It’s the week after Black Friday, and all is well in the house of shopping. The American economy is in slow motion, so this year more than ever it’s our civic duty to contribute to national consumer confidence and get out there and shop. Thus, I begin my annual holiday gift-guide.
Okay, so somewhere between 1985 and 2001, video gaming became mainstream … an accepted pasttime. No longer just associated with pale, introverted people wearing suspenders, video games are cool, and this winter brings two ultimate machines: the Microsoft X-Box and the Nintendo Game Cube. I won’t discuss the merits of these machines, but needless to say if you’ve ever had an interest in either Toadstools or Gridiron, these machines are the Xanadu of gaming. The trick here is trying to get your hands on them since both are selling out in many retailers — including Best-Buy and K-mart. (Gamecube, $299. X-Box, $399)
Pump up the Volume
Ah, the Discman … so 1999. This year if you are going to get an audio product under your tree you want something truly digital. The HP Dec (Digital Entertainment Center) 100 is the “Tivo” for audio. The machine stores up to 750 CDs — which if you know computers is 40 gigabytes of MP3’s. The machine is amazing, allowing you to catalog on your television screen and even “rip” MP3s from the built-in CD player. This is a true jukebox for the digital home. The problem with this machine is because it’s so powerful (CD player and burner in one), it costs a pretty penny. At $1000, this gadget is pricey, but definitely next generation and what future audio systems will look like. Early adopters are sure to want one.
For those on the road (and with a Macintosh computer), the Apple iPod is the best portable MP3 player on the market. The unit is the size of a deck of cards, weighs just ounces, and is the best-looking machine around. At this size you get 5 gigabytes of storage (1000 songs) and a battery that will allow you to listen for ten hours. (HP DEC 100, $1000, Apple iPod $329 w/student discount)
I know that my years in college are near an end, so for the holidays why not try and take a trip to someplace you have always wanted to go? My suggestion would be to check out the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. Starting the first week of February, this is going to be the greatest place to celebrate the American spirit with the Olympics in our own backyard. Tickets for the event are still on sale at www.saltlake2002.com and range from $50 to $5000 dollars.
My other choice “college retreat” is to the old bayou, to attend Mardi Gras (one week before our spring break) or the Jazz Fest (April 26th-May 4th). Both of these events are ultimate parties. It doesn’t really matter where you stay (try the Holiday Inn) but tickets will run you around $400 for a roundtrip. (www.cheaptickets.com)
There are always those little “chachkis” (a phrase of my grandmother) that are fun to both give and receive. The 80s haven’t left and Rubik’s Cube is a great gift for our nostalgic friends (http://www.hessport.com, $9.99). The movie-buff is probably the easiest person to shop for because you can get them a great nostalgic poster (www.allposters.com) or their very own movie memorabilia — including the new “Wilson” Wilson Volleyball as seen in the Tom Hank’s film Cast Away (www.allvolleyball.com). Those in search of making their apartments a little more “real” should try shopping at MTV when they auction off the Real World Season 10 memorabilia on December 1st (http://www.mtv.com/onair/realworld/season10/auction/). You can get computer desks, pillows, and mirrors from the hit show. Even the large media corporations are having auctions for items, including Fox (www.foxauctionarmerica.org), which is auctioning off memorabilia and other special Fox-related items.
‘Tis the Season
Finally, during this time of the year (especially this year) it would be nice if you could give to those in need. Placing donations for any number of charities from helping out the homeless to the numerous September 11th funds is the best kind of giving for the Holiday Season. The Red Cross offers donations online (www.red-cross.com) and they are now committed to directing your money to your directed cause, or try the Salvation Army (www.salvation-army.com). This is probably the best ‘feel good’ gift you can give. Have a happy.
Archived article by