that these items have been available for many years now. Yet, they’re now available to us from a more accessible place and from a respectable company. So why not give them a quick glance the next time your rushing around to find a good present for someone.
If, like me, you're always strapped for cash (especially at this time of year!) and you can't find original but cheap gifts for your nearest and dearest, try 'IOU vouchers'. No, not for huge sums of cash or scented bath salts...favours. For example, use your PC or the humble pen and paper to make little vouchers with favours such as "A cup of tea and a biscuit", "Breakfast in bed", "A spring clean" or even something as simple as "A hug". The next step is to pop a book of these little vouchers into a Christmas card and then present it to your chosen recipient. Voila! This gift idea is especially good for the younger members of the family. Why not get them to make the vouchers for other members of the family (grandparents, uncles, aunties, siblings etc.)...it's the thought that counts after all! You really could go to town with this one, whether you're a child or a full grown child at heart, get out the glitter and glue, think up a few original 'favours' (be as daring as you feel appropriate!) and do your worst! Just imagine the money you'll save on expensive, unoriginal and 'same old, same old' Christmass pressies this year! Your family will probably appreciate it too...I'm sure your Dad has enough socks to last him a lifetime by now!
A True Story!! Back in the dark ages, (1996 actually, it just seems along time ago!) I was taking my lunchtime stroll with some of my mates from work and we were gossiping about the usual suspects, yawn! yawn!, when all of a sudden I broke with tradition and said "Right it’s my Dads 60 birthday in November and I really don't know what to get him. It’s got to be something very special and something he'll never forget." As you can imagine my outburst was met with stunned silence and blank expressions. Then one of my more with-it friends suggested I took a look at the leaflets in the reception area of our office because he recalled seeing ‘air balloon flights’ advertised. “An air balloon, can you imagine my Dad in an air balloon” I’d said without thinking, then the cogs in my head began to move and the seed was sown, what a wonderful idea. I picked up the leaflet skimmed through it, okay he wasn’t too old or too heavy and he had none of the medical conditions listed within, so where was the catch, yep you’ve got it, no price list! I rang the number on the leaflet and spoke to a really helpful woman on the other end (no she really was helpful, I know shocking isn’t it) and she gave me all the information I needed, on dates, times and price, ‘gulp’ £160. I gave her my details and said I’d ring her back. I had my heart set on this gift now, but my marriage was seriously on the rocks and I had a 2-year-old son to support, so I rang my Mum. When I told her that I planned to send Dad up in an air balloon for his birthday she was a little taken aback! (As you can imagine). Well I managed to convince her that it was safe and he wouldn’t crash, “okay” she said “but what is it going to cost”. I told her, she went quiet for a few seconds, and then suggested that we give it as a joint present from her, my sister
and I. We were all in agreement and I rang the company again to organize it. The only problem we had was that my Dads birthday was in November and they only had flights between April and September. We agreed that wouldn’t be a problem and arranged for him to go on the last flight that they had available. Life went on as normal and plans were hatched as to what would happen on the big day! It was agreed that I should ring up Mum and Dad a couple of days before and arrange a day out, (not odd as we often all went to France for the day) so I did. The night before the big day my Mum and Dad went out to their friends (who were in on it) for a drink. My Dad was not looking forward to the day out because he didn’t like being in a war zone, (which is what my marriage had become), so he was not fussed to have an early night!! 5.30am I phoned to say we are on our way, Mr. grumpy got up and got ready, still not impressed with what he thought was to come. We all met my sister and her brood at the local park at about 6.30am. Dad was getting increasingly agitated and barked, “so were not going to France then, what are we doing and what are they doing here” (he was talking about my sister’s brood). We told him to calm down and that all would be revealed in a couple of minutes and so it was! When he saw the Balloon and basket being taken off of the trailer he said, “Is this it! are we here to see this…” reality dawned! His face lit up and he smiled from ear to ear. The flight was great and he continued to smile long after we got back to the house that afternoon. I can honestly say that this gift was probably the best I have ever given and left me with a wonderfully warm memory of my Dads 60th year as I hope it did him. Well back to the present day (excuse the pun!) you can buy all sorts of adventure days out off the shelf now and they may not seem that unu
sual, but back then this was an unusual gift to give, better than that pack of dodgy socks or briefs. Although flights are only available at certain times of the year this is an ideal present for the one you love at any occasion, including Christmas.
Just a quick idea for all those people, like myself, who are buying for other people who you work with and struggle to think of anything to give them. It's not easy buying for fellow workers because some you get to know really well and can think of loads of things they would be delighted to get as a present and for others you haven't got a clue about their out of work interests. In my office we tend to go in for smallish gifts which usually remain in the office such as a fancy drinks mug or a strange cuddly toy or something like that. Whist there's nothing particularly wrong with doing it like this it does get a bit boring after a couple of years. One idea I have tried to to make this a bit more unpredictable is to give something with your present that doesn't cost alot but could be worth something in the long run. My idea may not go down well with everyone as some people are against the National Lottery but in our place, where we have operated a syndicate since day one, this went down well. What I did was search around for the usual small present but along with it I gave everone three scratchcards and a couple of lucky dip lottery tickets for the next lottery draw. Not only did we get a few small winners on the cards, a tenner was also won on the draw. With it being Christmas and New Year everyone usually heads off to the pub so all the winnings went towards some drinks anyway. There's no reason why your "bonus" present has to be based on the lottery either. Any draw tickets, which are usually in plentiful supply at this time, could be used or possibly a betting slip for a future event involving a local team in the FA Cup for example is another idea. I'm sure this suggestion wont be suitable for alot of places but in a workplace of mainly young people it was definately a success and for a relatively small outlay somebody could hit the jackpot.
Looking for that unusal christmas present for someone special? Index have 4 great miniture water gardens to choose from,they are great value for money and you dont even need a gardener! 1.Chinese water garden at £24.99 2.Bamboo £29.99 3.Japanese £29.99 4.Water chimes garden at £34.99 Each garden is made from natural polished stones and has its own special feature. Imagine your loved one sitting in their favourite chair,eyes closed,feet up listening to the tranquility of their very own miniture indoor garden. Soothing,relaxing sounds that de-stress leaving them feel relaxed fresh and ready to start again. I am sure it will bring a smile to anyones face on christmas morning and guess what its all thanks to you!! What a luxury at a great price!
Here are some things I found that some of you may have an idea about who to give them to.Some of this are are expensive gifts and so are funny gifts.I have listed some and where you can find where to purchase them. For Men- The Wiggling Hula Girl She will transform any space into a tropical paradise. Each sturdy 8" ceramic Hula Girl Doll is hand painted and has a green fiber skirt.The top and bottom halves connect with a metal spring for optimum wiggle action.Perfect as a dashboard ornament, desk decoration or kitchen table centerpiece. $8.95 plus S&H http://www.wonderfullywacky.com/mem.htm For Men- Moose Poop Now's your chance to won a non-conservative, conversation piece that will have your friends and family howling with laughter...it's the one and only Poop Moose.The wooden Poop Moose is handcrafted and comes from the frozen foods capitol of the world.. Alaska. Operation: Fill the poop moose with your favorite candy then just lift up the head and stand clear from the rear! Measures 10 to 14 inches $69.95 http://www.wonderfullywacky.com/mem.htm For Women- Chocolate Covered Spoons the spoons are dipped in the finest gourmet, Belgium chocolate.Stir your coffee with one of these scrumptious spoons and it will be as if you have gone to heaven! $1.99 each http://www.wonderfullywacky.com/mem.htm For Adults Glasstron Audio/Video Headset with 52 ' Virtual Viewing Your big screen T.V experience is ready to wear with 52' virtual viewing. Sony's newest portablt big screen experience displays a 52 " big screen with sound when connected to a VCR,TV,camcorder,portable DVD player, or even a Playstation video game console.Glasstron video display immerses the wearer in an audio/video experience that's like being in action. In the Ear Headphones Two 0.50 LCD Panels 180k Pixels,800 Ho
rizontal,225 Vertical Includes Multi-Voltage AC Adapter Weight: Only 3.4 Ounces $449.00 http://nservices.com/unique.htm For Adults and Kids Spy Glasses These ordinary looking sun glasses have a unique feature that let's you see behind you. They have a special coating that allows you look straight ahead and still see what is going on behind you.Great for bicycling or jogging. $ 8.95 http://nservices.com/unique.htm For Men Handcrafted Polished Chess Set From the primitive folk art tradition of Eastern Europe, a chess set like no other.It's made from the finest woods-combined with an intricate copper inlay, encircling each chess piece and eac square on the board alike.Each square is carefully carved to allow for non-slide placement on the board.Navigation letter and number indices are carved into the board with the same painstaking Polih purpose applied to every knight and Rook. The Woods: Beech,Sycamore,Pine w/copper inlay. The Board: 17.25"x 8.75"x2.25", folds in half with brass hinges The King and Court: The King stands 3-1/2, the rest of the subjects are far behind. Weight:3.5 lbs. Handcrafted in Poland $125.00 includes shipping http://www.steamertrunkmerchants.com For The People Who Have It All! Plungers "I Got The Royal Flush(Money) $14.95 http://www.throneproducts.com For over the hill people Over The Hill Diaper This kit contains a large adult diaper with a Large Safety Pin.On the diaper it has a large sticker with Over The Hill printed on it. $4.99 each http://www.gagworks.com For Adults Shocker Lighter With this lighter you are guaranteed to get a buzz (literally). This lighter is chrome plated and looks and feels like a real lighter.It runs off 'AA' batteries and a small electric coil.Its the coil that puts the bang in the shock.This gad
get is a smokers nightmare. $18.95 http://www.funideas.com For Adults Shocker Pen This pen looks and feels like a quality pen.This pen delivers hundreds of electric shocks from a replaceable 1.5 volt alkaline 'AAA' battery.Guaranteed Laughs $19.95 http://www.funideas.com For Men Boob Tube Remote Control Pre-programmed for easy set up.Works TV,VCR, &Cable Box.The only remote that will turn him on.The unit stands 6" tall requires 2 'AA' batteries.(not included) This remote control is every man's dream.The bikini top flips up to reveal a well proportionate channel changers.For the more mature audience the top can be completely removed.The bikini bottoms flip down to reveal the remotes numbers and reset controls. I think I'm going to give my husband one of these! $14.95 http://www.funideas.com Hey, I thought some of these we're great gift ideas and wanted to share them with you.
If you are buying for an animal lover then why not check out your local animal park. Most of these parks are crying for cash so as a way of raising funds you can adopt an animal for a year. Now this doesnt mean that you have an elephant sitting in your backgarden although I am sure that some people would find this highly amusing! You usually pay from £50 up and for your money you will get a certificate and a picture of your animal plus newsletters throughout the year letting you know what your new friend has been upto. I know that it sounds like you dont get much for your money but if you know someone that loves a particular animal this will go down a treat plus the fact that your money will be ploughed back into helping the animal kingdom. If you know a monkey lover then I can greatly recommend a park in Dorset called Monkey World. This is run by an American couple who travel all over Europe to save chimps and monkeys. They are always in need of more funds to help with their crusade so why not adpot a chimp as a Christmas present then not only will you be helping these lovely animals but also give someone a present with a difference!
Are Poo Chi's really worth the price you pay? I mean all they do is move up and down and bark and they cost around £24. They require 3 batteries to operate and need replacing quite often. The other alternative to "Poo-Chi" is the £40 dog "Teksta" it is much more realistic...than the Poo-Chi, even though it is £14 more than the Poo-Chi, the Teksta has over 150 functions while the Poo-Chi only has about 1 function..he barking function!!! Also the Teksta has a unique function of being able to download programmes from the internet, and it learns new things as you train it! If you are considering buying your little daughter a dog, her friends might have a Poo-Chi, I strongly recommend that you buy the Teksta!