Any day now, Oprah is going to spring her "Favorite Things" on us and red-blazered ladies coast to coast will freak out.
Well, I am going to list mine here. Maybe nobody will shriek over my list of favorite things, but I hope they will guide maybe somebody to a good gift idea. For the past couple years, I've really latched onto making people personalized photo books on my Mac. I take pictures all year and then make people books of photos of themselves. Who doesn't want to get a book of great pictures of themselves in four seasons worth of Scoop Styles? If you haven't been taking photos, but like the idea of personalized gifts, throw together some Mix CDs and create personal cover art for the CDs from adverts out of W magazine.
If you are still interested in making something, but are bored by my other suggestions, consider the Potpourri Party Tape. Long before YouTube, there was the Potpourri Party Tape. Usually on VHS, but I suppose now buildable on DVD, the potpourri party tape is basically exented viral vids, from Lucy drunk on Password screaming "Mattresses!" at Carol Channing to Latin Superstar Iris Chacon singing "Gloria", you'd have to be a broken down loser not to love a potpourri tape!
If you are in the NYC area, you should consider spending "A Night in Osaka." Buy a gift certificate or just bring your honey or a good pal (but not a work colleague) to Osaka (2 midtown locations) for 90 minutes of nudie time in a dry sauna, Japanese hot and cold tubs, steam circuit, and then an hour of shiatsu mixed with the Japanese version of Mr. Bentley walking on George Jefferson's back. This is a date night classic!
If you have money to spend, and are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime type prezzy, go crazy and book an hour with Char. I am speaking of spiritual intuitive Char Margolis, who is world-renowned for her....spiritual intuitiveness! She is reachable via Char.net, is pricey (at least $500 bucks for an hour on phone) and is booked months in advance - but she will blow your mind. I had a reading from her years ago and it was amazing.
If you want to shop from home and live somewhere that accepts deliveries at random times, my online advice is for you to fish around polo.com, JonathanAdler.com, and PaulSmith.co.uk. There's always stuff to find, it's not always expensive, and the merchandise comes in fancy wrapping!
Hit Amazon.com for "Disco Years" featuring the photographs of Ron Galella, I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence. by Amy Sedaris and the brand new set of "Donny and Marie" DVD (or Seasons 1 AND 2 of "Project Runway"). Does Snoopy ever go out of style? Not for me and a ton of other people. There are a ton of online options in which to explore beaglemania, and this is good clean fun for the whole fam.
Is anyone going to be unhappy receiving a 5-pack of Xanax? I can't imagine they would, and if they are, tell them to take one and they should see the light. I don't know where to tell you to get the xanax (except that it should be prescribed to your friend by a doctor), and should warn you that it is apparently highly addictive, but what better way to get through the holidays than with a stash of America's fave chill out pill.
While I am suggesting unconventional gifts, I could take this opportunity to recommend getting your pals an evening with a high end, disease-free companion, but that would be disgusting and degrading and illegal.