GIFT IDEAS:

Gifting and Saving

Savy Shopping Gift Cards

Inspired Gifts Give Back

Elizabeth Taylor's White Diamonds

Musical Instruments

Tech Toys

Gift Baskets

Fabulous Gifts for Less

Smart Holiday Shopping

(NAPSI)—Holiday shopping can be a breeze-with or without the assistance of Santa’s little helpers. This year, more than ever, people are looking for ways to get the best value out of their holiday budget. Don’t have a posse of elves on hand to help find the best deals? That’s OK. With a little know-how, shopping this holiday season can be as easy as one, two, three (or ho-ho-ho).

• Make a List. Now Check It Twice: Create your list and begin your hunt for the best deal. Have a favorite place to shop? Some retailers offer price matching, which means you can shop where you want and be confident you are getting the best value.

• Sweat the Small Stuff: Much of holiday gift giving focuses on big-ticket items but sometimes the best gifts come in a small package. Don’t forget about those great gifts that are $25 or less. If you’re still stumped, opt for a gift card.

• Give Yourself the Gift of Convenience: Let’s face it, the holidays can be stressful and expensive. So why not cut a few corners? Look for free online shipping and easy return options. Some stores let you order online and pick up your order the same day in-store. These offerings can make a lot of difference, especially if you are a last-minute shopper.

• Gifting and Saving: Holiday shopping on a budget doesn’t mean missing out on great gifts for everyone on your list. A store like Best Buy prides itself on having the season’s hottest selection of gifts that will bring smiles to your friends and family, while keeping your budget intact. Great gifts under $100 include:

• Rocketfish Mobile In-Ear Headphones

• Sprint HTC EVO Design 4G Mobile Phone

•Sportline Step and Distance Pedometer

• Madden NFL 12 for XBOX

•Griffin Technology Crayola ColorStudio HD for Apple iPad and iPad 2

• Kodak PlayFull Waterproof HD Pocket Camcorder

• Gear4 Angry Birds Apple iPad 2 Case

• Hello Kitty Over-the-Ear DJ Headphones

• Amazon Kindle Touch

• DeLonghi Pump Espresso Maker.

One last tip: Always buy a few small gifts just in case someone drops by unannounced or gives you a gift you did not expect.

Now, take a deep breath and a giant sip of eggnog, because you are ready to tackle your holiday list.

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Savvy Shopping

(NAPSI)—For the holidays and any gift-giving occasion, an increasing number of Americans are discovering some smart ways to save. Here are two tips on how to get the most out of your gift card purchases:

• Savings are in the cards. When you get gift cards for friends and family, there can be value in it for you too with various rewards programs offered by grocery stores. Budget-conscious shoppers can find savings that range from dollars off your next purchase at the grocery store to discounts on gas.

• Stock up. When you know you have a big purchase coming, you can buy gift cards—for yourself or others—in advance and get the rewards. Gift cards are available for a broad range of popular retail stores, restaurants and sports and entertainment outlets.

• Learn more about savvy gift card shopping and share your tips at www.facebook.com/GiftCardsRock.

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Inspired Gifts That Give Back

(NAPSI)—Composing a holiday checklist can be easier with a little inspiration. Fortunately, a new collection of gifts and cards does more than offer some inspired gift choices. It can inspire real change around the world.

If you’re looking for inspiration, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF offers new holiday card and gift collections, Inspired Gifts, and products benefiting UNICEF offered by top brands. All money raised through the organization’s Gifts That Give Back program will help UNICEF reduce the number of daily, preventable deaths of children under 5.

Continuing a 60-year tradition, UNICEF’s holiday cards and gifts collection includes an array of gift ideas for men, women and children of all ages. From puzzles to home décor and scarves, a portion of sales from each item will support programs that save, protect and improve the lives of millions of children in more than 150 countries worldwide. To shop online or for more information, visit www.shopcardsandgifts.unicefusa.org.

UNICEF holiday greeting cards may also be purchased by calling (800) 553-1200, and at Pier 1 Imports, IKEA, select Hallmark Gold Crown stores and Barnes & Noble stores. Pier 1 Imports and IKEA will donate 100 percent of the purchase price of each holiday card pack, and IKEA will also donate an additional $1 per pack sold. The Pier 1 card collection will feature the winning design from this year’s Annual Pier 1 Imports/UNICEF Greeting Card Contest.

Inspired Gifts—such as Therapeutic Spread, Measles Vaccines, mosquito nets and more—can make an immediate and dramatic difference in the lives of children in need and may be purchased online at www.inspiredgifts.org.

Partner companies conducting activities supporting UNICEF this holiday season include: IKEA, Gucci, Disney by FEED Projects, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines.

Through December 24, with every purchase of IKEA’s “Soft Toys for Education” collection, including stuffed animals, finger puppets and an accompanying book, the IKEA Foundation will donate one euro (approximately $1.35) to support UNICEF and Save the Children education programs.

Since its inception in 2003, IKEA’s “Soft Toys for Education” has raised $47.5 million in support of education programs, including UNICEF’s “Schools for Africa” initiative, helping UNICEF provide 5.5 million children in 11 of Africa’s poorest countries with access to a quality education.

In celebration of Gucci’s seven-year partnership with UNICEF, which has raised over $10 million dollars, Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini has designed an updated version of the best-selling “Gucci for UNICEF” Sukey bag. Twenty-five percent of the retail price for each bag sold in Gucci stores and online through February 28 will benefit UNICEF’s “Schools for Africa” initiative. Gucci also announced a $250,000 donation in honor of its partnership with UNICEF and the release of the luxury edition tribute book Gucci: The Making Of... The latest FEED initiative benefiting UNICEF celebrates Disney’s beloved attraction through the “Disney It’s A Small World” collection, inspired by the original artwork of Mary Blair.

Items from the collection include a tote, bib, infant bodysuit and pants set, and a tee for girls and boys, available at Nordstrom stores in the U.S. and online. For each “FEED Our Small World” product purchased, FEED will make a donation to help UNICEF provide children with an entire year’s worth of vitamin A supplements.

Other supporters are helping this holiday season as well. Through January 15, 2012, for every $1 donated to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF at www.unicefusa.org/aa, American Airlines® AAdvantage® program members will earn two AAdvantage miles in return (minimum donation of $10 and maximum award of 2,000 miles per AAdvantage member). Delta Air Lines SkyMiles® members can also put their unused frequent flier miles to good use by donating them to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF at www.delta.com/skywish.

Looking for another way to give back?

• To aid children in famine and drought-affected areas of the Horn of Africa, Threadless and BBH New York have partnered with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to release a line of T-shirts entitled “Good Shirts.” Visit www.threadless.com/UNICEF.

• MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” has partnered with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF in KIND—Kids in Need of Desks-to provide tens of thousands of desks to hundreds of schools in Malawi. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org/kind.

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Scent-sational Gift Ideas

(NAPSI)—This holiday season, give a jewel of a fragrance and receive a jeweled watch to go with it—both originally designed by the legendary Elizabeth Taylor.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the award-winning White Diamonds fragrance collection reflects the deep feminine warmth and classic enduring beauty of the woman who created it. The rich, floral scent is available for the holidays in a beautiful gift set. Available at fine department stores, it includes a 3.3−fl. oz. Eau de Toilette Spray Naturel, .5−fl. oz. Eau de Parfum Spray Naturel, 3.3-oz. Perfumed Body Cream and a 3.3−fl. oz. Gentle Moisturizing Body Wash.

In addition, a beautiful gold-toned watch, designed by Elizabeth Taylor and encrusted with sparkling faux diamonds and flowers, is available free with any White Diamonds purchase of $52 or more through December. Offer is limited, one gift per customer, while supplies last.

Learn more at the White Diamonds counter at Macy’s or www.macys.com.

©2011 House of Taylor

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Striking The Right Note

(NAPSI)—When looking for a meaningful gift that provides lasting value, why not give an experience—such as learning to play a musical instrument?

In a survey conducted by Toluna Global Omnibus for the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), 58 percent of consumers regretted not learning to play a musical instrument, and 34 percent of consumers said they preferred to give loved ones gifts that offer an experience.

“The only way a retailer is going to drag consumers away from their PC or mobile phone this holiday season is by offering a compelling experience,” said Robin Lewis, CEO, The Robin Report and co-author of “The New Rules of Retail.” “Whether it’s Lululemon’s yoga classes or music lessons at their hometown music store, these are life-enriching experiences that consumers cannot get online.”

Playing an instrument does not have to break the bank. Simple musical instruments such as harmonicas, ukuleles and keyboards make great gifts, provide training for the same skills needed to play their larger counterparts, and cost less.

Visit a local music store for advice on instruments that best suit your budget and musical interests. You can find them at www.wannaplaymusic.com.

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Tech Toys Take Tradtional Playtime To New Heights

(NAPSI)—From smartphones to tablets and all things digital, today’s kids are surrounded by technology at every turn—even playtime. While kids anticipate the presence of technology in their toys, according to the Mattel Consumer Insights Group, a research arm of the leading toy company, nearly half of today’s moms wish their children engaged in more unplugged opportunities each day—more similarly to how they grew up.

While we can expect toy companies to continue to incorporate advanced engineering and design into their next generation of products to remain relevant to today’s child, there are some toys that help bridge the gap between child and parent by offering the latest tech-infused innovations to help further facilitate creative and imaginative play experience.

A few smart holiday toy picks include:

Taking wheel play to new heights, the popular Hot Wheels brand has placed a video camera inside a 1:64 scale vehicle. Hot Wheels Video Racer cars let kids become extreme sports video producers, capturing action-packed footage with their friends and then going online to create their own films with free editing software featuring preloaded music, scene transitions and more.

Generations of girls have spent hours brushing their dolls’ hair but the new Barbie Designable Hair Extensions customize hair play for the modern-day minifashionista. Children can play stylist, creating designs and custom patterns online at the free design center and then printing their creations onto special Barbie hair extensions from any ink-jet printer, which can then be worn by the girls, their friends and their favorite Barbie doll.

For smart tech fun that the whole family can enjoy, UNO Roboto introduces a new way to customize gameplay every time the family gets together. UNO Roboto allows groups to record house rules and players’ names so that UNO Roboto can jump into gameplay unannounced and keep players on their toes.

“We talk to children and parents all year long and we know moms acknowledge benefits of new technologies, but they also want kids to interact with toys and other lively activities that foster creative, social and developmental growth,” says Michael Shore, vice president of Worldwide Consumer Insights for Mattel Brands. “But the two don’t need to be mutually exclusive. Instead, look for toys that incorporate age-appropriate technologies that can enhance traditional play experiences, while providing today’s tech-savvy youth digital generation with toys that are fresh and relevant.”

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Great Giving Simplified

(NAPSI)—To make your holiday gift giving easier, consider these tips and tricks from Amy Judt of TheGift.com:

• Think outside the box. In addition to the usual stores, try an antique dealer, sewing shop or gardening supply center.

• Food for thought: Some hostess presents give twice. You can get baked goods and other items that raise money for charitable organizations. You get to present something that’s useful for the recipient and supports a cause that may be dear to his or her heart.

• Gift givers who really mean business can also look into the Business Gift options at 1800baskets.com. The Premier Chocolate Treasures Gift Trunk, for instance, is filled with a variety of Godiva, Ghirardelli and Lindt chocolate specialties—and when you order eight or more, you not only get a lower price on each, you’ll save on shipping, too. They’re handy for friends and colleagues.

• Learn more. You can find many great gift ideas online at www.thegift.com.

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Find Fabulous Gifts For Less

(NAPSI)—Here’s some holiday cheer: You can find the perfect gift for everyone on your Christmas list without paying high prices. From brand-name toys to hostess gifts from around the globe, shoppers can find them for less at off- price retailers Marshalls and T.J.Maxx.

Consider these unique gift ideas to feel good about spreading holiday cheer without breaking your budget:

• For the Fashionista: Italian leather gloves, jeweled bangle bracelets or a blue leather clutch can add a pop of color to a night out on the town. Scarves from India can help her bundle up in style and a faux fur sweater vest will make her feel cozy and trendy.

• For the Pet Lover: A reindeer pet costume can get your favorite furry friend in the holiday spirit while a plush holiday doghouse gives them a place to retreat to when the festivities come to a close.

• For Food Lovers: Gourmet food like tea and cracker sets from the U.K. can make them feel like royalty, and, for the chef in the family, try an elegant Italian gourmet food basket with pastas and oils.

• For the Hostess: Unique gifts such as serveware from India or pottery from Portugal can help make her party the highlight of the holiday season. Decadent chocolates from around the world are also tasteful for her and her guests.

• For Kids: From Mr. Potato Head to Legos and interactive books, if they want it, why not get it at up to 60 percent off toy store prices?

• For the Glam Girl: Assorted retro cosmetics can help her be the belle of the ball, while designer perfumes and must-have brand- name beauty products and tools make great stocking stuffers.

• For the Time-Conscious Teen: Fun Slap watches can help keep her on time and in fashion.

• For Him: For the tech nut, pick up a new MP3 speaker and headphone set. Spoil him with a luxurious cashmere sweater or a designer watch from those famous Rodeo Drive labels.

All these unique gifts can be found for up to 60 percent off department store prices at off-price retailers such as Marshalls and T.J.Maxx. With 10,000 new items arriving each week in each store up until Christmas Eve, there will always be an amazing selection of gifts, decor and fashion to choose from.

To find a T.J.Maxx store, visit www.tjmaxx.com. For a Marshalls store, visit www.marshallsonline.com.

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