It’s beginning to feel a lot like . . .
We scoured stores and catalogs and visited more websites than Santa has elves.
And we found the best of the best: Those gifts that have presence and are sure to please anyone on your gift guide this holidaze season. We left out prices. Why? Simple: Between Friday and Cyber Monday and all those Green Days in-between, prices drop faster than Santa down a chimney
It was a tough call, but Petrucelli Picks for the best gifts have been found. You can also found our picks for the two best mail-order catalogs products here: http://lodeplus.com/dead-celebrities-in-national/petrucelli-pick-s-the-holiday-gift-guide-to-the-two-best-mail-order-catalogs.
Now taking center stage . . .
Ready, set, go
Call this a hallmark of things to come. This year, Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas 2011 Hallmark ornament features jolly ol’ St. Nick. Better hurry . . . the countdown has begun! Visit your fave Hallmark dealer.
Today’s on-the-go lifestyles demand versatility—and haircutting is no exception. The new Wahl Lithium Ion Clipper is the first of its kind to harness lithium ion technology, offering twice the run time and 50 percent more power than comparable clippers. It also features cordless operation, a variety of guide combs and a 15-minute quick charge for one-time use. We found it at Target, Walmart and at www.wahlhomeproducts.com.
For(e) the golf lover
SensoGlove is the first and only golf glove with built-in sensors that constantly read the pressure of your grip. Practicing with SensoGlove will teach you the correct grip pressure for a smooth, consistent swing that delivers greater distance, enhanced precision and lower scores. Maintaining a lighter grip pressure is regularly discussed in every magazine and by all the professional golfers and teaching pros. The trouble is it’s difficult to learn exactly what they mean by a light grip pressure and most golfers end up swinging with a death grip. SensoGlove’s built-in digital computer actively monitors your grip with sensors placed strategically throughout the glove, providing instant feedback at all the points of your swing. SensoGlove’s audio feedback warns you at the moment your grip becomes too tight, allowing you to learn and maintain correct grip pressure at every point of your swing. We swung by www.sensoglove.com for(e) this one.
The powerful Wahl Deep Tissue Massager might want to change “deep” top “deeeeeeeep.” This hand-held device generates up to 3,350 pulses per minute and features four patented interchangeable heads for targeted and all-around use. Start off with a light, pulsing massage or go Big Time. We found it at Walmart and at www.wahlhomeproducts.com.
No fuss, no muss
The Make-Up-Matte is a mineral and powder workspace and portable carryall for cosmetics that is ideal for busy women (and men?) on-the-go. Simply unfold the Make-Up-Matte and use it anywhere . . . at home, at the gym, even in the car (but, please, not while driving). The luxuriously soft microfiber Make-Up-Matte not only provides a clean workspace to apply makeup, it also absorbs excess particles and enables quick and efficient cleanup. A series of interior pockets store brushes and other makeup items keeping cosmetics organized. When rolled and secured with the handy elastic, the machine washable Make-Up-Matte tucks easily inside a purse, gym bag or suitcase. We found it at www.makeupmatte.com
You’ve never heard The Night Before Christmas quite this way. Hallmark’s hard-cover version includes a built-in recorder so you can personalize it for the person on your list. There’s music one every brightly-illustrated page, and we don’t mean just the prose of Dickens. Visit your fave Hallmark dealer.
Tapping into the best
The Olive Tap is a tasting emporium and gourmet market that offers a variety of olive oils, specialty oils, vinegars, spices, herbs and seasonings. Unlike mass-produced oils and vinegars, The Olive Tap offers pure and fresh artisan products from around the world. The olive oils and vinegars can be tailored to everyone on your holiday gift list, and their gift baskets are elegant yet affordable. We found these at www.theolivetap.com.
Fatheadz are the only eyewear maker catering to men and women with all sizes of heads. Let’s eye the simple fact that one size shoe does not fit all, so neither should sunglasses. We know. We’re wearing a pair. Fatheadz currently offers modern and sleek styles of prescription eyewear and sunglasses for men, and many are polarized and impact-resistant. On December 1, just in time for the fat man’s visit, Fatheadz will be releasing 10 new sun and optical styles and launching a brand-new women’s line. Various prices. The man behind those shades? Rico Elmore, founder and CEO of Fatheadz! We found these at Walmart Vision Centers and at www.fatheadz.com.
Food the thought
Omaha Steaks calls this “The Ideal Gift.” We can’t improve on that. It’s a meaty carnivorous package crammed with2 (five-ounce) filet mignons, 2 (five-ounce) top sirloin steaks, 4 (four-ounce) boneless pork chops, 4 (four-ounce) Omaha Steaks Burgers, 4 stuffed baked potatoes and six-inch Chocolate Lovers Cake that is so deliciously decadent a sliver goes a long way. We found these goodies at www.omahasteaks.com.
Cookies for a cause
Lotus Bakeries, makers of the world-famous Biscoff Gourmet wafer-thin cookies, is giving back this year: They will donate 10% of all proceeds from the sale of Biscoff Holiday Totes set to Teach for America. Each set features a trio of boxes festooned with cardinals and crimson berries in a serene winter setting. Such quintessential holiday symbols, captured on these imaginative totes, and topped with a red-ribbon carrying strap. Don’t even bother stuffing the sticker. Stuff your mouth instead. We did. Yum and hum at www.biscoff.com
Most reusable bottles get lots of hype, but most of them can’t hold water when it comes to keeping liquids hot or cold. Enter S’well Bottle, a new, reusable bottle that keeps hot liquids hot (for 12 hours) and cold ones really cold (for 24 hours). Built with food grade stainless steel and designed with a tapered neck and wide enough opening to add ice cubes, the S’well does more than just keep beverages at your favorite temperature, they also do good by donating 10 percent of all profits to WaterAid. S’wells say no! no! to BPA and plastic liners and yes! to pure style. The 17-ounce bottle is available in seven colors; there’s even a 25-ounce “wine” bottle. For each one bought, Brad Pitt sends a smooch. Visit www.swellbottle.com.
And then we tested those AS SEEN ON TV! Products. Here’s what we love. Find them (just about) everywhere.
The Chef Basket is the new way to make kitchen work quick and easy. It starts off flat, then instantly expands to a flexible basket that lets chefs cook, boil or deep fry foods with ease. It also features specially designed handles that stay cool so cooks can safely lift it out and go right from the pot to the plate. Invert the Chef Basket and viola! it turns into the ultimate steamer; flip down the handles and it’s a free standing colander. Simply rinse food, lift the handles back up and go right from the sink to the pot in one easy motion. Best of all, it folds flat for easy storage anywhere.
The Pet Rider is a revolutionary pet seat cover that easily installs in seconds in any car, truck or van. It is made of hair and stain resistant material, making it easy to clean stubborn pet hair and unforeseen messes. It installs in seconds in any car or truck or van and its universal design works on bench seats, bucket seats and even fits perfectly in the back of large SUVs.
The Slice-O-Matic features an easy-glide handle that lets cooks slice with ease including potatoes, onions, carrots and more. It’s simple! Plus cooks can simply adjust the dial to change the thickness of slices too. A handy catch container keeps food contained for easy clean up and comes with a chopping blade and a julienne blade.
The Pasta Boat is the fast and easy way to cook, drain and serve perfect pasta dishes in one microwaveable pot without the hassle! Now cooks never fuss with boiling water or multiple pots again! It’s easy to use and also great for storing meals
The LifeProof case for your iPhone 4/4S lives up to its name: It’s dirt, snow and water proof. It’s also refined, convenient and unobtrusive. The unique combination of materials will not stick to your pocket and its double AR-coated optical glass lenses provide unprecedented crystal-clear photo and video quality. Now only if your cell phone lasts so long. Visit www.lifeproof.com
Red and ready
During all the holiday excitement, being prepared for an emergency preparedness is probably the last thing on your mind. So the American Red Cross is at your ready. We give the green light to these nifty products, co-licensed with the American Red Cross and the Eton Corporation.
Road Torq is a self-powered spotlight and emergency beacon designed to help during a roadside emergency. It features a retractable, reflective tripod, enabling the device to be used as a spotlight, or stood upright to be a steady or flashing beacon for passing motorists. In addition, the LED is on a folding hinge, allowing the beam to face upright for under-car visibility or sideways to shine on tires. Get more info at www.etoncorp.com.
The Axis and The Rover are safety radios with quite the efficient hand turbine–just one-minute of cranking yields 15 minutes of LED light and/or radio use. In addition to providing a radio signal, the two radios in the TurboDyne series also provide an LED light source, clock and the ability to charge a cell phone via USB. Get more info at www.etoncorp.com.
HBO has unleashed a series of products tied-in with some of their show. Our trio of favorites that can be found at most stores:
True Blood V-Moda ear buds, featuring apulse-pounding synthesis of sound, style and comfort designed for the living, and perhaps the dead, whose lives begin at night. From the aircraft-grade aluminum silver bullet microphone that doubles as a necklace pendant to the Kevlar reinforced fabric cables, REVAMP is museum-quality art.
Then there’s the ultra-compact True Blood V-80 headphone. Masterfully crafted for years alongside legendary musicians, producers and DJs, V-80 exposes the fine details of sound and turns music into a new dimension. Durable metal materials and star-worthy glamour end the hunt for the perfect headphone. V-80 is truly bespoke for beings whose style and sophistication has evolved through the ages. V-80 was engineered to expose the finer details and range of your favorite recordings while making you feel like you are experiencing it live. Like vampire blood, using a V-80 bonds you with these authentic legendary artists whose lives begin at night on stage and in the studio.
Display your own desire for power with the Game of Thrones iron throne paperweight. With this on your desk, no one will question your allegiance. Throne sits atop a base with the Game of Thrones logo.