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Lodi News-Sentinel staff gift suggestions

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Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2009 12:00 am

If you're still thinking of what to buy for all those different personalities on your list, News-Sentinel staffers offer their picks for this season's most perfect presents, from Lodi jerky to a faux-mustache kit.

Stephanie Alvarez, Classified advertising manager

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Keep your toes warm and cute with Muk Luks Jersey Slippers ($19.99, Target). Get rid of the morning ride-to-work chills with a heated massage seat cushion ($24.99, Sports Authority). Every brownie gets crispy with this 12-brownie baking pan ($24.99; Target; Bed, Bath & Beyond). Go earthy with these trendy placemats ($5.99; Bed, Bath & Beyond). This MoGo Talk Bluetooth Headset for iPhone has an attatched earpiece that charges when you charge your phone ($139, http://www.apple.com">www.apple.com).


Pam Bauserman, Panorama editor

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Stay stylish, yet elegant, with these Brighton heart earrings ($38; http://wwwbrightonretail.com">wwwbrightonretail.com, item no. JE0232). Have a Patrick Swayze fan in the family? Help them keep his memory alive by purchasing his life story, "The Time of My Life" ($14.47, www.amazon.com). A wooden bowl is the perfect way for your friend or relative to serve a salad to guests ($99.99, Macys). Keep your loved one cozy this winter in this long, soft robe ($26.99 on sale, Kohls in Lodi). What better way to keep a music collection than on an iPod Shuffle ($59.99, Best Buy).


Layla Bohm, crime and courts reporter

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I need a membership to a Lodi gym. This marathon runner needs some cross-training (prices vary). Crucial iPhone accessories are earbuds that actually stay in the ears and an armband to use when I run. I love Stephen L. Carter's books, which are lengthy crime novels that have more intricacies, twists and intelligence than most in their genre. "Jericho's Fall" is the author's latest book ($17.13, www.amazon.com). I never seem to have enough running gear, and when I'm in training mode a pair of shoes only lasts three months, so it's good to have gift cards to REI and Fleet Feet Sports. My tires will last through the winter, but it won't be too long before they'll need replacing. At about $130, Nike Vomero sunglasses with the max speed tint are quite expensive, but I have an extremely difficult time finding sunglasses that actually fit me ($129, http://www.store.nike.com">www.store.nike.com).


Maggie Creamer, city hall reporter

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Keep your loved ones trendy while helping others with TOMS shoes ($69, www.tomsshoes.com). As my big holiday splurge, these gray or black Versatile-Cashmere-2-in-1-Gloves would go lovely with my sweaters or short sleeve dresses ($59, http://www.delight.com">www.delight.com). Thank goodness for American Apparel who makes this Unisex Striped Fleece Zip Hoody and other clothes in sweatshop free factories right here in the U.S. ($45, American Apparel). Fellow Missourian Elsie has a shop full of goodies based on her philosophy that homemade is the way to go. Find some fun creations, like this coffee cozy ($14, http://www.redvelvetart.com">www.redvelvetart.com). Mustache envy can be a terrible thing. So grab this cheap Stylish Mustaches Disguise Kit to add some entertainment to a boring work day ($10.99, Target). Nothing says I care about you than spending an hour threading tiny beads onto necklace. People love homemade gifts so head to Bunches of Beads in Lodi to make a necklace for your mom, sister or friend. Spice up your baking experience with one of these cute aprons ($32.95) by Jesse Steele at http://www.cooking.com">www.cooking.com. Or head Downtown to check out the selection at Lodi Cooks. After this tough year, why not start a new family tradition? Sponsor a penguin or other animal through the World Wildflife Fund (www.worldwildlife.org), donate money or supplies to People Assisting Lodi Shelter (www.palslodi.org) or drop some money in a Salvation Army kettle (www.salvation army.com). Then, write a card letting your family member know you made a contribution in their honor.


Ross Farrow, religion editor and county reporter

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I want newly remastered Beatles CDs. I have most of their CDs, but they desperately needed remastering, especially Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band. ($175.49, http://www.amazon.com">www.amazon.com). It doesn't have to be huge, but I'd like a new TV (I'm so 20th century in this regard). A new desktop computer, like the new iMac ($1,199, http://www.apple.com">www.apple.com).


Brian Feulner, chief photographer

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At 46 inches long, this Arbor Cross Step Longboard would let me get in a good concrete surf while getting a cup of coffee at Java Stop before work ($199, http://www.arborsports.com">www.arborsports.com). The Aquatica 5D MK II-Canon 5D MK II Digital Camera Housing is a great underwater case so I can take my camera with me when I paddle out ($2,899.95, http://www.bhphotovideo.com">www.bhphotovideo.com). I broke my last tripod photographing Sandhill Cranes, so I'd love the Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs ($160, http://www.bhphotovideo.com">www.bhphotovideo.com). One of the greatest photo books by the greatest war photographer of all time is James Nachtwey's "Inferno" ($150, http://www.viiphoto.com">www.viiphoto.com). With this Freestyle men's shark full green/camouflage watch, I guess, "Sorry I didn't make it honey, I was lost track of time surfing," won't cut it anymore ($55, http://www.freestyleusa.com">www.freestyleusa.com). Final Cut Express 4: We're making movies baby! ($199, http://www.apple.com">www.apple.com).


Natalie Feulner, education reporter

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The Wii Fit Plus with balance board is great way for me to work out and have fun doing it — or so they say ($94.99, http://www.amazon.com">www.amazon.com). During the winter, I love to curl up with a good book. But, I would love to curl up with Jodi Picoult's "Picture Perfect" even more ($12, http://www.barnesandnoble.com">www.barnesandnoble.com). Before heading out to do some serious snow camping in the Sierra's, this North Face Boundary Triclimate Jacket would be a great addition to my wardrobe ($248.95, http://www.backcountry.com">www.backcountry.com). With every purchase of TOMS shoes (like these in navy canvas), a pair is donated to a child in a developing country ($44, http://www.tomsshoes.com">www.tomsshoes.com). Travel Coffee Mug: The perfect mug for every coffee lover on the go, including this journalist who probably drinks way too much! ($14.95, http://www.coffeecakes.com">www.coffeecakes.com).


Jordan Guinn, business and agriculture reporter

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I want the San Francisco Giants to win one World Series before I die. The team has been in San Francisco since 1958 and has been to the Fall Classic three times (1962, 1989, 2002). Two of those three times they have forced the series to seven games and lost (priceless). Ideal for sauteing and oven safe to 350 degrees, this cookware set — or one like it — is excellent for creating an intimate dinner for two. A true must-have for bachelors, these pans will help you perfectly sear a halibut filet and concoct a citrus beurre blanc to go with it (Lodi Cooks, Lodi). Wild Turkey Rare Breed is "barrel-proofed." It is bottled directly from the barrels at the proof it reaches inside and isn't watered down to dilute the flavor or alcohol content. ($39.99, Lakewood Liquors on Ham Lane). The 1979 Monte Carlo is one of the sexiest cars ever built. Period. While it may not have been as powerful as previous versions, its capable 160-horsepower 305-cubic-inch V-8 still provides plenty of giddy-up. The car does not need to be in perfect shape, I would be happy to have a salvaged heap I could spend a lifetime rebuilding. "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia: A Very Sunny Christmas" is an episode for what is easily the raunchiest and funniest show on TV. The show about four self-indulgent friends with no moral compass is a fantastic escape from reality.


Rich Hanner, editor

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This Work/play vest from Carhartt is just the thing for vestophiliacs. This one even has an inside pocket for cell phone or pocketknife. And Carhartt, known for industrial-type apparel, is tough stuff ($60, Joe Hassan's in Downtown Lodi). The Kindle reading device is still a bit pricey, but it is also awfully nifty. You can read the latest Stephen King or The New York Times (could these readers be a techno-salvation for newspaper writers and editors?) ($259, http://www.amazon.com">www.amazon.com). Want a treat to make the taste buds scream, "MERRRRY CHRISTMAS?" This Teriyaki jerky from Lakewood Meats is sweet and smoky. Made from top round steak in a 45-year-old smokehouse at Lakewood Meats by Jim Roster and Bruce Albers, meatmasters extraordinaire. They'll vacuum-pack it so you don't get jerky juice all over your stockings. ($21 a pound, Lakewood Meats, 316 N. Ham Lane). A friend asked me what I would do with this wicked stick, the FatMax Functional Utility bar. Maybe nothing. I just have to own one. A tool that's reportedly spawned its own fan club. ($30, Lowe's in Lodi).


Machelle Homer, newsroom assistant

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Bailey's Irish Cream is the classic and original Irish whiskey, cream and spirits. It's best with your favorite coffee, homemade whipped cream, a cold winter's evening and a nice roaring fire. ($16-$18 at Lodi grocery stores). Stargate SG-1: The Complete Series has more than 157 hours of SciFi and adventure. I can't wait (cheapest on www.amazon.com, $97.99). Ann of Green Gables Boxed Set because it was one of my favorite stories as a child ($27.73, http://www.amazon.com">www.amazon.com). A digital photo frame will let me see my photos instead of just storing them ($99.99, Best Buy). I want the Bose SoundDock Portable Music System for iPod so I can hear my music as intended, no matter where I am ($399, Best Buy). New Super Mario Brothers Wii. Why? Because it's Mario ($49.99, Best Buy).


Jennifer Howell, photographer

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I am such a Gleek! Vol. 2 of the "Glee" soundtrack is out now. I have Vol. 1 and listen to it constantly ($8.99, Barnes & Noble). I am looking for a large butcher's block for my kitchen ($20, Wal-Mart). Lodi Cooks is where I bought my first Le Creuset cookware. Then, I accidently broke the beautiful item so I need the Flame Round 2-quart French Oven ($135). Needing to shed some layers, and unable to spend months away at the Biggest Loser Camp, the next best thing is the Wii Biggest Loser game ($29.99, Target). I want Boulet Ladies Western Boots (Ranger Aged Bark) for shooting rural weddings. I am a little bit country ($153.99, Boot Barn). I have secretly always wanted a Polaroid camera, and the Fuji Instax Instant Camera is the new thing … ($105 with film, http://www.photojojo.com">www.photojojo.com). I can always use another exteral hard drive for all my photo archiving, especially the 1T drive ($119.99-199.99, Staples). "Julie and Julia," the movie ($16.99, Target).


Lauren Nelson, Lodi Living editor

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Add retro mode to your digital SLR with this Dreamy Diana Lens. ($60, www.photojojo.com). This Airstream trailer necklace makes me feel like I'm camping at Dillon Beach and surrounded by pink lawn flamingos and palm trees ($25; www.etsy.com, search seller: lulularue). I'm a firm believe that you can never go wrong with the right doc, especially Doc Martens in boot form ($115, www.dmusastore.com.) It's time for my jewelry-making to evolve from beads to metal, which I could do if I only had this soldering iron wand ($13, http://www.amazon.com">www.amazon.com). Like everyone in the show, "Six Feet Under" is long gone, but the entire HBO series seriously needs to be part of my movie collection ($87.99, http://www.amazon.com">www.amazon.com). Polaroid is alive — especially in Barbara Hitchcock's "The Polaroid Book" ($14.99, http://www.urbanoutfitters.com">www.urbanoutfitters.com). A quality, hybrid bike for riding on trails or on the street is pretty much great for anyone — almost ($300-$500; City Bikes in Lodi). Peppermint Bark. 'Nuf said ($2, any Lodi grocery store).

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