Donít Get Holidazed!

Holiday Gift Guide 2001

Oh, the weather outside is frightful. Well it isn't really. It's actually quite nice. Blinding sunny skies, a slight nip in the air. Nice, right? But don't be fooled. Our balmy climate is one of the main obstacles to celebrating Christmas in South Florida. It just doesn't feel very Christmasy. In fact, the tempting temperatures make the prospect of laying on the beach and soaking up rays much more enticing than traipsing around a mobbed shopping mall.

Another petty annoyance about Christmas? Buying all those presents. Get over it already: There is no Santa Claus. No fat guy in a red suit is going to do all the dirty work for you. You're an adult, start acting like one and assume a little responsibility. First you have to figure out who you're going to spend your hard-earned cash on. You must determine where you'll shop. Worst of all, you have to decide what to buy for everyone! Can you say stressed-out? And you haven't even had your first taste of mall madness!

That's why we give you an early holiday gift: Wrappin'. It's our mission to help you arm yourself, not with guns but with information. What to buy, how much it may cost, where to get it. It's all here for you in a handy-dandy format. Read it. Use it. You just may make it through yet another crazy Christmas -- with a tan.

Mark Poutenis
Mark Poutenis

Beleaguered Worker
Workin' 9 to 5, what a way to make a living. Time to make the donuts. Back to the grind. My boss is an ass*ole. I don't wanna work, I wanna bang on the drum all day. The computer guy is a communist. They read my emails. I hate my job. I want to quit. My coworkers are conspiring against me. Heard enough from your overworked, overwhelmed workaholic? Since quitting isn't an option for them, convince the corporate slave that, besides Prozac, the Office Voodoo Kit is the path to peace in the office, giving new meaning to the concept of being pinned down.
$9.95, Pink Palm Company,
737 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach,

Dear Ol' Dad
As kids you and your siblings were ballbusters. You nearly drove your parents completely mad. When your mom said she was washing her hands of you troublemakers, dad didn't agree with her plans to ship you off to boarding school in Newark, New Jersey. Instead, he sent her off on a European shopping spree and took you guys to Disney World, saying that the only way to calm you down was to let you loose. When your mother insisted you all get jobs for the summer, dear ol' dad sent you to sleepaway camp. Now that you're adults, not much has changed. Your deadbeat brother still lives at home. He's 36. Your sister decided to drop out of Harvard in favor of clown camp. While mom's out on a week-long tour of America's outlet malls, your dad still remains the voice of reason, standing by your side with nary a word of discontent. God bless him. Isn't it time you gave dad a break? For once, let him be the ballbuster at Cal Ripken's Grapefruit League baseball fantasy camp where he'll play with--and be treated like--the pros. It's the least you can do, plus it'll lighten the blow when you tell him and mom that you're quitting your well-paying job and joining the Peace Corps.

Full-Time Mom
You know those girls in college who said they aspired to be a full-time mom? Remember how much you laughed at them? As if being a full-time office slave is any better. Life isn't like the Brady Bunch, you know. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have an Alice. Motherhood doesn't come with an instruction book either. Mothers, most of them anyway, are selfless, tireless warriors who put up with more crap--literally and figuratively--than most plumbers. If you know such a woman, it's time to sign her up for Camp Mom, a three-day getaway in the San Bernadino Mountains in Southern California for women who don't know what it's like to take time out for themselves. During the camp, mom will indulge in arts and crafts, yoga, water aerobics, self enrichment ďfeminars', fun, games and lots of R& R. The only downside: Mom may never want to come back. Can you blame her?
Camp Mom, $239,

Neo-Jet Setter
They have more frequent flier miles than they know what to do with, but for good reason: They'd rather pitch a tent in their backyard than get on a plane these days. But when wanderlust prevails, there's no Benadryl to cure the itch to explore. Don't even think about suggesting Amtrak or Greyhound to them either. It sure ain't the Concorde. But rather than endure the torture of endless whining about having to get the hell out of town, consider making a very wise--and chic--investment in an Airstream trailer, an American relic almost as iconic as Elvis. Fabulously revamped by designer Christopher Deam, the new Airstream is the Lear jet of road trips, a 16-foot silver bullet designed to shine on the open road, even if it happens to be located on some gritty, dusty one in the middle of nowhere. There's a reason they call these things land yachts.
$25,000, 937-596-6111,

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