A Cutting-edge Christmas

By Vicky Katz Whitaker

October 21, 2011 5 min read

Partridge in a pear tree? Too bulky to ship.

Five golden rings? At today's prices?

Three French hens? Vegetarian.

Although finding not-so-ho-ho-hum presents for those on your holiday shopping list can be a challenge, you can choose from plenty of options, from fun to fabulous, quaint to quirky. Here are a few to get you started:

--Sole food: A pair of handmade, plush fleece slippers that look like salmon (orange) and tuna (red) rolls will satisfy the sushi lover on your list. The machine-washable slippers -- with extra batting and no-slip, water-resistant soles -- are available in sizes extra-small through extra-large, from Uncommon Goods at $34. A toddler bootie version is $28.

--Day camp for budding fashionistas: A hands-on day camp for teens interested in fashion may be perfect for that style-conscious child or grandchild -- provided you're ready and able to spend a few days in New York City next summer. FashionCampNYC, based at the LIM College campus in midtown Manhattan, gives teens an opportunity to learn about fashion merchandising, retailing, design and more from industry insiders. They'll also get to come up with their own brands and learn about fashion blogging. Enrollment is limited to 75 campers per session, with four five-day sessions offered for summer 2012 (July 16 through Aug. 10) at $1,295 per camper. For information, go to http://www.fashioncampnyc.com or call 866-909-6911.

--Dazzling drinks: The lucky hostess who gets the Barmaid, a hand-held drink rimier, and the spices that go with it will be thinking of you every time she creates a professional-looking margarita, mojito, martini or pi?a colada. In fact, you might get an invitation to the next party! This $30 bar tool dispenses cocktail spices to the rim of the glass at the press of a button. Additional spices -- sweet mint; chocolate raspberry sugar; tangy lime: spicy chili: Hawaiian black lava salt; and gourmet gingerbread -- are about $10. Available from LimeTreeCove.com or at select retailers.

--Puzzle Party Platter: Totally Bamboo's Puzzle Party Platter makes another great entertainment-oriented gift. Designed in the shape of a puzzle piece, it has an elongated handle on one end and an open notch on the opposite end that holds any size wine glass, allowing a guest to wander around the room with drink and snack in hand. When connected together, the Puzzle Platter becomes a handsome buffet piece. A set of two Puzzle Party Platters sells for about $15.

-- Mug and more: There's nothing common about the Face Mug, an exclusive with Uncommon Goods. In addition to its distinctive face, it has a cubby for cookies or a doughnut -- perfect for anyone who likes to keep his or her munchies close at hand. The $18 ceramic mug is oven-, microwave- and dishwasher-safe.

-- Hanger Hamper: Neatniks and recyclers will love it -- and so will the dry cleaner. This triangle-shaped, collapsible hanger-storage unit with a handle stacks and stores up to 100 hangers. In addition to keeping the closet organized, the Hanger Hamper makes it easy to carry and return collected hangers to the dry cleaner. Available in eco-green, khaki, leopard and plaid, the Hanger Hamper sells for less than $10. It's available online from http://www.hangerhamper.com or at selected retailers, including The Container Store, and various catalog sites.

-- Hot seat: For the outdoorsman or cold-weather sports fan on your gift list, there's the Chaheati All-Season collapsible canvas chair. Laced with cordless-fiber non-wire heating elements to keep its occupant snuggly on the chilliest days, the chair can be set to four temperatures (98 to 145) and heats up in less than 20 seconds. A high-efficiency lithium-ion rechargeable battery provides up to six hours of heat per charge. Its oversize seat accommodates any body type up to 280 pounds. The chair retails for about $90 and can be ordered from http://www.chaheati.com.

-- On a roll: Rollors is a new outdoor game, in which players roll oversize-hockey-puck-like hardwood discs toward a color-coded goal 25 feet away. Points are awarded to the player or team that positions the discs closest to the goal. Housed in its own carrying case, Rollors runs about $26 and is available at major retailers, or you can get it online at http://www.rollors.net.

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