11 Stories

Hey 'Branson,' This Woman Found Your Gifts

Andrea Reid says they were on Interstate 75 in Florida

(Newser) - A Florida woman found Christmas gifts on the side of Interstate 75 and is trying to find the child they were intended for, reports the AP . Andrea Reid tells NBC2 she was heading to a Christmas Eve gathering when she spotted something through the fog on the side of the... More »

Oprah's 2017 'Favorite Things' Include Really Pricey Tequila

More than 100 items show up on this year's holiday list

(Newser) - Oprah Winfrey is back with her longest holiday gift list ever at 102 of her favorite things. Ranging in price from free (downloads of her SuperSoul Conversations podcast) to $2,000 (for a 55-inch TV that morphs into a painting), Winfrey's annual list will be featured in the December... More »

Dalai Lama's Birthday Bash Driving Planners Nuts

What gifts and what kind of cake to make for spiritual leader are tough calls

(Newser) - He's the man who has (and wants) nothing, which is putting birthday planners in a peculiar predicament. The Dalai Lama turns 80 on Monday, and per the Wall Street Journal , it's been a task and a half to prepare for an address he's giving to about 15,... More »

Down With Wedding Gifts

Matthew Yglesias thinks we should give graduation gifts instead

(Newser) - The custom of giving wedding presents began when people were getting married quite young, likely broke, and in possession of few household goods—so why are we still giving them today? If anything, many of today's married couples are merging two households and have too much stuff. The tradition... More »

Jimmy Kimmel Gets Parents to Prank Kids for Christmas

They record reactions to lousy gifts

(Newser) - Jimmy Kimmel is establishing a holiday tradition of sorts. On Halloween, he asked parents to tell their kids they ate up all the candy and to record the reaction. For Christmas, he asked parents to give their kids an early but terrible present and again record it for YouTube posterity,... More »

Site Lets You Send a Gift to a Complete Stranger

A way to unload your junk ... or spread a little cheer

(Newser) - Wondering what to do with the really dreadful scarf your non-gift-receipt-savvy grandma gave you? Or just looking to spread a little happiness? Check out Gift a Stranger , a quirky site dreamed up by communications agency Happiness Brussels. Enter your name, city, country, and a description and photo of your gift,... More »

Dear Santa, Send Me a Mom (Not Clothes)

Kids' letters to St. Nick go way beyond toys, and often skip 'please'

(Newser) - Some are funny, some are sad; some ask for a microscope, some to be transformed into an elf; but the one thing kids writing letters to Santa agree on is: no clothes. So says a professor who analyzed more than 1,200 letters sent to Santa, from one child's heart-wrenching... More »

Holiday Shopping Tip: Money Can Buy You Love

Yuletide economics dissected

(Newser) - Christmas is coming, and the "voluntary December calamity" of destruction of billions of dollars in value is under way, writes George Will. People will splurge on gifts their relatives and friends don't want or need, and the discrepancy between the cost of the present and its value to the... More »

Ethical Gifts Ease Western Guilt, Not Third World Poverty

Condescending gifts will not eradicate poverty

(Newser) - The trend of giving ethical holiday gifts couldn't be more pompous, writes Nathalie Rothschild for Spiked. "Rather than lifting people out of poverty, Oxfam and the rest are helping to sustain underdevelopment," she argues. And occupying a higher level of condescension is the organization Animal Aid, which opposes... More »

Shoppers Turn to Funny, Useful Gifts

Boots, joke books, comfort clothes score big in recession

(Newser) - Christmas shoppers are thinking small this year, and the gifts they're buying reveal how Americans are coping with recession, USA Today reports. Here's a list of today's trends:
  • Practical: Nearly half of the most popular items searched for online were boots, according to one mall inventory service. Gifts that help
... More »

Economy Spells Weary Christmas for Toy Charities

Donations off as much as 30%, some say

(Newser) - Across the country, charities that dole out gifts to underprivileged kids have seen donations fall off steeply compared to last holiday season, USA Today reports. Some are reporting as much as a 30% decline in giving as the economy flags. “Families that would normally have been helping us by... More »

11 Stories