Giving Tree 2007

    Nintendo Wii

    The Nintendo Wii is a unicorn, an urban legend — it doesn’t
    exist. At least, that’s what Mr. Mario would like you to believe. Secretly,
    about a week before Christmas, another few hundred thousand Wii consoles find
    their way onto shelves so hungry hype-drunk shoppers can buy them just in time
    for Santa day. If you’re lucky enough to spot the motion-controlled, all-ages
    fun box in your local Gamestop or Wal-Mart this season, do yourself a favor and
    snag it. The console also comes packed with Wii Sports, a collection of simple
    multiplayer games that allow dad, grandpa or baby to compete. Make sure to grab
    a couple retail games too: The trippy space platforming in Super Mario Galaxy
    and mammoth 50+ hour adventure in the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess will
    make any pre- or post-puber giddy.

    Chris Kokiousis

    “Lars” Sex Doll

    Made famous by “Lars and the Real Girl,” an anatomically
    correct sex doll may just be the best present you’ll ever give. After all,
    hasn’t that bachelor brother of yours been lonely for long enough? What about
    the poor widow in your church choir? Everybody needs lovin’ — and Abyss
    Creations has the perfect solution. At, you can choose from 10
    customizable body types, 15 faces and five different skin tones to create your
    recipient’s ideal PVC partner. Though the dolls may appear a bit expensive at
    first glance, who can put a price on stress-free, undeniably faithful
    companionship? To the tune of $6,500, these silicon beauties are a steal for
    that forlorn friend, who can have his/her wish list of “female,” “male,” even
    “she-male” sex appeal granted at the click of a mouse. The best part about the
    dolls is that they’re disease free, not to mention versatile — some models can
    change faces to spice things up at their owner’s whim. And if that’s not
    enough, you can order accessories like glow-cocks, extra wigs, or the flat-back
    torso of either gender. So, why not give the gift of a partner that never says
    no (or anything, for that matter) this holiday season?

    Autumn Schuster

    GiPOD200 Grill

    Do you have a friend who longs to heat things up to the
    bangin’ beat of Britney Spears’ “Gimme More”? Well, the wait is finally over —
    culinary genius George Foreman has finally found a way to combine two life
    essentials: music and meat (or vegetables, if that’s your thing). From the
    mastermind behind the grill that promises to “melt the fat right off” comes an
    MP3-playin’, indoor/outdoor electric grill. Complete with 10-watt amps and a
    speaker at its base, the new GiPOD makes roasting a whole chicken while
    simultaneously “supermanning that ho” a complete possibility. The GiPOD also
    features a 200-square-inch cooking surface and the same fat-separating
    technology as its older cousin. This is the perfect present for friends who have
    backyard parties or that spunky granny of yours who loves to gangsta lean while
    she grills. In any case, youuuuuuuuuuu too can grill and groove.

    — Autumn Schuster


    Are your pockets feeling the punch this winter? Don’t worry
    — with the help of a few easy do-it-yourself gift ideas, you can still dazzle
    your friends without breaking your budget . The best thing about DIY gifts is
    that (if skillfully executed) they’re more personal than slapping a few hundred
    bucks down for the latest techie gadget.

    An “inside joke” box is the perfect present for your BFF,
    who’s sure to recall the moments of hilarity that make your friendship special.
    Cut a hole at the top of a sealed cardboard box, then write shared jokes on
    individual cards and place them inside. Decorate with sentimental photos (bonus points if they’re embarrassing
    middle-school snapshots).

    For your significant other, a book of massage coupons is
    both easy and, more importantly, free. This is the gift that keeps on giving,
    and involves a mutual experience guaranteed to set the mood. Feel free to
    experiment with any other personal services you can think up (i.e. breakfast in
    bed coupons, lap dance coupons).

    For a brother or coworker, try fashioning a personal beer
    bong. Ask the nearest pimply teenager working your local Home Depot — he’ll
    know what supplies work best and where to find them.

    Finally, there’s the reason why DIY gifts were invented:
    mom. Of course, this is the one person who will love you unconditionally, no
    matter how much money or time you invest in her Christmas present. Regardless,
    the priceless macaroni picture frame or hand-drawn card is always a safe call
    and will evoke memories of those elementary school gestures of affection
    (before you totaled the car).

    — Sonia Minden

    Lakai: “Fully Flared”

    I know only four things about this highly-anticipated video
    — how it begins, how it ends, that it’s seriously hardbody and will change
    street skateboarding forever. From what I’ve heard, the flick starts with
    everyone on the Lakai team doing a trick down a custom-made stair set — loaded
    with explosives. After the trick gets stomped, the stairs explode. So, if you
    know someone who likes skateboarding and shit that explodes — or skateboarding
    on shit that explodes — pick up “Fully Flared.”

    Pyrotechnics aside, this video is supposed to be as
    revolutionary as Girl’s 1998 classic “Mouse.” This shouldn’t be surprising,
    given how much the two videos have in common: parts from Eric Koston, Mike
    Carroll, Rick Howard and — you heard me right — Guy Mariano. But, apparently
    the coup-de-grace is Marc Johnson’s epic three-song-long part at the end of the
    video. Johnson was recently crowned 2007’s Skater of the Year by Thrasher
    magazine, and rightfully so — he makes even the most hardbody of tricks look easy.
    His last trick, an ender-ender, has caused quite a buzz in the skateboarding
    rumor mill. If you care to find out why, go to your local skateshop on Friday,
    cop the DVD and see for yourself.

    — Willy Staley

    BBC’s “Planet Earth”

    If you want to do nature shows right, pick British. If you
    want to do nature shows even better, pick marijuana.

    Both worlds can be simply combined for maximum environmental
    intimacy: Pop in BBC’s award-winning up-close documentary on the Earth’s myriad
    habitats. One puff, and that meerkat is wildly funny. Two, and you’re running
    with the meerkat. Three, and you are the meerkat. No show has better put us in
    mother nature’s shoes than “Planet Earth,” and no drug besides bud is able to
    do the same.

    The box set of the David Attenborough-narrated series is 550
    minutes of nature’s pure visual glory. Viewers’ favorite images include the
    unadulterated gore on Africa’s plains to
    heartbreaking polar bears starving in a shrinking Arctic environment.

    The show surveys the globe’s remote territories with every
    eye-pleasing device known to man: couch-grabbing time-lapses paint extended
    visions of night turned to day and slow-motion sees wolves devouring mice at
    painstakingly slow frame rates. “Oh snap!” has personally been a regular
    exclamation following such eye pleasers. Buy the high-def version to evoke more
    stoner glee.

    — Charles Nguyen

    The new coal: Barnes & Noble gift card

    This is perhaps the subtlest way of saying “fuck you” to a
    loved one. If you give someone one of these, you might as well put it in an
    envelope with a note that says this: “I feel obligated to buy you a present
    worth exactly $20, but I don’t know the first fucking thing about you, and/or I
    don’t care enough to try and pick something out that I think you might like.
    So, I figured this would be better, because it’s safer than pretending that I
    know you, and running the risk of being wrong. Love, Your Name Here.”

    — Willy Staley

    “Flight of the Conchords”

    The “Flight of The Conchords” season-one DVD is the
    mothaflippin’ gift for that special (non-Aussie) friend. The foot-tapping HBO
    comedy series features New Zealander duo Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie —
    aka Flight of the Conchords — trying to make it in New
    ’s Lower East Side. Without
    money or a competent band manager, the crazy kiwis must deal with gig drought,
    racism and threesomes (not to mention Bowie).
    In each of the 12 episodes, the Conchords break into hilarious folk-parody acts
    to comment on various painfully ironic situations and on their attraction to
    American women (“Yes, sometimes my lyrics are sexist/ But you lovely bitches
    and hoes should know I’m trying to correct this”).

    — Jeff Wang

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