2013 Holiday Gift Guide

November 26. 2013 11:20PM
By Weekender Staff

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By Sara Pokorny, Weekender Staff Writer

Alchemia jewelry: There’s one line in which you can find both a dainty rose quartz pendant and a large statement skull piece – all at reasonable prices. Charles Albert’s Alchemia contains all that and more, with prices as low as $34 at 3 Sisters (182 United Penn Plaza, Kingston).

Yuki belts: A cinched waist is always in style, and the way to achieve one is more fun than ever. There’s a wall of belts at Yuki (164 United Penn Plaza, Kingston) that range from simple bands with simple clasps to belts with clasps whose shine can be seen from a mile away. They run $40-$200.

Aetrex riding boots: Chelsea Riding Boots by Aetrex make a statement – and don’t make your feet cry. Check out the stretchy panel at the back, perfect for those whose calves always fight the tall boots. Pick them up for $199 at Arch Comfort (355 East Market St., Kingston).

Vera Bradley purses: The patterns are distinct and the quality unmatched. Vera Bradley purses, which come in all shapes and sizes, are still fresh for any season with the ever-changing patterns to pick from. They’re $18 and up at Dundee Gardens (2407 Sans Souci Parkway, Hanover Twp.).

PacSun sunglasses: Sunglasses in the winter might seem odd, but have you ever experienced how blinding snow can be while driving? Big, small, patterned, plain – there’s a large selection to be had at PacSun at the Viewmont and Wyoming Valley malls to make you blindingly beautiful for $25.95 and up.


By Bobby Walsh, Weekender Correspondent

Men’s footwear: Plimsol. Derby. Desert. Oxford. Kettle. Sound foreign? These are all the rage in men’s footwear, both vintage and modern. Whether he dresses them up or down, these shoes will make a statement, keeping him on trend this season. Score them for cheap for $39 on jackthreads.com and gilt.com.

Grooming basket: Guys hate to admit it, but we need hair, face, and body products too. Sometimes it can get a little confusing or pricey. If you buy it, we’ll use it. Create an “essentials basket” for everything he needs from head to toe (i.e. shampoo/conditioner, face wash, fragrances, lotion, deodorant, body grooming products). He may lie and tell everyone you got him basketball tickets, but he is extremely grateful. Start at ulta.com and Target.

Old-fashioned barbering: Beards and beer? Here’s one trend that has resurfaced recently: men’s barbering. Treat him with a gift card to experience a real men’s haircut and shave the old-fashioned way while he enjoys his favorite beer at Spa Sapphire at the hotel at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs (thesapphiresalon.com) and the Loyalty Barber Shop and Shave Parlor (7 Kennedy Dr., Archbald).

Men’s Favorites Fragrance Sampler by Sephora: Inside this box, you’ll find 14 samples of some of Sephora’s most popular and modern men’s fragrances, plus a travel shave bag. He chooses his favorite and then takes the included gift certificate to any Sephora store to redeem for a full-size bottle of his favorite featured fragrance at no extra cost. They’re $65 at sephora.com.

Varsity jacket: Show everyone he’s yours by flipping the switch this holiday with his very own varsity jacket. A modern twist on the vintage and traditional jackets have hit the stores, featured as track jackets, sweaters, hoodies, cardigans, and the classic coat. With a price range of $25 to $700, asos.com has them all.


By Mike Sullivan, Weekender Correspondent

‘Room 237’: The best film of the year. It’s like having a schizophrenic gently whisper their paranoid gibberish in your ear for 90 minutes. In other words, heaven. Find this documentary about the meaning behind Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” on amazon.com

‘Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen and Candy Stripe Nurses’: Many books have been written about Roger Corman and AIP, but none of them have ever looked this pretty. If reading didn’t make me feel bloated and logy, I might enjoy this book at Barnes & Noble.

Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder: If five depressing films directed by an abusive German man who died from a drug overdose doesn’t say Christmas, then you’ve probably been saying Christmas wrong all of these years. Get it at Barnes & Noble.

Peter Venkman action figure: I would like to say it looks like Bill Murray right down to the acne scars, but Mattel didn’t include Murray’s acne scars. That’s insulting to people with acne scars (me). It’s available on mattycollector.com.

‘Wizard of Gore’: Is it any good? Probably not. But it’s $3, Crispin Glover is in it, and that’s more than most people deserve. And you know who you are (Jeanine)! Find it in a bin at Big Lots.


By Rich Howells, Weekender Editor

Sonic screwdriver remote control: The Eleventh Doctor will be ending his time on “Doctor Who” very soon, but you can remember Matt Smith’s run fondly with this infrared remote that’s controlled by hand motions, not mere buttons. Watch the telly like the Time Lords do with 39 different programmable gestures and 13 authentic sounds from the 50-year-old series. Order it from amazon.com.

Comic book hardcovers: Whether it’s “The Walking Dead” or “The Sandman” Omnibuses or the “Hellboy” Library Editions, there are some amazing collectors’ editions available at local comic stores and amazon.com of almost every great series in comics. It can be hard finding comics that the geek on your list doesn’t already have, so buying a brand new edition of comics they may or may not already own is great because of the unique presentation and all the extras they may not have seen before, just like a special edition DVD of their favorite film.

LEGO office supplies: Just because you went and grew up doesn’t mean you still can’t play with LEGOs, even at the office! With everything from a business card holder to a desk calendar to a pencil holder on shop.lego.com, those little LEGO Minifigures brighten up every dull object in your cubicle and make the work day fly by so you can get back to what’s important – building that ultimate castle out of the last three sets you broke.

Iron Man gauntlet USB drive: There are a lot of jump drives out there that resemble characters or cool objects, but few things are cooler than Tony Stark’s gauntlet, and this one not only has bendable digits, but features a light-up repulsor blaster. And if you want to be a hardcore collector, this is part of a set that includes Iron Man’s helmet, an arc reactor, and more on amazon.com and ebay.com.

Galactus bottle opener: It’s appropriate that the Devourer of Worlds can now be featured quite prominently on your fridge. Like USB drives, there are plenty of neat bottle openers out there shaped like whatever you’d like, but Galactus’ helmet feels like it was just made to open your beer, though I doubt Jack Kirby had that in mind initially. Just another testament to that man’s genius. Pick it up at Comics on the Green (307 N. Washington Ave., Scranton).


By Derek Warren, Weekender Correspondent

Beer home brewing kit: Are you tired of always running out of beer and having to go buy more at the store? Well start making your own! Not only is this a fantastic hobby, but it will teach you even more about your favorite beers! Pick one up at your local homebrew shop, or if you are more of an online shopper, check out northernbrewer.com or morebeer.com for great deals.

‘What to Drink with What You Eat: The Definitive Guide to Pairing Food with Wine, Beer, Spirits, Coffee, Tea – Even Water’: This fantastic book gives you all sorts of ideas on what to pair with your favorite beverages. Because a great drink is made even better by a great dish to pair it with, you will have no shortage of great ideas in this book!

Bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label: Fans of blended Scotch whiskies have long had a love affair with this whisky, and its reputation as one of the best is very well-deserved. It manages to take the best parts of different whisky styles and combines them all for a very complex yet easy-drinking whisky. The price tag is a bit hefty, but the packaging that the bottle comes in and the smooth drinkability makes it all worth it.

Wine from a local winery: Try Nimble Hill Winery in Tunkhannock, Hidden Creek Vineyard & Winery in Laceyville, Ferrone Family Winery in Peckville, or Grovedale Winery in Wyalusing. There are numerous amounts of awards between all the wineries, and all have a wide variety of styles in both red and white. Even the most fickle of palates can be pleased!

Bottles of higher-end craft beer: This is the time of year to really showcase come fantastic craft beers that may be a bit pricier, but, unlike us, get better with age! Try picking up Dogfish Head’s 120 Minute IPA for the IPA lover, Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout for the dark beer fanatic, or Dogfish Head’s Bitches Brew as an all-around fantastic beer. Just focus on good craft beer (found locally at Wegmans) and you can’t go wrong!


By Tim Hlivia, Weekender Correspondent

Kettlebell: It’s functional, portable, and compact. Customize it with DIY paint and decals. Available at sporting good stores and on amazon.com.

Workout attire: Help keep that special someone motivated and confident with new gym gear. Whether it is compression pants and a tank top or yoga pants and a loose-fitting t-shirt, choose something comfortable that’s relevant to the right type of training. Add a personalized touch with NIKEiD sneakers from nike.com.

Grooming kit: There’s nothing like having your favorite grooming products with you on the go. It’s a gym bag/locker staple. Think fit and fabulous. Build the kit from scratch. Find the perfect makeup shaving bag and add things like perfume/cologne, lotion, and hair products.

WordLock combination padlock: This is just about the trendiest thing since running barefoot, but it’s super fun, practical, and functional. Set the lock to the gift recipient’s name or to a fun message. These can be found at most Target and Walmart stores.

iPod and ear buds: Music moves and motivates. Boost your momentum and push through those workouts with pep. Download some pulsating tunes before gifting. Putting extra thought into the song choices will score you big points. Purchase from apple.com or almost any electronics dealer.

Gym membership to Leverage Fitness Studio: The ultimate motivator. Add on personal training sessions, laundry service, or purchase some Leverage attire at 900 Rutter Avenue in Forty Fort.


By Rich Howells, Weekender Editor

Touch screen monitor: These can range anywhere from $300 to over $1,000, but no matter how much you pay, this is likely the future, considering what our smart phones look like these days. Why not get a head start and feel like you’re in a sci-fi movie, at least until those floating 3D displays go mainstream? Newegg.com is a good place to start.

Google Chromecast: This clever little plug-and-play device has been selling like hotcakes since its release. For only $35, you can stream Netflix, YouTube, HBO GO, Hulu Plus, Pandora, and Google Play Movies and Music mobile apps on your HDTV, and it looks like new features will be added as it’s developed. Buy it on amazon.com.

Steam Wallet Card: Gift cards may seem like a cop-out, but for PC gamers, Steam is becoming the go-to service to purchase games, and with the Steam Box and SteamOS just on the horizon, it may be smart to go full steam ahead (sorry) with the platform before it becomes the new norm. For now, though, just enjoy the cheap and easy PC gaming and pick up a card wherever electronics gift cards are sold or at store.steampowered.com.

Tetris animated alarm clock: Everyone remembers “Tetris” and that iconic Russian music as the blocks come falling down, so why not start your day constructively (again, so sorry) by humming that catchy theme song as you watch all the pieces fall into place to form the time? It’s a unique gift from thinkgeek.com that’s practical too.

Motherboard Christmas tree: This blinking LED decoration, which runs on a 9-volt battery, looks perfect on any tech nerd’s desk. And for only $14.99 on amazon.com, it’s much cheaper than buying a real motherboard and fashioning one yourself.


By Sara Pokorny, Weekender Staff Writer

Chalk paint: Chalk paint gets SO MUCH done. Dip the bottom of a wine glass in it, paint the bottom of a serving tray so that you can label foods when throwing a party, do up a table top or dresser drawers so you can constantly switch out designs – the possibilities are endless. Pick it up at Michaels or AC Moore.

Customized dishware: You can grab dishware for cheap and make it all your own by simply using a Sharpie and a heated oven. Draw whatever design you’d like on a dish, mug, bowl, what-have-you, and place it in the NON-HEATED oven. Turn that sucker up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and let it bake for 40 minutes. Shut the oven off and let it cool all the way before removing the dishes and, voilà – personalized kitchenware.

Mod Podge crafts: If you’ve never heard of Mod Podge, I urge you to run to the nearest craft store and grab a jar right now. This adhesive will help adhere anything to pretty much any surface and comes in three finishes: matte, glossy, and sparkle. Fancy up some light switch covers, picture frames, glassware – whatever you’d like.


Rich Howells: Dressing up as your favorite fictional character is widely accepted at conventions, but you might get some strange looks in public in a skin-tight Spider-Man costume. That’s why they make these great character hoodies, which resemble a costume (complete with zip-up “mask” in the hood) but are also practical in chilly weather. They’re available online at sites like superherostuff.com and in stores like Hot Topic.

Sara Pokorny: How many times have you pulled your phone out of your pocket, at a pivotal picture-taking or text-worthy moment in your life, and had to say, “S—t, my battery is dying?” Well, knock it off and go to mota.com to grab a portable battery stick that’s compatible with most phones at an awesome price of $39.99.

Amanda Dittmar: A Konstruktor DIY kit is perfect for the artist in your family. Putting together your own 35mm plastic SLR camera is a unique gift, that’s not too bad on the wallet. It’s available at shop.lomography.com for $35.

Kieran Inglis: Gaming consoles are all the rage this holiday season, and some games should be higher up on the list than others, like “Rocksmith 2014” for the Xbox 360 ($79.99). Want to learn how to play your own real guitar by plugging it into your Xbox? Sounds pretty sweet to me.

Jill Andes: It might look small, but the sound that comes out of the Mini Boom Wireless Bluetooth Speaker is definitely anything but. Pick it up on amazon.com for $89.99.


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