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I have to remind myself each year not to let the holidays get hijacked.  Parties and shopping can take over, leaving not nearly enough relaxed time to enjoy the holiday with my family.  One thing that makes life easier is to streamline gift-giving.  This is my go-to list this year for friends and their kids.

(And don't forget the power of baking...)

FOR LITTLE GIRLS

Make a Wish Necklace - sentiment meets style, these necklaces are just the right mix of "grown up" for tween girls.

Hampton Popcorn - delicious - greatly enhances any viewing of Merry Christmas Charlie Brown.

Kid Robot Zipper Pulls - cute, cool stocking stuffers that help little fingers zip up giant winter jackets.

Pink Chicken Gift Certificates - the kids can make their choices on-line with mom's help.

Crosley Turntable - in our minds, this replaces the old Close and Play Phonograph.  A cool turntable with a USB port, this bridges our kids digital world with our favorite classic albums.  Vinyl can live in harmony with your ipod.

FOR BIG GIRLS

Nunu Chocolates - these salted caramels are special.  Made in Brooklyn and unusually delicious.  Great hostess gift too.

Kenneth Jay Lane Ring - Kenneth Jay Lane is the king of quality costume jewelry - this is a great signature piece.

Epicurean Cutting Boards - upbeat and colorful, these dishwasher-safe cutting boards enliven any counter top with their modernist illustrations.

Soda Stream - for sparkling water drinkers, this is life changing.  Add an aquasana in-sink water filter and you're giving the greenest way to save money and the planet.

Baggu Tote Bags - Like the NY Times says, it's all about the tote.  Monogram it to show how much you care!

Shorouk necklaces - these colorful necklaces (especially in pink!) can dress up anything.  Glitzy, playful, what's not to love?

Glassy Baby - The colors are amazing and these hand blown votives look great in groups.  Give one now, and one for a birthday to start an ongoing theme.

Initial Mugs - from Anthropology, these are lively, personal, and feel good in the hand.  Love the patterns and the colors.

MY WISH LIST

Alexander McQueen Skull Ring -

And as always, more time to hang with my little chickens.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM ALL OF US TO ALL OF YOU!

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