Its the second installment of our annual shopping tradition (2012 first edition is here) — these are some of the more interesting and eclectic items I stumble across each year.

Across a broad variety of price points, here is the next Shopmas list for those of you who may have been very, very good this year. The goal is find items that you may not have seen and will make the recipient smile.

Select some items and effectuate your own economic stimulus package:


Underwater Dogs  $11.33

I mentioned Underwater Dogs a few times this year (see this and this) — and now these hilarious photos are gathered in one delightful book.

The exuberant, exhilarating photographs of dogs underwater that have become a sensation.

More than eighty portraits by award-winning pet photographer Seth Casteel capture new sides of our old friends with vibrant underwater photography that makes it impossible to look away.

A perfect stocking stuffer.


Nebo 5615 RedLine SE Flashlight $32.69

After last week’s gift post, a few people asked about “that flashlight you mentioned” (discussed here, “My Hero of the Blackout.”)

The power and intensity of this compact tactical light is amazing. The Redline SE is the perfect flashlight for Firefighters, EMTs and Police Officers. You can illuminate an entire room in flood mode, or illuminate objects 175 yards away in spot mode. light. 5 modes include 100-Percent, 50-Percent, 10-Percent and power settings + Strobe & SOS allowing batteries to last up to 72 hours.

The 250 Lumen, Nebo 5615 runs $33 (note the 310 Lumen Nebo 5620 is $50 but goes on sale at $39).


George Carlin: All My Stuff (2007) $122

This 14-disc career retrospective set includes all twelve of George Carlin s HBO concert specials, spanning nearly thirty years. One of the greatest comedians of all time, Carlin performs his most memorable routines (Baseball and Football, A Place for My Stuff, Losing Things, Al Sleet the Hippie-Dippie Weather Man, Hitler, We Like War, It s Not A Sport, Why We Don’t Need Ten Commandments and Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television).

Two bonus discs round out the collection including interviews — Carlin fans will adore this set.


Hugh Johnson’s Wine Companion: The Encyclopedia of Wines, Vineyards and Winemakers  $24

Last time, I mentioned Exploring Wine ($39) and several of you wrote to recommend 2 other wine books:

The less expensive of the two is the sixth edition of Hugh Johnson’s Wine Companion.

Hugh Johnson’s Wine Companion presents a unique approach to wine and wine producers, combining detailed information with practical advice on how to enjoy wine to the fullest. Color maps and photographs and detailed glossaries of the wines of each region are just two of the additions for this exciting new edition.

Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties, Including Their Origins and Flavours $110

This is the other book recommended by readers — described as “an indispensable book for every wine lover, from some of the world’s leading wine experts.

Where do wine grapes come from and how are grape varieties related to one another? What is the historical background of each one? Where are they grown? What sort of wines do they make?

Using cutting-edge DNA analysis and detailing almost 1,400 distinct grape varieties, as well as myriad correct (and incorrect) synonyms, this book examines grapes and wine as never before. This is a serious book for serious oenophiles!

Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard for iPad 2 and 3rd generation) $81.99

For anyone who loves their iPad but is less than thrilled about the typing on glass, these ultra-lite, portable keyboards are the way to go. They turn your tablet into what is essentially a touch screen ultralite laptop.

Clip-and-go design: Magnetic clip instantly attaches keyboard as a cover, which also works as a stand. The same instant on/off that wakes and sleeps your iPad when you open and close the cover.

I never go anywhere without mine.


Large Navy Zip Top Anchor Tote with Navy Rope Handles (Seabags) $150

I love the idea of this company, which I first found in Anguilla: Take old sailboat canvas (sails) and repurpose them into new products.

I like this Sea Bag anchor as a large tote for the boat or a family day at the beach.

Recycled sail with navy hand spliced rope handles designed for hand carry; zipper top to keep things secure.


Beatles Box Set (Stereo)  $179

Look, you either know and love the Beatles, or you don’t. Anyone who is a fan and gets this set will be delighted.

Digitally remastered 17 disc box set (16 CDs + DVD), the set contains all of the 14 original Beatles albums released between 1963 and 1970 plus the two CD Past Masters collection of non-album tracks (plus other bonus DVD material and documentaries).

Note which version you order — I suggest stereo, your annoying brother-in-law wants the original mono, and your weird uncle insists on Vinyl.


Pentax Optio WG-2 underwater camera Kit $222.54

I have the prior version of this camera, and it takes good underwater photos and video. I will be upgrading it for the new Pentax Optio WG-2 Camera, which can take crisper cleaner photos in lower light situations.

Durable, 16-megapixel point-and-shoot camera is waterproof, dustproof, coldproof, shockproof, crushproof, and still capable of professional-level images and full 1080p HD video. 36X combined zoom and macro lens.

Its waterproof down to 40 feet, shockproof to 5 feet, and freezeproof to 14 F degrees.


Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection (Limited Edition) $207.99

The Master of Suspense, the legendary Alfred Hitchcock directed some of the best thrillers ever made.

The Masterpiece Collection features 15 iconic films including Psycho, The Birds, Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest and many more.

Over 15 hours of insightful bonus features plus an exclusive collectible book, each film has been digitally restored from high resolution film elements for the ultimate Hitchcock experience.



Clifford Bailey Lithographs $1,000-$3,000

Clifford Bailey paints amongst other things, delightfully whimsical jazz bands in full swing. There is a charming sense to his work, which capture the full energy of improvisation. “The work is playful, intense, funny, twisted, easy to look at and hard to forget. His signature style is original and unique.”

The Miami born artist lives and works in Los Angeles.   Full bio is here.


McIntosh Manhattan $7,000

True-to-life sound replication belies its diminutive size which is 22.5″ long by 10.6″ tall and only 14.6″ deep.

The system also includes a built in AM/FM/RDS tuner, CD/SACD as well as auxiliary input to playback your favorite source.

This reference quality system will blow you away and is built to last a lifetime. If you have discretionary income to burn,  want something to impress your friends, take a look at this little beatsie.

Category: Consumer Spending

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19 Responses to “More Shopmas Gift Ideas!”

  1. jaymaster says:

    I’m a fan of the Nebo lights.

    They’re not usually bleeding edge, but their cost/performance ratio and designs tend to be about right for anyone but a hard core flashlight geek.

    (Which I used to be. But I’m now in recovery… )

  2. They saved my ass — I bought one in Mainer for our annual fishing trip, and used it all black out — performed like a champ.

  3. louis says:

    When does underwater homeower come out? What kind of dog do you have BR?

  4. I have a Bearded Collie/Shepard mix (a rescue dog), and an Apricot colored Labradoodle

  5. Robespierre says:

    McIntosh love their power amps. Used to have one didn’t know the company was still around. Cool

  6. DiggidyDan says:

    Price is a bit ridiculous on that boombox when you could get audiophile powered monitors for that price and hook anything with a decent send into them. Then again, I haven’t heard it compared to monitors.

  7. louis says:

    Looking for new dog and down to the labradoodle or English lab. Just got the flashlight for some folks , thanks.

  8. The Labradoodle is a delight, but you should know a) they are very destructive puppies — really tore stuff up and (Vet confirms its the breed) 2) They can be stubborn. The shepard was much more trainable

  9. formerlawyer says:

    Trotify might make an interesting gift (assuming it goes into production).

  10. Julia Chestnut says:

    It’s the lab half of the breed, BR. We raised labs for hunting, and they could chew iron lawn furniture. They ate garden hoses into one foot sections. I have never understood how an animal that could bring me a quail without even displacing the feathers, then drop it gently into my hand, could then go home and eat the decorative columns off the porch. It lasts two years – then they are completely golden. Get a lab through that first 2 years, and you have a wonderful dog. That said, we also kept border collies and Australian shepherds for stock work. Those are some CRAZY smart dogs, and they train like a dream. Unfortunately, because they are so smart, when they get into trouble it tends to be on a scale other dogs couldn’t even conceive of. It’s really less trouble than organized crime with a border collie.

    Bought the flashlight for my flashlight obsessed spouse – thank you for the recommendation!

  11. number2son says:

    Really like the underwater dog book and calendar. Picked one up for my daughter, who works with dogs and loves them to distraction. Between me and the kids we have six dogs; little mutts in some kind of chihuahua-terrier combination, and none of them would go near water willingly. All rescues. You should see us when we take them all out for a walk. ;)

  12. theexpertisin says:

    BR, thanks for the gift lists.

    Have a son who is a USCG Commander out of Astoria, OR. The CARLIN set will keep him laughing on those two month patrols in the arctic fishing waters.

    I have used your ideas several times in the past, and they are always well received.

  13. tippet523 says: For those Super Bowl and NFL fans Bob McGinn who is one of the best NFL writers bar none has written a book on every Super Bowl and why each team won. If you follow directions in the link he will Autograph it for anyone.

    Great read for any NFL die hard.

  14. MorticiaA says:

    BR, thanks for all the gift ideas.

    To testify to your persuasive powers, I went directly to AMZN to look at the flashlight. At that time there plenty in stock. Left the site to actually work for a living; came back to AMZN 30 minutes later and there were only 2 left. I hope Amazon shows you some love for all the business you point its way.

  15. James Cameron says:

    I think if I was going to give that McIntosh Manhattan as a gift, it would have to be to me, sorry to say. McIntosh is as much about great design as listening. See, for example, this eye candy:

  16. speaking of that Flashlight..

    was anyone else ‘stunned’ to see ..

    11 out of 72 ‘one-star’ Reviews..?

    many of them reporting ‘rapid fading of lumen output’..

    asking, mainly, because I’m wondering if (m-)any place any stock in ‘Online Reviews’, in general..

  17. [...] of great feedback about the last lists — you can see part one and part two here — so here is our third round of Shopmas ideas for those of you who have loved [...]

  18. [...] its all good stuff for the trader in your life. (You can see out earlier suggestions:  part one, part two and part [...]

  19. [...] More Shopmas Gift Ideas! (more of the [...]