As Cyber Monday deals roll into town, we’d like to point out that the cost — or lack thereof — isn’t nearly as important as picking something cool for your loved ones. And there are plenty of affordable-yet-awesome gifts for you to find online or elsewhere, even if they won’t be getting a “Cyber Monday” deal. Here is a list of a dozen really neat things that the staff here at Osmosis heartily endorses (or wants themselves!). One for each day of Christmas — or each night of Hanukah plus leftovers.
THE OSMOSIS ONLINE HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE, 2009
A new pro wrestling tour just getting off the ground, all we’ve seen thus far from Masked Republic is merchandise. Good thing we’re here for the shopping! Even non-wrestling fans should dig these awesome shirts, like the ‘Blue Demon Jr.’ one. So. Cool. And if there’s a pro wrestling fan — particularly a fan of the luchador-style wrestling — then you must check out this site’s merchandise. Act quickly for a special deal — the organization’s logo-bearing T-shirt is a mere $10 until Dec. 15. And any order before then gives you a chance to win a signed mask from Rey Misterio. Visit: www.maskedrepublic.com/store/
2. Despair.com Calendars
Our star “Dish-Interested” columnist, Ms. Milla G, recommends the despair.com calendar.
“It’s rad and perfectly cynical,” says she. Check it out at www.despair.com
I first met Lisa Diamond, proprietor of Destination Dinners, years ago, about a month after she launched the exotic, snappy-looking dinner kits. Each one contains directions and the non-perishable ingredients you’ll need to create an adventure at home. The company has grown, as have the available products, but the central theme remains: this is a great, fun, affordable gift. And it’s environmentally friendly to boot — biodegradable dinnerware, anyone? Visit destinationdinners.com
Our very first advertiser here on Double-O, we heartily endorse checking out Arouse Coffee for some finely roasted product paired with rather titillating extras. Our contact at the company tells Osmosis: “We are doing a holiday gift pack for Arouse — a mug, wife-beater tank white, and a bag of holiday blend beans.” Ah, a sense of humor in a cup. What better gift or stocking stuffer could there be? Arousecoffee.com
5. Protect those hands (Wokka Wokka CHOMP)
Contributor Heather Nisen (no relation) says she got a lot of great things at Fred Flare, an online store with loads of unusual gifts. These are some of her favorites, in her own words..
“PAC-MAN FEVER is keeping your hands from burning. This mitt is the most fun way to take your cookies out of the oven. Check it out!” (pictured up top)
6. Who needs Leonardo DiCaprio?
“I like my gin and tonics cold. Iceberg cold. Up the whimsy by adding a Titanic-shaped ice cube to your drink. Also makes you feel like a giant.”
7. This book belongs to . . . me, you putz
“I love my books enough to let others borrow them sometimes. How can I be sure they are returned without seeming like a stalker? Check out this label kit.”
8. Two of my favorite things: Costco and kids!
Another suggestion from H. K. Nisen: “Remember the commercials for those cars for kids? Jeeps and such that ran on batteries? This isn’t that. It’s the much cooler, greener option that is surprisingly affordable!” PlasmaCar
9. Wine Aerator
Submitted by our crafty contributor Rachel Fisher, this product is available for both red and white wine. This makes every glass taste like you have been decanting for more than an hour even though the wine is fresh out of the bottle. Try doing a taste test with your favorite vino and feel free to experiment with wine you fear may be barely drinkable. It’s an investment that pays for itself over and over again. Find it at Bed, Bath and Beyond.
10. Cookie Scoops
Another from Mrs. Fisher, she calls it “a great little gift.” It replaces the two-teaspoon technique and makes a batch of uniform cookies. You can give this with a dry mix of cookie ingredients. Find a cookie recipe online (sugar cookie, chocolate chocolate chip, whatever). Layer the dry ingredients in a mason jar or in a cellophane bag from Oriental Trading Company, tied with a ribbon . Then tie on the cookie scoop in teaspoon or tablespoon sizes. Find cookie scoops at Target.
Rachel says this is “perfect for the guy or gal who refuses to compromise on the quality of his or her tea, but is always on the go.” The Bodum models are sleek and surprisingly reasonably priced at $10 and up. Splurge on Rishi’s Green Mint Tea while you’re at it.
12. Kaena Wine
Located a hop and a skip OO Headquarters, over yonder in California’s lush Santa Ynez Valley, our friends at Kaena Wine Company put out some spectacular product.
Kaena, the Hawaiian name of island-born proprietor Mike Sigouin, translates to “potential for greatness.” Every year, Kaena fulfills that potential with wines for every palate. Check out a full list of what’s available here.