This year, Oprah Winfrey, the once undisputed Queen of Television, ended her mega-popular daily talk show and took her talents to her "OWN" network. What she didn't end, thankfully, is her hallowed practice of naming her favorite things for the holiday season. The 2011 edition features everything from jewelry to scooters to something that, quite frankly, frightens me: cupcake-shaped bath bombs. But, like last year, her list doesn't include any of the things that just missed the cut. Therefore, for the second year in a row, it is my pleasure to present Oprah's completely unauthorized list of second-favorite things for 2011.
Do you wish you could grow a beard? Do you wish your husband couldn’t? Have you stopped wearing ski masks because you’re sick of being accused of being a bank robber? Try the Beardo!
It’s being called the greatest invention in the history of facial warming since the actual beard.
The friends at Fathead first made their name by selling life-size removable wall decals of sports stars. They’ve now branched into superheroes, Disney characters and even custom images of your own slugger hitting a home run.
What dad — I mean kid — wouldn’t want Spider-Man on his bedroom wall?
Sit back, close your eyes and imagine the tastiest chocolate you’ve ever eaten. Then do its genealogy to find its even tastier ancestors. You might just find that candy family tree takes you to a corner of heaven at Florence’s in Rexburg, Idaho.
Don’t worry; if you can’t make the pilgrimage in person, you can visit her online and still wow your holiday guests with a box of nuts and caramels.
You think they love you now? Just wait until they’ve tried the chocolate all other chocolate aspires to become.
This G-rated DVD is an uplifting story the whole family can watch without squirming through the potty humor and inside-Hollywood jokes that seem to be mandatory in even the most family of family films.
The movie is about a woman determined to restore an old mountain lodge full of childhood memories to its former glory.
The DVD cover says, “For an uplifting story about the importance of faith, family and the true holiday spirit, go to the Christmas Lodge.” My family couldn’t agree more.
You know that box of fast-fading photos in your closet under the collection of Christmas sweaters your grandmother has made you every year since 1988? Turbo Scans uses state-of-the-art scanners and software to digitize and color-correct those pictures. They'll look as if they were taken yesterday.
Give a gift certificate to that photo pack rat in your life, and let them cash it in whenever they’re ready to transition from dusty 3x5s to permanently archived memories.
These unique arrangements of your favorite Christmas songs could put even the grouchiest of Grinches in the Christmas spirit.
The super-group is composed of indie artists from across the spectrum: pop, rock, country, bluegrass, Christian, etc.
The fusion consists of familiar artists such as Cherie Call, Dustin Christensen and Mindy Gledhill. The result is a delicious Christmas album like none you’ve ever heard.
Every year, video and board game makers spend countless dollars and late nights dreaming up the next big hit. Maybe the game your kids are waiting for is already in your closet.
This year, reintroduce your kids to the games we played when the most violent outcome was throwing a Monopoly metal shoe or top hat game piece at your sister.
Missing pieces? You can replace those games for much less than you might expect.
One of my favorite books of 2011 comes from young adult writer Obert Skye, author of the "Leven Thumps" and "Pillage" series. His latest creation is one of the freshest, most clever entries into the YA market in years. It’s like “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” but better. It’s like “Big Nate,” but funnier. It’s "Wonkenstein," and don’t even bother fighting the giggles.
Have you ever tried texting or using your iPhone or other touchscreen device with gloves on? It’s like performing surgery with cinder blocks on your hands.
One of the hottest gifts in 2011 — pun shamelessly intended — is cell phone gloves. They’re available online and in most department stores.
Unless you’re a pig, bacon has never been hotter. This holiday season, bacon is all the rage with T-shirts, bacon-scented bath soap, air freshener and lip balm.
Treat that bacon-lover in your life to a quirky gift that’s guaranteed to surprise and bring a laugh. But if you try the toothpaste, stay clear of the mistletoe.