You may have heard that Oprah Winfrey, the undisputed Queen of Talk TV, recently shot her final 'Favorite Things' episode. If you didn't actually see it, maybe you heard it from your front porch? The audience went so wild Oprah fielded noise complaints from Dublin to Dubai. In a sweeping hour of generosity, Oprah handed her weeping audience everything from purses to games, from electronics to mac-and-cheese, and from cutlery to a car. She didn't just play Santa; she played the elf that Santa fired for being too generous. The total value of freebies per audience member? $36,837. As I watched the highlights on my local news I couldn't help but think two things: First, why wasn't I invited to be in the studio audience? Second, if these are her favorite gifts for the Christmas season, what are her second-favorite? I don't know about you, but for me that list might be more useful. Seriously, how many of us have a 36 large gift budget? So, are you also looking for some fantastic gifts for 2010 that won't break the bank? Allow me to propose 10 gifts that might have made Oprah's "Second-Favorite Things" list.
From Goode Company in Houston, Texas. Available online, this tasty gift arrives in a custom wooden box that's almost as attractive as the dessert inside. Trust me, this pie is so good that your mother will send you hate mail for changing your allegiance.
Plastic wall decals from HearthSong. Help your children learn and display the branches of your family with a colorful, oversized tree. The removable decals go on any smooth service in the house. Fun for kids. Fulfilling for everyone.
An album by David Osmond. The American Idol alum is a rare artist who sounds just as good in person as on a professionally studio mastered CD. Many of his tracks feel so authentic and deeply personal, it's as if he's singing straight from his journal.
A game by Zobmondo!!. It is against the laws of the universe to play this award-winning game without having riotous fun. No question lands without debate: "Would you rather have five bottles stuck on the fingers of one hand for a year or have a bucket stuck on your foot for a year?"
An album by Cherie Call. You simply cannot find an artist with a more distinctive voice. But it's not just her vocals that ring so pleasantly in your ears, it's her beautiful, insightful songwriting. She's a treasure.
Shoes from Toys R Us. These lightweight shoes make you feel like you're bouncing around in zero gravity. The closest thing you'll get to space walking without taking the red eye to the moon. Yes dads, they come in sizes up to 9 mens.
On DVD from Pixar. Perhaps never has a trilogy of films ended so well. This wasn't simply the finest animated movie of 2010, it was one of the best movies of the year, period.
A novel by Kevin Milne. This is one of the most moving Christmas books I've ever read. It's short, it's sweet, and the message will linger long after the tree has disappeared from your living room.
A children's book by David Wiesner. The three-time Caldecott medalist returns with the most innovative and stunning picture book of the year. You'll buy it for the kids, but you'll enjoy even it more.
A treat from VAT19. This tasty gummy bear weighs in at half-a-pound, or 88 times larger than a standard bear. Just try to wipe the smile off the face of your sugar fanatic when they unwrap this big guy on Christmas morning.