Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Curse Is Come Upon Me - My Yearly Oprah's Favorite Thing's Post.

 Here it is: the primary  reason that I still have a blog, the post that makes me feel more stressed out and guilty than all my other posts combined - my yearly Oprah post! This year, I decided to drag other people down with me, namely my oldest child, M., and my dad. And we're off!

Jetson E- Bike. I actually saw one of these in person while I was out riding around with my dad. A portly woman tootled by on her electric bike and my dad and I stared, awe-struck, and then laughed for a solid five minutes. Perhaps I am missing this bike's zippy electric charm. That sounds exactly like something that might pass me by, so instead, I will say, in practical fashion, that I don't know about everyone, but generally Christmas happens in the WINTER here and not during safe bike riding season. It's also close to 2 grand. Do we like anyone $2000 worth? And the answer is no, of course we don't.

Ralph Lauren Colourful Sweater. - "It's $198!" exclaimed M. "THAT IS QUITE EXPENSIVE!" Is the Recession not happening where YOU are? Perhaps you're rich and you and your rich friends exchange luridly-coloured sweaters with each other while laughing richly. And while I'm sure it's a perfectly nice cotton cable sweater in bright colours, is it REALLY worth $200? No. So what you're paying for is visible membership in The Rich Person Sweater Club, which I hear is a nice place.

Giro Sport Design Reverb - $48 for Oprah readers. "That is an expensive helmet for something the colour of a booger with a visor," said M. I don't know if I think it's expensive, so much, but I DO think that giving bike helmets to other adults is a strange thing to do at Christmas. Do people do this? Is this something that happens? I'm trying to imagine my face upon opening up a big tempting box and finding a bike helmet. I think I'd cry.

H20 Gift Set - Was $122 but is now $98 for Oprah readers. "I first discovered these products at David Copperfield's house," writes Oprah.You know, if I was rich and famous and knew other rich and famous people, I would most certainly name drop. I can't quite imagine name-dropping David Copperfield, but perhaps he's an expensively sea-scented delight and a joy to all who know him. Name dropping count: 1.

Metallic Pink Tory Burch "Michelle" Tote - A lovely enough item, I guess, but a) on what mythical planet do people give each other $395 tote bags for Christmas and b) how come I wasn't born into this group?

12 Pack of Julep Nail Polishes, selected by Oprah herself - Originally $168, now $84. M pointed out that we own a MILLION bottles of nail polish and probably did not spend $168 total on them. But these nail polishes are non-toxic while ours are probably warping our genes AS WE SPEAK, which serves us right for being poor. But - in all fairness - $84 is actually not a crazy price for a large boxed set of high-quality nail polishes, even if I'd be aghast if someone bought me it.

Indian Bangle Bracelet - $31 for Oprah readers.
Well, that's not TOO bad, right? I mean, I don't like it but it's also not the cost of a new kidney and those who like shiny costume jewelry will like it.... wait a minute....
Bougainvillea’s cuff bracelets are made with water buffalo bone and semi-precious stones. 
I find this icky. I'm not all THAT sensitive, but I prefer that my costume jewelry not be made of animal bones. I'm dainty that way. And are a water buffaloes bones THAT much more attractive than a cows? Does being an undomesticated animal give your bones an exotic hue?

12 Pack of Lafco New York Gift Soaps - $238. "WOW," said M, who up until this moment did not know that rich people dropped $238 on gift boxes of soap for each other. She also wrote "WOW" in the magazine's margin in case I did not sufficiently know how boggled she was.
Name dropped: "Mr. and Mrs. Colbert." Name dropping count: 2.

Pave Diamonds Initial Necklace from India Hicks- Was $370 but is now $296 for Oprah readers. "I suppose if you absolutely have to have a $370 necklace, this one would do as well as any other," my dad grumped.

Bose VideoWave II 46" High Definition Television - $4,999 (but substantially MORE in Canada, for some reason.). Perhaps this is the sort of thing rich people give beloved spouses for Christmas. Do they? Is this what they do? M is rolling her eyes at the VERY idea. As it is, I don't even like MYSELF enough to spend 5 grand on a TELEVISION when I have 3 kids who need food and shelter and (theoretically) future expensive educations. So no.

A festively-scented candle with an R. Nichols illustration on the outside - $36 for Oprah readers. "RIPOFF," wrote M. My dad, unbelievably enough, DISAGREES. "Those are nice little things!" he said. "That seems like a fair price for them." My dad - unexpected fan of the festively illustrated seasonal candle.

Kidskin Leather Wallet - $138. This involved a long explanation to a very horrified M about what "kidskin" was, since she thought at first that it was KID skin and thus in extra horrible, Swiftian Modest Proposal territory. "It's still weird," M says. "First you have to find your wallet in your purse and then you have to search through your wallet for your stuff." Guess whose mother has only just started carrying a purse and has yet to grow up enough to carry a wallet?

Recycled-Steel Toile Dog Food Cannister and Stoneware Bowl - $56 and $32. "What do you get for the dog that reads Architectural Digest?" wrote Oprah, which has caused me a lot of philosophical musing. What WOULD I get for a dog that both COULD read and had pretentious reading tastes? "You give him to a scientific testing facility since I don't want to be taken over by smart dogs," says M. "Or you give him dog treats and tell him to get a job and buy his own stuff." Spending $56 on a tin to hold dog food! THE VERY IDEA!

Hotel Collection 600 Thread Count Bedding - $80 to $360. "For anyone who loves to hang out in bed," wrote Oprah.  "For people with no lives," grumped M. "Here, let's buy you some stupid expensive bedding and make your bed extra-comfy." But what does she know? She's young and still has hope in an interesting future. I like nice sheets. I don't expect anyone will buy me these because THEY ARE EXPENSIVE.

Tempur-Cloud Supreme Mattress - $2699. I LOVE A COMFORTABLE MATTRESS. I WANT A NICE SOFT BED. GET ME THIS. M is out of the room and not here to point out that people don't actually buy each other mattresses for Christmas that cost two grand. Moving briskly on!

Coach Down Puffer Jacket - $458. "This perfect down puffer.... manages to be nice and warm without making you look like the Incredible Hulk," writes Oprah and yet, as M pointed out, the green one is EXACTLY THE SAME COLOUR AS THE INCREDIBLE HULK.

Michael Kors Glam Metallic Studded High Tops - $195. "There's a zipper! A buckle! AND LACES!" exclaimed M, completely horrified. "AND THEY ARE ALSO TACKY! OF ALL THE SHOES IN THE WORLD!"

Wine Chilling Corkcicle - $25 - Here we have it! This list's affordable option! ONE FOR ALL MY DRUNKEN FRIENDS! Except we're still in a Recession and I don't BUY presents for my friends, do I. But if I did, I might buy them a giant icicle to keep their booze cold.

Tom Ford 4 Pack of Lipsticks, Hand-Picked by Oprah - $192. Exclamation mark! I don't know why this dazzles me so much, but that's a LOT of money for four lipsticks. The individual lipsticks in the Tom Ford collection are $48. $48! I felt like a giddy drunken sailor buying a TWENTY DOLLAR lipstick the other day. CRAZINESS.

Dyson Bladeless Pedestal Fan - $450. Name dropped: THE KARDASHIANS. Name dropping count: 3.
Does this being owned by the Kardashians make it less appealing for anyone else? I'm sure it's a completely fine expensive fan but I don't generally tend to buy fans for Christmas, a holiday which - as I've previously mentioned - OCCURS IN THE WINTER. Maybe it's hot where you are and you are also rich. Here's a fan that the Kardashians like for your consideration.

Microsoft Surface Tablet with Keyboard - from $495. I don't know about you, but the one finger limited interactivity of tablets counts AGAINST them for me. This one comes with a keyboard but how much can you really do WITH it? We're pretty demanding of our computers in this household and tend to find tablets underwhelming as a rule. Still, it's attractive.

Wagging Tail Portraits - $229 for a set of 50 pet picture cards. Here is a photo of Frank - who is STILL HANGING IN THERE, WAY TO GO BUDDY! - carefully photoshopped to look like art:
Bill has asked me not to be snarky about this entry. It's hard times for commercial artists these days. So you want to get a bunch of cards with your dog's painting on them made up? Here you go. And in the meantime: ADMIRE MY FINE CAT!

Q37ci Elliptical Trainer -$3099. Names dropped: Bob Greene (4) and Gayle* (5) who is shown working off "blue velvet cake" and more on THAT later. "If you love to eat, it's a really good idea to try to make yourself love to work out," writes the O editors and now I am so depressed because oh no, this is a true statement. In the meantime: this is very expensive but maybe you would mean it very lovingly if you gave it as a gift, mean it to say something like "I love you and want you around for as close to forever as I can." What I worry that your recipient would hear, though, is "You're a giant fatty and I'll only love you if you keep your butt high and firm." So maybe only get people three thousand dollar elliptical machines IF THEY SPECIFICALLY ASK FOR THEM.

*I'm aware that mentioning Gayle is probably not name-dropping so much, but I'd brag if I was hanging out with her. She seems fun.

Rowallan of Scotland Leather Covered Jewelry Box - Was $525 but is now $420 for Oprah readers. "What do you get the woman who has everything?" ME? Personally? Doesn't SHE ALREADY HAVE EVERYTHING and maybe what she doesn't need is YET MORE STUFF? And yet.

While Oprah's gift list may be SPECTACULARLY out of touch with how most human beings exchange gifts, there is nothing wrong with the idea that gifts are a tangible sign of our love for someone else and our desire for their happiness. And so, if THIS is the one thing that would make your wife very happy and you can afford it, than by all means. It is, as my dad pointed out, a rather nice thing, with all its little drawers and compartments. I personally much prefer the $125 Florence model, but I don't want that one, either. I'm not really a jewelry fan.

Josh Groban's Noel CD YET AGAIN - In case your grandma doesn't have it yet or lost last year's copy.

Dr. Dre Powerbeats Earbuds - $150. M wrote the following story of celebrity headphones in the margin: "When I was 8, I bought some Hannah Montana headphones at the dollar store when everything was still a dollar. I'm 13 now and I lost them this summer but they still worked and sounded good when I lost them." The moral of this story, I guess, is that Miley Cyrus should get in on the lucrative field of celebrity headphone design again, because she could make a MINT. I have nothing against expensive headphones, by the way - I have a lovely pair of noise-cancelling headphones and they make my life a MILLION times better.

Curtis Stone Kitchen Solutions Stainless Steel Oilcan - $60. "So there I was, telling Curtis Stone how chic this stainless steel oilcan is, not realizing that it's from his very own line!" wrote Oprah. THAT MUST HAVE BEEN SO EMBARRASSING, OPRAH! PLEASE TELL ME MORE! But there is no more, just a somewhat-attractive metallic can for olive oil and so many questions. Names dropped: 6.

4 Classic Coffee and Tea Bowls on a Matching Tray - $20 and very, very lovely. Every year there is something I actually want on the Oprah list and so far, THIS IS IT. This and the zillion dollar mattress.

Edward Bess Perfume - $125. Ugh, buying perfume for people as gifts. Perfume smells so weirdly different on individuals that how about we just buy perfume for people that they've asked for? I'm sure this is a perfectly fine perfume, but make sure that the recipient has tried it out first and likes it before you spend $125 on it.

Bonded Teak Knife Set - $400 - On the one hand, these are good knives and good knives DO cost money. On the other hand, $400 is a HUGE amount of money and knives are a weird thing to give for a present. Also, don't forget that when you give someone knives for a gift, you must get a token amount of money from them in return so they're "buying" the knives from you, in superstition land, and your friendship is not thus severed. Important scientific news you can use!

Swing Design  Tray and Boxes - from $70 to $120. "I think it was Paul Simon who said, "Preserve your memories: they're all that's left you," writes Oprah and cheer up, Oprah! It's going to be okay! You have your dogs and your electric bike even if people aren't watching your new tv channel. And in the meantime, whoo! these are some expensive boxes! They're also in the luridly slimy frog green colour that Oprah apparently loves and I do not.

Back Home Pajamas Set - $160 - "The satiny pima cotton feels like you're wearing nothing," writes Oprah, which isn't as reassuring as she might hope. I like my pajamas to feel like pajamas. I don't want to wake up in the middle of the night and have to spend valuable could-be-sleeping time trying to figure out if I am actually naked and thus needing to get up and put ON pajamas, because only hippies and communists sleep nudely. As far as pajamas go, they're all right. I find cotton pajamas chilly and they're way out of my price range.

Lancer Skin Care Luxury Face Care Collection Set - $250 "Merry Christmas, honey! I've been noticing that you're very very old and wrinkly."

Earth Balance Coconut And Peanut Spread Gift Pack - $15 And here we have a nice inexpensive gift for MY WORST ENEMY TO GIVE ME! it's gluten free AND vegan, as though those are positive qualities in a Christmas gift. Okay. My allergies aside (I have SEVERE coconut allergies), this gift pack also comes with a cookie cutter, recipe card and bamboo spreader so it would probably be good for the very nutritionally worried person on your gift list. It's fairly cutely packaged, too, so I've decided this would be a dandy gift for the nutritionally fretful person that you only want to spend $15 on.

Wakaya Perfection Organic Ginger Powder - $24. "If I blindfolded you," writes Oprah, "you'd swear this organic ginger powder from Fiji was just grated off the root." MOM! OPRAH IS THREATENING TO BLINDFOLD ME AND FEED ME GINGER POWDER AGAIN! The website says that this is a "30 Day supply" of ginger, which is making me look askance - what are people doing with ALL THAT GINGER?

56 Count Box of Artisinal Pigs In Blankets with 2 Dips - $68 for Oprah readers. Despite the fact that this DOES sound delicious - I AM SO HUNGRY - it is also a lot of money for pigs in blankets. I'd still eat them, do NOT get me wrong.

Pipcorn Holiday Crate - $88. For four bags of "pipcorn" which is a hullless variety of popcorn, apparently, and PEOPLE PAY $88 FOR FOUR BAGS OF POPCORN THIS PLANET IS AMAZING! I love it here. People are NUTS. And M got bored and wandered off to make guacamole, which cost us maybe $1, but we'll sell it to you for $50 because PEOPLE WILL PAY ANYTHING FOR ANYTHING.

Mel and Rose Wine Spirits Moscow Mule Kit - $131. "I suggest drinking at least two when you're at Yosemite trying to pitch a tent in the rain with Gayle King," writes Oprah, and doesn't that sound like fun? I'd like to go boozy camping in Yosemite with Oprah and Gayle. Not mentioned: Steadman. If someone gave me this for Christmas, I would be their best friend FOREVER. I'm still not giving it to anyone, though.

A blue velvet cake. $34 for Oprah readers. Gayle picked this - and then had to work it off on the elliptical machine mentioned earlier - but I find it off-putting, like something out of Dr. Seuss. Still, I'm sure it's TASTY and I wish someone would buy ME a cake. I LOVE CAKE. Would I eat blue cake? YES I WOULD.

Bellocq Tea Arelier Chai Gift Set - WAS $85 but Oprah readers can get it for $68 and I am BOGGLED by this. THIS TEA IS MADE OF GOLD, PEOPLE! IT WILL MAKE YOU LIVE FOREVER! (As a nice aside: they are donating 10% of sales to the American Red Cross, which is good of them.)

Trio Jam Pack - $29 for Oprah readers. This is fine. Homemade jam is a splendid gift and if you've made jam and the recipient does not appreciate it, DROP THEM AT ONCE. RIGHT THERE.

Casa Dragones Sipping Tequila - $275. While doing last year's list, I learned that sipping tequila is a THING and that I have been missing out on this thing, so I got some for a friend's birthday and then made her sip it with me. "Oh, this is nice," the poor woman said. "Like a really fine, smooth gasoline." This bottle of tequila is REALLY expensive!

Dark Secret Chocolate 30 Day Box Set - $54 for Oprah readers - Hrm. 2 little dark chocolates to be healthily doled out every day for a month. It's okay, I guess? I prefer my chocolate to come in luxurious truffle form, to be eaten in bed as I read my new stack of Christmas detective novels in my new pajamas that ABSOLUTELY feel like pajamas, but maybe this would be a nice treat for someone who likes to approach food in a rational, clinical fashion.

Milagro Select Barrel Reserve Silver Tequila - $52. More tequila! This one is less heart-breakingly expensive.

Sabatino and Co. Truffle Oils, Truffles, Truffle Slicer - $28 to $80. "Lisa Marie Presley sent me a truffle basket five Christmases ago, and it was a revelation," writes Oprah, dropping her 7th or 8th name. The rich are very different than you and I. They send each other truffle gift baskets.From this point on, all food products go in a strange truffle-y direction.

Trufa Secra Cured Meat Gift Set - $50. This is my dad's favorite. Nice knife, nice cutting board, some cured meat - "This is a STEAL!" - my dad says. You may safely buy it for me as well.

Cypress Grove Chevre - $15.50 for Oprah readers. This chevre has truffle flavours, which almost certainly means that it's going to wildly appeal to some people and revolt the rest. I think this is a fine gift but M gagged at THE VERY THOUGHT OF GOAT CHEESE. Oh hush, child! It's delicious! "It tastes like dirt," she said, "SWEATY DIRT." I think we know what Santa's bringing THIS year!

Tarfuflanghe Truffle Pasta - $6.50 to $22 for Oprah readers. Um, I guess? Maybe?

Truffle Butter - $17 to $31 for Oprah readers. I have no clue. I've never eaten a truffle, so I have no idea if I think this is a splendid luxurious idea or a big tub of grody ickiness.

The only person besides Oprah to have their own list this year is Adam Glassman. Luckily, his list was pretty dandy.
For The Label Queen
Lela Rose for Target + Neiman Marcus Dress - $100. This is a very pretty, flattering-looking dress. I actually would like it very much.

Tracy Reese for Target + Neiman Marcus Plates - $40 - Do I want these? No I do not. These are the sort of grown-up decorate-y sort of things that make me realize how inadequate I am as an adult because I just think "BORING!" and move briskly on.

Brian Atwood for Target + Neiman Marcus Gloves - $50 and I am sensing a trend here. I also don't like gloves. They don't keep my hands warm enough. Me + Mittens = BFF.

Oscar de la Renta for Target + Neiman Marcus Tote - $60 - I don't want this but that doesn't mean that it's BAD. It's fine enough as a thing, I GUESS. Meanwhile, my winter coat pockets are stuffed full of kleenex and my keys and my mitts and I look like a goof, so why would you go by my judgement?

For The Indie Spirit
I'm all about... journals - $16 to $20. While I don't know what I'm all about ("Having frequent colds" and "Sulking" were strangely absent) this would be all right for the thoughtful teen on your list.

May28th Customizable InstaWatch - $44. Make watches from your Instagram photos! I seem to know a lot of people who send me bad Instagrammed pictures of what they're eating for supper. I'm going to make them watches from THOSE pictures (no.).

Wantful Gift Book $30 and up. Huh. This is sort of weird. You answer a visual questionnaire about the person you want to get a present for and they make a pretty 12-item printed catalog for them. Then they pick out the one thing that they want and the Wantful people wrap it and send it to them. There's a range of price choices and it's an interesting idea, at least.

Liz Claiborne Gold-Plated Initial Bangle - $20 - Are you very, VERY keen on your initial? I'm not - I can't even decide if I should go with B (the obvious choice) or R (MY ACTUAL INITIAL). This is a pretty-enough object, if your recipient likes jewelry AND it's not expensive, either.

For the Creative Kid
Unlike Oprah, Adam Glassman does not live in a child-free world and his list has some sensible, pleasant ideas for ACTUAL CHILDREN:

Emi-Jay Hair Tie Ornament - $37. At first, I thought WTF IS THIS? It's a clear ball filled with beige hair-ties and headbands... and then I went to the site and found out that the collection was made by a) two teenagers and b) proceeds go to a variety of worthy charities and now I feel BAD for my initial reaction. I don't find the COLOURS of the hair accessories in this ornament that attractive, but if you poke around the website, you can find lots of pretty, reasonably priced hair things that actually WOULD make a nice stocking stuffer/small gift for the girl/young woman on your shopping list. So that was a nice surprise as I grouched around this morning.

Empress Arts Crayon Set - $15. Cute and not crazy expensive. My 7 year old thought this was a dandy gift.

Money Scholar Bank $38 - Again, a fairly spiffy item - a bank that looks like 4 surfboards, to help kids learn to budget for spending, investing, saving and giving. The website has different banks, too, if your kid doesn't like surfing.  The only problem with them that I can see is that as a Canadian, some of our coins wouldn't fit - but it's a fine idea.

Kid Made Modern Art Toolbox - $27 (I linked to a similar item). - This is fun. Either of my daughters would love to get this, and they're 13 and 7. Collections of art supplies are a good idea for artsy kids.

For the Stylish Man
Graphic Image Monogrammed Box of Cuff Links - $85 - Boy. This is boring. I GUESS someplace out there, there is a dapper man who is like "NO WAY THIS IS AMAZING!" in which case, please get this for him.

Natural Designs Woodturning Birch Pens - $37 each - These are fine if you need to get a gift for a corporate boss-type, maybe? It's a lovely item, at least.

Sid Mashburn Pocket Squares - $45 each - $45! I had the weird experience of listening to my mom trying to explain to my dad what these were used for. He still didn't get it.

Victrinox Swiss Army Knife - $24. I DO like Swiss Army Knives. They are fun AND handy and sort of imply that the gift recipient is a rugged, adventurous manly man who might at ANY TIME need a corkscrew or the ability to cut open packaging. My dad also approves of this gift, unlike the 3 proceeding it, which just made him stare in nameless horror and dread that someone might GIVE THOSE TO HIM FOR CHRISTMAS.

For The Fun Seeker
Purple Old Navy Toggle Coat - $40 (but it's actually on sale for $29 when I looked at.) Absolutely fine. I'd like a purple coat with toggles, because a) purple is my favorite colour and b) I love toggles but IT IS NOT AVAILABLE ON THE CANADIAN OLD NAVY WEBSITE. Why NOT, Old Navy?

Axwell USA Lucky Dice - $70 - I can't even imagine a life where someone would WANT these.

Talking Heads: The Vent Have Portraits - $75. An art book of portraits of ventriloquist dummies. "No. NO. BAD," said M, who is terrified of ventriloquist dummies. ABSOLUTELY PETRIFIED OF THEM! And I'm sorry, but I have no opinion on the book because I'm too busy giggling at M, who is still ranting about dummies in the next room. Hee! Between this and the goat cheese, M is going to have A Very Special Christmas.

Reebok Sneakers - $100  - Running shoes. Um. They're fine.

For the Luxury Lover
Mia Flats - $70 - Shoes are such a weird thing to suggest getting someone for a gift because shoe sizes vary so much and shoes are so oddly personal. I wouldn't do it. Also, these shoes have some sort of glittery outbreak and I don't like them.

Meridith Marks Earrings - $450 - Expensive diamond earringzzzzzzz.

Napa Cakes Panforte Fruit And Nut Cakes - $15 to $125 - GROSS. CAKE WITH NUTS IN IT. Way to ruin my holidays, Adam Glassman.

Fabulous Furs Faux Fur Ice Scraper - $25
This is really, really ugly, like a small gross furry vermin animal - the kind of thing you'd pay someone to get OUT FROM UNDER YOUR PORCH - with a weird beak-y protuberance. Shudder. However, I DO find non-vermin-looking mitten/ice scraper combinations a sensible gift for people who live in cold climates. I've seen them at Canadian Tire and Mark's Work Warehouse for under $15 - they're probably available lots of other places, too.

O's 2012 Beauty Gift Guide
And we're back to Oprah! This is mostly perfumes with a few expensive other odds and ends and one big exception that M and I REALLY REALLY want.
Padlock Perfume Natural Spray - $99 - The same rant about perfume I said earlier on in the page applies here. TRY IT OUT FIRST! The padlock perfume bottle is really pretty, at least.

Polaris Holiday Set - $85 - Man perfume. I realize that it's generally harder to drag a guy to the cosmetic counter and spray him with colognes, so sometimes yes, one must guess. That's what I do with MY husband, with mixed success.

Houbigant Paris Orangers en Fleurs Eau de Parfum - $180. Another perfume! This one has the virtue of coming in $600 versions, which I find BREATHTAKINGLY expensive. That's a lot of money!

Laura Mercier Lip Lacquer in Laque Rouge - $24 and Illuminating Eye Colour in Gilded Moonlight - $24
Yes to both of these for me, please. I like them. Otherwise... uh.. does your recipient wear makeup? If not, don't get them a bright red lipstick. Get them a tinted lip balm.

Perlier Honey Miel Shower and Bath Cream - $30 - Oh sure. This is nice. Expensive enough that it feels like a luxurious gift without being so expensive that your recipient would feel guilty, and honey shower gel SOUNDS pretty, too.

Sugar Soiree Mini Lip Collection - $65. If this wasn't $65 for 8 MINIATURE lip balms, I would think this was dandy. But it is and I don't. Too much money.

Jaboneria Marianella Moisturizing Milk Bars - $14 each. Expensive soaps. Have we run out of things to say about expensive soaps now? They're soap, they cost a lot of money, you either think they're fine or you're my dad and start ranting about how much perfectly serviceable Ivory Soap costs, the end.

 Violight Rockee Toothbrush - $15 - WAIT! There IS something on the Oprah list for kids - a TOOTHBRUSH! HOORAY, YOU LUCKY CHILDREN! This one balances, Weeble Wobble-style, on its butt, which is... okay. Santa tends to buy fun electric toothbrushes on sale and use those as stocking stuffers, so I have no moral ground here. Or Santa doesn't. Take your pick.

Sephora Colour Daze Blockbuster - $50 (or $60 in Canada) - I'm linking to the Canadian one for ease of shopping for Bill, ahem COUGH COUGH M AND I WOULD LIKE THIS FOR CHRISTMAS.


What would YOU want from this list? I'd pick out the bowls, the makeup set and the bed, thanks, while my dad wants the sausage set and the goat cheese, N wants the kid art sets and M wants the big makeup set and NOTHING else. And finally: I hope you enjoyed this year's list - please let me know if you did!

And now I am DONE writing about Oprah for a solid year, HOOOOORAAAAY!


  1. I'm sorry that this post stresses you out, and I hope I don't add to that stress by telling you that I love love love seeing it pop up in Google Reader every year. So fun! I enjoyed the additions by M and your dad, too. I hope you have a lovely Christmas!

    1. Thanks so much! The same to you and your family!

  2. It's the most wonderful time of the year! This post, I mean. I love it so . . . I'm sorry it stresses you out. Your sacrifice to bring me Christmas cheer is hereby noted. Thank you, thank you. That blue cake DOES seem very Seuss-like, it's not just you.

    1. It's not any of my readers that brings the stress so please don't worry about it! I've had some weird responses from people MENTIONED in the Oprah posts in past years, hence the stress.

  3. This was a pile of work, so thank you. Love the guest commentary from your dad and M, so thank them, too.

    Let's see now... Oprah's lists tend to be very food-oriented, because she's always on a diet or changing her lifestyle or living her best life or some damn thing, and so when given free rein she goes straight for booze and truffles.

    I made a cake a lot like that blue one for my kid's 4th birthday. I did not realize I was missing out on a massive marketing opportunity.

    The wine chiller is very cool, and I would love to get one, actually. I went to their website and it has a message telling us all to be patient because Oprah readers have overloaded the site. So maybe I'll get one for my birthday or something.

    1. Thanks, Hannah! I noticed that the Selections from Museums of Canada had the wine icicle thing:

  4. You make me laugh out loud! (or at least snicker quietly to myself.)

    Also, I agree with your daughter that the "art book" (I hesitate to call it art) of dummies looks TERRIFYING.

    I disagree with her about goat cheese, though. You could get me goat cheese, and I'd be happy.

    1. The dummies art book looks SO terrifying that if it wasn't $70, I'd get it for Bill.
      You and me both about the goat cheese. THAT IS GOOD STUFF.

  5. Comment number one (because I have to go put my kids to bed and do laundry and this post is so magnificent I refuse to rush through it so I'm leaving the rest for tomorrow: I love M. And your Dad with his love for seasonal decorated candles. And you. And the sublime ridiculousness of this list. How I wish I could air-drop one of those mattresses onto your front lawn on Christmas day.

    1. Aw, thanks! It would probably land in about three feet of snow, the way we're going. xo

  6. I went out and BOUGHT this magazine today in anticipation. I will say this: those tea/coffee bowls are adorable. I want! However that CAKE. OMG THAT CAKE. I just thought - how much food colouring is used to get that colour? It must be a lot. And I'm not hugely opposed to food colouring or anything, but icky. ICKY ICKY ICKY. I can almost taste the food colouring just looking at it. I could never eat it.

    The coconut/peanut spread though - I could deal with that. Plus it comes with a whole bunch of stuff!

    Lipsticks and nail polishes are the weirdest gift. For me, anyway. I have a thing about trying on my lipstick. And I only ever wear two shades of polish: one for pedi, one for mani.

    Truth: I kind of love Adam Glassman. Whenever I get an O mag, his is the first thing I look at. I like that the daily small 100-calorie 67% cocoa was HIS FIND.

    Those pajamas are alarmingly expensive. I like the kind from Sears, and I usually get some with teddy bears or stars or Snoopy on them. Because I'm all grown up like that, and I let my kids pick them out.


    I have more to say, but I will have to say it later. xo

    Thanks for the fun post!

    1. Agreed! Blue food coloring (and red) taste the WORST! Blech!

    2. N pointed out that the yellow tea/coffee bowl looked like an egg, which is pretty cheerful.
      Red velvet cake tastes like food colouring, so you are probably right that the blue velvet cake would, too.
      Can't wait to hear more!

  7. I'm pinning the corksicle, because I can see for my sister, that making a great gift with a bottle of wine.

    And for me - you know that set of Sugar lip balms? I wear that stuff instead of lipstick because it comes in really pretty tints, and if someone wanted to spend $65 giving me that set, I would not complain, because they are really very nice. Would I spend it myself? Not so likely.

    1. Did you see that I linked to a Canadian source for the Corkscicle in the comments? Apparently the American site is DOWN because of Oprah.
      Those Sugar lip balms look GORGEOUS. They're SO much money, though.

  8. I laughed! I almost cried! I think you have outdone yourself again beck.
    I think I want the naked PJs.
    I was undecided about whether to read your post or the mag first. Reading this first was clearly the right decision.

    1. The naked PJs ARE pretty nice but geesh! they're expensive!
      Thanks so much!

  9. It's the time of year when we all fall in love with Beck and her list all over agian! And now with M! And her dad!
    You've really outdone yourself. I loved picturing your dad with his horrified look at getting a pocket square. !!! Haha!

    1. I don't know if he'd look horrified so much as puzzled and bewildered and then sad. So so sad.

  10. So, let me get this straight...the arty pic of Frank is not for sale?

    You could probably sell enough of those to cover the cost of a lovely hunk of goat cheese with green herbs and red peppercorns on it to eat on Christmas Day. Pretty AND tasty. Especially now that my cholesterol is so high, I really look forward to the cheese plate on Christmas Day.

    1. I should totally set up a weepy etsy shop selling Frank pictures. I'M GONNA BE RICH/PATHETIC.

      Christmas goat cheese! So festive for me, so gross for my kids. (the non-goatskin kind)

    2. My children (my sister and my Gram are the only ones who had actual kids) are the sort who will always try to cadge what I'm eating and drinking, so wine and goat cheese are staples.

  11. Love this list Beck! Such good fun...I can't imagine living in a world where you give people mattresses and pigs in a blanket for Christmas!

    1. Thank you! I mostly just give adults books. If my recipient doesn't like reading, I don't even know what to DO with them.

    2. I read this as you mostly just give adult books. And I thought that was bizarre. Like maybe you were on a mission to improve the libido of all your friends and relatives. Then I realized you mean you mostly give books to adults. Which makes more sense. But is considerably less entertaining.

      I love the Oscar De La Renta tote. And I like the cuff. Although if I had it, I would probably be inclined to sing "Everyone's got a water buffalo" every time I wore it which would just be obnoxious. But I would. Have one. A water buffalo...sorry. :)

  12. I read it last night on my phone and it helped stave off a panic attack, so that was exciting. Had to read again this morning so I could look at all the things. Am stuck on the Wantful, I've fallen into the internet and I can't get up!!!

    1. I KNOW! I spent a good hour of my life playing on that site, too. I don't think I want anything from it but it certainly is TEMPTING.

  13. Okay, here's what I wanted to say: did you notice there is an awful lot of booze on this list? I like booze as much as the next person, maybe even a teensy bit more, but I think I would die if I found out someone spent $275 on tequila. It's horrifying!

    I like that your dad likes festive little candles.

    My husband got me an ice scraper mitten thingy last year, I think from Eddie Bauer for about $10, and it is way cuter than that thing.

    I showed my husband the monogrammed box with cufflinks and his comment was such that I will not put it on the internets. However, you can imagine it was disparaging both towards the cufflinks and towards Adam Glassman. He does not share my enjoyment of Adam.

    There are so many truffle related things. I had a pasta with truffles in it once; it was okay. Nothing to go bananas about, but hey, I like After Eights so my tastes might be considered pedestrian.

    1. That fur scraper was HORRIFYING. I think it was meant to be funny but it just made me recoil in disgust.

      Adam's gifts were all SO great except for the dapper guy gifts and then suddenly they veered into Boring Territory. WHY ADAM?

      After Eights are the fine chocolates of the inexpensive chocolate world. I will seriously eat them until I get sick.

  14. I read this last night then my husband came by to see why I was cackling, "Is Beck writing about Oprah? I want the next turn." And then he stole the computer before I could comment.

    I loved it all, but especially:

    "You give him to a scientific testing facility since I don't want to be taken over by smart dogs," says M. -- your kid is so funny.

    My dad - unexpected fan of the festively illustrated seasonal candle. -- he is true renaissance man.

    Between this and the goat cheese, M is going to have A Very Special Christmas. -- so much worse than coal.

    ...what are people doing with ALL THAT GINGER? -- Answer; those people are my husband and he is putting it in all the foods that I eat. I have hit maximum ginger saturation.

    But by far the best was I like my pajamas to feel like pajamas. I don't want to wake up in the middle of the night and have to spend valuable could-be-sleeping time trying to figure out if I am actually naked and thus needing to get up and put ON pajamas, because only hippies and communists sleep nudely.

    As to the rude assholes who didn't like last years post, they can shut up. Teh Oprah had some good ideas last year. Snark for the sake of snark is not necessary, people. Sincerity is like a nice sorbet. I'm not sure what to make of companies who complain because you write this post. I saw a CBC documentary on how hard companies vie to get their wares in front of Teh Oprah and how much they profit. It's sour grapes. Which btw, is probably what poor neglected Steadman is getting for Xmas. The poor bastard didn't even warrant a single name dropping. What the hell?


      And yes, poor Steadman. I bet he's getting a box of monogrammed cufflinks for Christmas, if remembered.

  15. I feel oh so blissful now that I've finished your post! The additions of M and your Dad were fantastic. I can't wait to hear about M's very special Christmas, and your adventures wearing nudey pjs that keep you up all night wondering if you need to put something a little more on. Thank you!

  16. This seems like an even longer list of stuff than usual. She really went all out this year!

    I'm afraid most of the stuff is way out of my league...and the stuff that's in my league doesn't necessarily appeal to me.

    Not sure I would want to eat the turquoise cake!


  17. I'm ready for Christmas now that I've read your post! I do sorta love that dress and the Oscar de la Renta tote. And it's a decent price. Although I'd probably love the mattress I find it odd being on a Christmas list.

    M cracks me up. I can see her taking over this post in the future. :v)

  18. Hopped over here from Suburban Correspondent. Thank you for making my morning; this was absolutely hilarious. And as for blue cake, not in a box or with a fox, in the rain or on a train.

  19. The green of those boxes is indeed slimily ugly.

    Unless your skin has mother-of-pearl buttons, those pajamas can't feel like you're wearing nothing. If your skin has mother-of-pearl buttons, you have bigger problems than your pajamas feeling too much like you're wearing stuff.

    Artisanal pigs in blankets? What the actual fuck? If they're artisanal, THEY ARE NO LONGER PIGS IN BLANKETS.

    I can't comment any more. I'm busy having a truffle revelation.

    1. My husband said the same thing about the artisanal pigs. Good to know if he ever leaves me I can marry you, A.

    2. You know I'm yours for the taking, clara.

  20. Oh my goodness. I had to wait to read until today, because I knew I would want to give it the proper amount of time.
    I thought that bracelet was lovely and something I would really like to receive til I read about animal bones. No thank you.
    I wouldn't be opposed to someone buying me an expensive mattress for Christmas, but how odd. I've never heard of such a gift.
    I'm totally with you on the pajamas. I want to be warm. I would like soft pajamas, but not naked-feeling pajamas. If you want to feel naked, why not just sleep naked? Personally, I couldn't bring myself to do that. I have children. They climb into my bed in the morning. Surprise! Mama's naked! But I promise to put my former pajama fund toward your future therapy fund!
    I will skip all the tequila and stick with my $6 bottle of wine.
    Who buys other people shoes? Don't you need to try them on? I buy running shoes a size larger than my regular shoes. And then I don't run.
    I have asked for that Sephora kit before. Alas, I have not received it. It's probably for the best since I don't really go anywhere anyway.
    Thank you for making me laugh til I cried.

  21. this post, beck, is why i love you. well there are other things that make me love you, too, but this annual post is AMAZING!

  22. Not many things make me laugh actually out loud but this did it. Holy pigs in blankets. Your Dad loving the candles...M's interjections...your own judicious use of caps and's all just a laugh riot. Also, hull-less popcorn. Wut?

  23. OH MY. Once again you are sarcastic perfection. And as a someone new to makeup wearing with 1 shade of eye shadow, I REALLY want that sephora thingy. But since my husband has a fear of me turning into Mimi I will not get it. Oh well.
    Thank you for writing this. And thanks to your very funny elves.