There are several sure-fire signs of Christmas. My wife starts making fudge that belongs in heaven, my home looks like she burglarized Santa’s house and Oprah Winfrey announces her annual “Favorite Things” list.

Her 2013 edition did not disappoint. The list includes such must-have gifts as $222 organic pajamas, a set of six steak knives for only $475 and a chocolate Nativity scene. I don’t know about you, but nothing says Christmas like eating a wise man and a donkey made of chocolate.

Not for you?

You’re in luck. I’m pleased to present my fourth annual second-favorite things. These are 10 gifts Oprah would have surely included, if only she’d returned my calls and emails.


Oprah's second-favorite things for 2012: The unauthorized list

Oprah's second-favorite things for 2011: the unauthorized list

10 gifts that might have made Oprah's 'Second-Favorite Things' list

Sand by Brookstone

This gift is everything you love about sand with none of the mess. This revolutionary creation sticks to itself instead of you and leaves nothing behind. It’s so much fun, you just might find yourself playing with the display in a store at the mall for an hour. Trust me.


This futuristic ball is controlled by an app on your smartphone or tablet. It's such fun to maneuver and weave around a stranger's feet on the floor, you just might find yourself playing with the display in a store at the mall for an hour. Trust me.

Virgil’s Root Beer

There is root beer — and then there is Virgil’s. This award-winning concoction, made naturally without caffeine or preservatives, is so delicious you run the risk of becoming a root beer snob. You’ve been warned.

The Clicker Kit, by Hilary Weeks
Hilary Weeks

Acclaimed entertainer Hilary Weeks' well-known "Clicker" is her labor of love that's sweeping the country. Now, for the first time, you don't have to see her live to hear the story and join the movement. Pick one up for you and a friend and "click" your positive thoughts. Together, you'll help the world hit a billion.

Diamond Candles

These candles are one of the hottest gifts this season. Every single earth-friendly, all-natural soy candle has a genuine diamond ring buried in the wax in a foil pouch. The values range from $10 to $5,000. Cha-ching-ring!

"The Christmas Angel"

If you're a fan of Christmas books, you'll love this touching new novel by Jane Maas. It's big enough to touch your heart, but small enough to fit into a stocking.

Rainbow Loom

The original rainbow loom is one of the top-selling kids’ gifts this Christmas. With their imaginations and easy-to-follow instructions, kids can make anything from bracelets to reindeer. But don’t fall for one of the many knockoffs; trust the rainbow.

Salted Caramels

Salted Caramels are an acquired taste. As in, you might acquire them and not want to share. This particular brand by Helliemae's Handcrafted Caramels is so tasty, you might also want to purchase a safe.

“Despicable Me 2”

The second-highest grossing movie of 2013 also happens to be one of the best. It's on DVD just in time for Christmas, and you know these hilarious minions would love to spend the holidays with your own minions.


Give a subscription gift they’ll actually love. Each month, Birchbox sends samples from makeup to perfume and from gadgets to games. With a “his” and “her” option and a wide variety of gifts in the mailbox each month, you’ll be getting thanked until next Christmas.