Christmas gift buying guide

The year 2005 is drawing to a close, which means that the Christmas season is upon us once again. And that means a lot of holiday shopping, at least for most people.

Regardless of whether you are looking for the perfect gift for a couple, girlfriend, mother, father, son, daughter, cat, etc., it should be noted that each year has its trends, especially among children — Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles , He-Man, Cabbage Patch Dolls, etc. In more recent times, of course, technology seems to be the key to the perfect Christmas gift.

But whether you’re the type to give your loved one a clip or an SUV, the following list is an attempt to ease the stress of holiday shopping for the typical American. The following gift suggestions are pretty random, in fact; some are popular, even “in”; others just aren’t. Either way, happy holidays, and shop safely.

  • Buy a bookworm? Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold is certainly a good choice. It’s a critically acclaimed work, and for good reason. It is a novel about the life and adventures of a vaudeville-era magician, Charles Carter, also known as Carter the Great. A considerable volume, it is packed to the brim with a variety of three-dimensional characters, fictional and real; the incorporation of historical figures into the prose (think Harry Houdini and even President Warren G. Harding) only serves to tighten the book’s grip on the reader’s attention span. “One of the best seasonal reads of the last decade…a one-read wonder, closer in tone to a highbrow Indiana Jones adventure, but far more satisfying.” –Austin Chronicle
  • Dar Ali G is lucky! Maybe you’re buying a young one, one that’s 18+ preferably, just to be safe. If that’s the case, and you don’t mind subjecting other people to a bit of profanity, then you should at least consider buying Da Ali G Show: The Complete Seasons, 1 and 2 on DVD. It’s arguably one of the funniest TV shows to come out of the UK and HBO in recent years. It features actor Sacha Baron Cohen and the trio of characters he plays, most notably the character Ali G, a Caucasian wannabe “gangsta” from England who travels to the United States to conduct interviews with celebrities and politicians (including: Ralph Nader , Newt Gingrich and Pat Buchanan). Ali G asks some of the dumbest questions you’ll ever hear come out of someone’s mouth, and the DVD itself contains some fun extras, such as an “Ali G slang glossary” (What are you talking about? =? What are you talking about? about?). Everything has to be seen to be believed.
  • One of the most popular, and therefore obvious, gift ideas for any age group: an Apple iPod. Unfortunately, though, iPods tend to cost around $250, depending on where they’re sold, and that can be unaffordable for some families. The good news is that for half the cost you can buy what’s called an iPod Shuffle. Sure, it doesn’t have as many songs as the regular device (240 tracks for the Shuffle, 5000 for Apple’s 20GB iPod M9282LL/A), but it’s still a worthwhile investment or gift, and you save a lot of money, too.
  • Give your grandmother the gift that keeps on giving… the bad guys more than they bargained for. Especially around the holidays, it’s not uncommon to hear an increase in robberies, muggings, bag snatching, etc. Perhaps you have a friend or relative who could benefit from a gift that will come in handy in the event of a criminal attack. There are many examples, ranging from a 100,000 volt Panther stun gun for just under $20, to the Advanced Laser Taser available for around $600.
  • and for the children The highly anticipated film adaptation of CS Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe has just hit theaters across the country. And while it won’t be coming to DVD anytime soon, the entire Narnia series is available in audiobook format, in its entirety. The Chronicles of Narnia CD Box Set can be found in bookstores for around $75. And for those of you with a certain fondness for actor Kenneth Branagh, well, the entire set is narrated by Kenneth Branagh.
  • Random, in fact. Even if those suggestions didn’t really appeal to him at all, we hope they’ll at least inspire some gift ideas of his own. Shopping for Christmas gifts should be fun, and with a little imagination it can be.

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