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Home / General Travel Tips /
Christmas Guide 2003

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Christmas Guide 2003

Gifts for Comfort
by Lorry Patton
Our world is so stressful these days, this year, I am suggesting gifts that offer comfort and security. Parking won't be a problem, either, since most of these gifts can be purchased on the internet or via the telephone.
Comedy Movies:
Besides long accepting the belief that laughter releases endorphins, our body's natural pain killers, today's doctors are agreeing that laughter boosts creativity and reliefs stress. Well, nothing makes me laugh more than a funny movie. Some of my favorites, seen more than once, are "Some Like it Hot", the "Blues Brothers" and "The Gods Must be Crazy".
To purchase movies online visit these websites:
Magazines:
Choose magazines that will take your mind off current world events, such as science, history and collector magazines.
Collectors simply amaze me. They save everything from matchbooks to cars to swizzle sticks. I am not a collector, however, I enjoy perusing collector magazines on antique dolls and old jalopies.
Www.magazines.com (800.929.2691) and www.magazinetime.com (800.787.1414) offer many titles and big savings off newsstand prices.
Remote Controls:
Watching TV is one way many of us unwind. However, nothing is more frustrating than a remote control that doesn't work. Surprise the man of the house (you mean he is not in charge of the remote at your place?) with a new remote control. Search for the manufacturer online (use Google search engine) or call 800.555.1212 and ask for the toll-free number to the manufacturer. Or go to www.replacementremotes.com for a replacement. Walmart or Target sell remote controls that will run all your electronic equipment. Be aware, however, a universal remote may not allow all the features to operate on a satellite receiver. A remote control costs anywhere from $20 to $70.
Jigsaw Puzzles:
Jigsaw Puzzles are very calming. Include a 20x 20 sheet of Arborite from Home Depot (800.430.3376) or Lowe's (800.445.6937, so it can always be on display.
There are many puzzle themes to choose from at www.jigsawjungle.com (877.758.6453 ), such as New York scenes, the I Love Lucy series and a whimsical look at Ford's early automobiles. The Jigsaw Jungle shop also sells travel games that your children or your visiting grandchildren will adore, like "Are we there yet?" or the perilous plank puzzle "River Crossing."
Fictions:
Fictions are great distractions. Like magic, fictions introduce us to lovable and eccentric characters and whisk us off into mysterious locales. Mysteries are my favorites, especially ones where I know the heroine or hero wins in the end, such as classics by Agatha Christie or the more current Aunt Dimity Detective series. Visit www.bn.com (800.843.2665) for savings and many choices.
Propane Detectors:
Detectors are reassuring gifts, as they can literally save your life. Camping World carries a portable versatile model that detects LP, butane, methane and natural gas for only $29.69. (www.campingworld.com 800.568.7980) They also have a carbon monoxide detector for $ 43.16.
Radar Detectors:
Forgetting your speed is easy when your cruising down the road enjoying the scenery or busy discussing your last stop. Rest assured. Detectors will warn you if there is radar ahead or emergency vehicles on the highway. QVC has a wide variety of radar detectors, ranging from $87.12 to $329.60. Both www.QVC.com (888.345.5788) and www.HSN.com (800.933.2887) offer quality merchandise at competitive prices.
Road Service Plans:
Give a year's emergency road service with the following clubs for a year of stress-free road travel. Without emergency road service, what can be more stressful than a dead battery or worse, a breakdown and having to pay a towing bill to the nearest service station?
CB Radios:
CB's are useful gadgets. I have seen couples using the 2-way hand models to direct the driver as he or she backs a long trailer into a parking spot. Some 2-way hand models, like the Audiovox GMRS 1535 for sale at Target stores (www.target.com ) for $39.99, work within a five- mile radius, so you can take it with you when you are out walking the dog. The Uniden Mobile/Base Scanner BC350 ($99.87) is available at Walmart (www.walmart.com) This model comes with a police scanner and 20 private channels. Listening to the truckers' chatter can really help, when traffic jams are ahead or an accident takes place.
Emergency Kits:
This gift is better left unopened, however, how appreciating the recipient if there ever comes a need.
Pack a large cooler or a garbage can with bottled water (as many bottles as space permits - one gallon per person per day is what the government recommends), water filters, air filters, energy bars, nuts, a space-age thermal blanket, plastic bags, a flashlight, a battery-powered radio, extra batteries, an emergency cell phone, booster cables, matches, scissors, a multi-purpose Swiss knife, duct tape, paper towels, paper and pencil, antiseptic hand wipes, latex gloves, bandages, gauze, petroleum jelly, a multivitamin, and a zippered plastic bag with aspirin, de-congestion pills, Imodium, Tums, antihistamine, antiseptic lotion, eye-wash solution, and a thermometer.
Leave a note with instructions to replace outdated pills, food, water and batteries as stated on the expiration dates.
Contents cost under $200, much less without the emergency cell phone.
For RV'ers on your list:
RV'ers can always use phone cards to call friends and family. Just remember, for the biggest telephone savings, buy them at discount super markets and department stores and ask about the connections charge. Some companies charge more than $3 just to make the call!
Gift Certificates:
With the price of gas today, who among us would not appreciate fuel certificates.Speaking of certificates: Give KOA gift certificates. They come in $25 denominations and can be purchased online at www.koa.com/gift/gift.htm. Since there is a KOA close to major highways in practically every state, every RV'er will find them useful.
Have a safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!