December 20, 2011

The Best Gifts of the Season Give Back in Different Ways

Four shopping days till Christmas and there's apparently a kabillion last-minute shoppers afoot. Lucky for them, the Goddess' top 2 Holiday Gift Ideas are guaranteed to please and easy to acquire, right down to Christmas Eve.

2011 Holiday Gift Idea #2: A Gift That Gives a Gift
At Outreach International, $75 will buy a toilet/latrine somewhere in the world where it's badly needed. This is a stand-out gift for sure. Smaller amounts of money still make transformative gifts. Just $35 will purchase honeybees from Heifer International or a fruit tree from Oxfam America.
If you'd prefer to keep your giving local, the answer is at JustGive.org. Create a GiveNow gift card in any amount (email it, print a hard copy or have it sent by
U.S.Mail). The donation can be earmarked for any of more than 1.8 million nonprofits listed with GuideStar.

2011 Holiday Gift Idea #1: Tablet Time
If you can afford to give a tablet computer to your most special someone, by all means, do it! King of the Hill, no surprise, is the Apple iPad (left). Period. An iPad is legal pad, e-book reader, movie player, music player, calculator, gateway to the Internet, game station and so very much more. If you're talkin' iPad2, you're looking to spend at least $500.

But, here's the wicked truth: Categorically speaking, almost everything that an iPad can do, you can find on far less expensive toys. Amazon's new Kindle Fire (right) and the Nook Color (left) from Barnes & Noble are pretty sweet for $199.00. Seven-inch, full-color screens deliver a world of entertainment and, via the Internet, the entire world. Apps, wi-fi, email, games, customization -- it's all there.

I nabbed some hands-on experience with the Fire recently and thereby proclaimed it officially desirable. If you find it difficult to choose, search for head-to-head comparisons online. It may help to know what your gift recipient will use the tablet for the most because the brownie points slide a bit when you're evaluating for e-reading, watching movies or playing games.

Gifts aside, know that the Goddess wishes you and yours good tidings and good health throughout this festive season as we approach another New Year.

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