Tag Archives: holiday

Is it That Time of Year Already?

Man I can’t believe how fast the holidays are already approaching. Where has this year gone? The older I get, the faster time seems to fly by. No comments from the peanut gallery about my age (OR my ear hair!) kthx. All of us here in the Lockergnome family are gearing up for the holidays. We will have many excellent coupons and deals coming soon to help you with your holiday shopping. We have something fun and special in store for New Year’s Eve. Heck – we may even have a giveaway or two prior to the end of the year!

People on both Lockergnome and Geeks are busy getting ready for the season, as well. They’re being good little girls and boys – posting excellent content – hoping Santa will bring them lots of goodies. Let’s peek in on what they’re talking about today.

Lockergnome Posts

Geeks Blogs

Geeks Forum Posts

What’s on Your Holiday Toy Wish List for Gifts?

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The holidays are fast approaching, as we all know. Have you been naughty… or nice? Have you sent Santa your wish list yet? If you haven’t, you may want to check out the hottest must-have items of the season.

Growing up, us boys had awesome holidays. We had many traditions that were sacred to us. I remember going through the catalogs on Thanksgiving Day each year, marking the things that we wanted under the tree on Christmas morning.

What Amazon has done this year is to come up with a very simple and fun way to browse anything and everything you can think of buying (or asking for!) for Christmas. You can search by category or keyword. They have products of all shapes and sizes, for all ages.

No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll get a great idea of what’s new and what’s out there. Heck, I’m already making my list! Are you?


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Homemade Gifts

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Erin writes: “One thing that always gets people stressed during the various birthdays and holidays throughout the year is finding the perfect gifts for friends and family. I am a big believer in making gifts for people. I always find that people really appreciate a homemade gift. Here is my top 5 list of homemade gifts.”

  • Handwritten letter, card, poem or story. This may seem really silly, but in this day and age, handwritten letters or cards are losing out to the ease of email, text messaging, and public networking sites. Why not sit down and take the time to actually compose a letter on paper? I tried to do this in college, and I found most people really liked getting a handwritten letter in the mail. You can either just write them a letter talking about how awesome they are, or you might even be feeling really creative and compose a quick poem or short story. Either way, it will give them something tangible to read and reread for as long as they have it.
  • Knit a Scarf. I learned how to knit in about one day. The easiest thing to knit is a scarf, and once you learn how to do the basic stitch, you should be able to knit a scarf in a relatively short amount of time. To make this even easier, you can get large knitting needles and chunky yarn. A handmade scarf is just the thing for winter, and you can even make decorative scarves for people to wear even when the weather isn’t too chilly. This will make the knitting go even faster. There are many websites online that teach basic knitting stitches. A great place to get started is a website called learntoknit.com.
  • Framed Picture or a Scrapbook. Most of your viewers probably have either a digital camera or a camera phone. Heck, maybe they even have a regular camera with film! Either way, a great gift is the gift of memories. You can take a picture of an event that is important to them (maybe you went to a baseball game together, or a party) and have it nicely framed. For the more crafty, you can even make a small scrapbook for the person. Let’s say that you and a group of your friends go to a Red Sox game (forgive me, I live in the North East). You can take pictures of the game and pictures of your friends and combine them with clipped out articles about the game or even baseball cards of players featured in the game. It may sound goofy, but it shows a lot of thought and it will give your friend something to remember the event by.
  • Homemade Candy. Even though this sounds like a difficult gift, there are a few basic candies that anyone can pull off and look like a pro. One of the most impressive and yet easy is Chocolate Bark. All you have to do is melt a bag of good quality chocolate chips of your choice either over a double boiler on the stove top or in the microwave. Then when the chocolate is melted, you add about a ¼ to a ½ cup of nuts, dried fruit or broken cookies. My one standby that I always fall back on is a combo of semi-sweet chocolate, mini-marshmallows and broken graham crackers. You can try many different combinations. You will end up looking like a real expert and your friends will love having a bag of candy all to themselves.
  • Dinner. Inviting friends over to dinner is one of the greatest gifts a person can give. Even the most inept cook has a few basic meals that they can whip up for themselves, so why not invite a few friends over and enjoy the food together? Whether it something super fancy or not, people will appreciate the time and effort you put into the meal. A good bonus tip if you plan on doing this is to go with something you have made before and know you can accomplish. Doing something new and complicated may be impressive, but the stress that this can cause is not worth it. Besides, your friends will appreciate homemade tacos just as much as they would appreciate Beef Wellington.
  • Bonus Tip! If you decide to make candy or dinner for your friends, make sure you know about any type of food allergies or dietary needs.
    If your friend is allergic to nuts, you don’t want to make them peanut brittle and if they are vegetarian you don’t want to grill them a steak for dinner. I know it’s common sense, but it will save a lot of trouble in the long run.


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The Perfect Gift

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Holiday shopping is stressful. We always want to be the one to get the perfect gift for every person on our list. I know you’re busy making lists, checking them twice, shopping, wrapping and bow’ing (is that a word?!) everything… but take time out to read these tips to getting that perfect gift this year.

  • Don’t buy something YOU want, and then give it to someone else. Keep the person you’re buying for in mind. Don’t just think “omg I would LOVE that”… and assume the recipient would love it as well.
  • If you give a gift card, make sure it has the right features. Check to be sure there’s no expiration date, and that it can be used in-store or online. Also, you might want to look into something like the pre-paid AmericanExpress cards. These can be used anywhere AmericanExpress is accepted, thus are more versatile.
  • If you buy clothing, don’t forget the gift receipt. It’s impossible to judge the right size, color and shape. That’s why I personally stay away from buying clothes. Matter of fact, make sure you get a gift receipt for *everything* you buy. You never know when it’s wrong, or defective.
  • Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be expensive in order to make someone very happy. You don’t need to break the bank. Pay attention to the person throughout the year, the hints and ideas. Keep them in mind, and make your gift thoughtful and from the heart. Trust me, it will be well received.
  • Always give batteries with gifts that require them. There’s nothing more frustrating than receiving the perfect gift… only to find you don’t have batteries for it!

Send me the tips you have to find that perfect holiday gift! Or better yet… send me your holiday wish list!

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Top 5 Tips for Christmas Holiday Shopping

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And now that you’e watched the video, here’s another great tip. Check out the 275 stores listed below for coupons and deals, and if you can’t find the store you’re looking for check out our new Coupons site, which has coupons for over 1000 stores.

  • 1-800-Flowers
  • 1-800-Get-Lens
  • 3Balls.com
  • Abebooks
  • Absolute Home
  • ABT Electronics
  • ACDSee
  • Ace Hardware
  • ACLens
  • Acronis
  • Adidas
  • Adobe
  • Aeropostale
  • Alienware
  • Alloy
  • Altrec
  • Apple
  • Apple Bottoms
  • Artbeads
  • Audible
  • Avenue
  • B&H Photo
  • BabyAge
  • Baby Center
  • Baby Phat
  • Baby Universe
  • Backcountry
  • Bare Necessities
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Baseball Rampage
  • Bass Pro Shops
  • Beauty.com
  • Bed Bath Store
  • Bellacor
  • Best Buy
  • BitDefender
  • Blockbuster
  • Bloomingdales
  • Boaters World
  • Boden
  • BookCloseouts
  • Books-A-Million
  • Borders
  • Boscovs
  • Bose
  • Bowflex
  • Brookstone
  • Brooks Brothers
  • Buckle
  • Buy.com
  • Buy Costumes
  • Cabelas
  • Calendars.com
  • Calumet Photo
  • Canadian Coupons
  • Carbonite Coupons
  • Celebrate Express
  • Cell Phone Shop
  • Chapters
  • Checks Unlimited
  • Childrens Place
  • Circuit City
  • CompUSA
  • Computer Associates
  • Cooking.com
  • Corel
  • Crayola
  • CyberCucina
  • Cyberlink
  • Dale & Thomas Popcorn
  • Dans Chocolates
  • Dean and Deluca
  • Delias
  • Dell
  • Dell Canada
  • Dell Home
  • Dell Small Business
  • Dell UK
  • Dicks Sporting Goods
  • Discovery Store
  • Disney Shopping
  • Domestications
  • Dragon Software
  • Drugstore.com
  • Dunham Sports
  • Dyscern
  • eBags
  • Eddie Bauer
  • ESET
  • Expedia
  • Family Christian Stores
  • Famous Footwear
  • FashionBug
  • Fathead
  • Figleaves
  • FinishLine
  • Footsmart
  • Franklin Covey
  • Gaiam
  • GameDuell
  • Gamepass
  • Gamestop
  • Gap
  • Gardens Alive
  • Geeks.com
  • GelaSkins
  • Giftbaskets.com
  • GigaGolf
  • GoDaddy
  • Godiva
  • Golfballs.com
  • Golfsmith
  • Greenloop
  • Guitar Center
  • Guitar Hero
  • Hallmark
  • Hammacher Schlemmer
  • HandHeldItems
  • Hickory Farms
  • HomeClick
  • Home Depot
  • Hotwire
  • HP Home
  • HSN
  • Ice.com
  • iFloor
  • iFrogz
  • iGourmet
  • In The Swim
  • Inhabit
  • InstrumentPro
  • Invisible Shield
  • iPod
  • iPod Touch
  • iPod Touch Cases
  • iRobot
  • iStockPhoto
  • JensonUSA
  • Joann
  • Joes Sports
  • Jos A Bank
  • Junonia
  • Karmaloop
  • Knet Golf
  • Kodak
  • Kodak Gallery
  • Kodak Store
  • Kodak Zi6
  • Kohls
  • Lancome
  • Lands End
  • Lane Bryant
  • LCD Monitors
  • Lenovo
  • Lillian Vernon
  • Limoges Jewelry
  • Linens-N-Things
  • Little Giant Ladder
  • Logitech
  • LostGolfBalls
  • Luggage OnLine
  • Mac Connection
  • Mac Minis
  • MacMall
  • Macys
  • Match.com
  • McAfee
  • Microsoft
  • Mighty Leaf Tea
  • Mikasa
  • Mondera
  • Moosejaw
  • Musicians Friend
  • Mwave
  • National Geographic Store
  • Netflix
  • Network Magic
  • NewEgg
  • NewEgg Daily Deals
  • NFL Shop
  • Nordstrom
  • Nutrisystem
  • Office Depot
  • OfficeMax
  • Old Navy
  • Onecall
  • onSale
  • Orbitz
  • Oriental Trading Company
  • Origins
  • Overstock
  • PacSun
  • Palm
  • Payless
  • Peapod
  • Peet’s Coffee
  • PetCareRX
  • PhotoWorks
  • Pinnacle Software
  • Pogo Stylus
  • Proflowers
  • QuickBooks
  • Radio Shack
  • RazorGator
  • RedEnvelope
  • REI
  • Rhapsody
  • Ritz Camera
  • Rockler
  • Rosetta Stone
  • Ross Simons
  • Roxio
  • Rugman
  • Sears
  • Second Act
  • Sharper Image
  • Shindigz
  • ShinyWhiteBox
  • Shoebuy
  • Shoes.com
  • Shop4Tech
  • Shop NBC
  • ShopNBC
  • Shutterfly
  • Sierra Trading Post
  • Silhouettes
  • Sirius
  • Skinstore
  • Skype
  • Slingbox
  • SmartBargains
  • Smith & Noble
  • Smith Micro
  • Snapfish
  • Sony
  • Sonystyle
  • Spirit Halloween Store
  • Sports Authority
  • Staples
  • Sun & Ski Sports
  • Symantec
  • Szul
  • Target
  • Telescope.com
  • The Body Shop
  • The Company Store
  • TheNerds.net
  • ThinkGeek
  • Tiger Direct
  • TigerDirect.ca
  • Timberland
  • TiVo
  • Tool King
  • Toshiba
  • ToysRUs
  • Trading Post
  • Travelocity
  • Trend Micro
  • United Shades
  • Vanns
  • Verizon
  • Vermont Country Store
  • VisionDirect
  • VistaPrint
  • VMware Fusion
  • Walmart
  • Webroot
  • Weight Watchers
  • West Marine
  • Wine.com
  • Yves Rocher
  • Zales
  • Zappos
  • Zirh
  • ZipZoomFly

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    Shawn from TechWebLog.net sent me his top 5 tips for Christmas and holiday shopping. Reading through the list, these are all excellent things to keep in mind at any time of the year.

    • Get an Extended Warranty. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had an electrical product fail due to poor quality or excessive use. If a warranty isn’t offered where you are shopping, walk away. Chances are, another store or merchant will offer one.
    • Have patience. If the product is not in stock, don’t settle for something that isn’t exactly what you want. The store may get another shipment in within the next few days, or you may find it at another retailer. You can also ask a sales clerk or manager if they have some in “the back” that hasn’t hit the shelf yet. Sometimes, that actually does work!
    • Ask about the return policy. It happens all the time. People get a duplicate gift, the wrong size, or the wrong color/style. Make sure the store you are buying from has a return policy, and what it is. Do they give store credit? What about an even exchange for wrong sizing? How difficult will it be for the gift recipient to exchange? Always ask for a gift receipt, as well. Many stores now only give credit at the lowest sale price within the last 90 days. If you paid $60.00 for something, and it went on sale the next week for $30.00… the person would only get a $30.00 credit upon return without that gift receipt.
    • Shop around. Check sale ads for various stores, and even on their websites. You may find much better prices at a store three blocks away, than at your normal shopping haunt. You should also always consider checking for online coupons and deals to save even more money.
    • Do your homework. Search through blogs, reviews and posts around the Internet. Make sure that the majority of people are happy with the product you are planning to buy. Check to see if there are a lot of negatives, such as missing pieces and parts, shoddy workmanship, or the like.

    These are all excellent tips to help you when shopping during the Holidays, or any time of the year. Be sure to keep an eye on my blog for many more excellent deals, coupons and tips throughout this Season.

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    Jeff has something to add:

    I think you missed out on your Five Tech Shopping Tips. It really should have been Six Tips. Here’s the Sixth (and some say the most important!)-

    Always read the fine print when you’re buying, be it new or used!
    Before you plop down the plastic, read up on all the things you’d rather ignore. That includes return policies, DOA returns and or exchanges, price protection, etc… There have been more tears shed over a sniveling return policy with a monstrous restocking charge than those shed because someone bought something they simply wanted. Personally, I’d rather be sorry for busting the budget over an excellent product than working hard to buy something at the absolute lowest price, only to be tortured by a rat in vendor’s clothing.


    Top 5 Halloween Decorations Made from Old PC Hardware

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    I have a lot of old hardware and components lying around my house. I was wondering what to do with it all, when it hit me. Why not recycle them as Halloween decorations?! Here are our recommendations for turning those old PC parts into decorations!

    • Tie old cables/cords into Nooses or spider webs
    • Carve an old, empty system case like a pumpkin, and put a light inside
    • Make your own homemade Ouija board using keys from an old keyboard
    • Tape floppy discs to the sides of a mouse and make bats out of them
    • Plant old motherboards, video cards, etc as “gravestones” in your yard

    There you have it. What other ideas do you have for turning components into holiday decorations?

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    The Jones Soda Taste Test


    If I drink anything, it’s usually either soda water or coffee (but seldom simultaneously). I decided to exceed my palate’s comfort level and venture into the world of Jones Soda this evening. Mind you, I didn’t flip for their typical cola flavors – that wouldn’t be very interesting, would it?

    Turkey and Gravy, Sweet Potato, Dinner Roll, Pea, and Antacid – all sodas in the Jones Soda Holiday 2006 pack. I’m still not sure what drove me to bring such an array of carbonated dissidents home with me, but the results were… well, you’ll just have to watch the video.

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    Jones Soda Holiday Pack 2006 – Taste Test


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    Last year, someone told me that Jones Soda had released a liquid “Thanksgiving meal” of sorts. It’s a novelty food item that I knew I’d have to drink at some point. I always appreciate when a “normal” flavor is blended with a “normal” food to create a potential culinary abomination. Like wasabi ice cream, for instance – many foods are worth trying once. Sometimes twice!

    This afternoon, I was given an opportunity to try the 2006 Holiday Pack. A local grocery store had ’em in stock, although the items had been officially removed from shelves yesterday. I begged and pleaded with the store manager to kindly fetch me a case. He obliged, and the rest (as they say) is history. I decided to record my reactions on video – for posterity.

    Video Formats: Flash | QuickTime | Google Video | YouTube

    Turkey and Gravy soda, Sweet Potato soda, Dinner Roll soda, Pea soda, Antacid Flavored soda – I tried ’em all. What’s the weirdest food or drink that you’ve ever ingested – willingly? I wonder if Jones Soda will make a blog flavored soda next year?