The 12 Days of Gifts: What To Get Your Co-Workers

For day 2 of the 12 days of gifts, we bring you 11 types of people you might work with and some holiday gift ideas to make them love you!

The coworker who: is a glamour girl.
Gift: Crystal computer mouse
Price: $19.99
Office issue keyboards, mice and pretty much everything are generally boring and/or gross. Spice up her workday with a little bling. Or, if you’re feeling generous, for $62.99 (plus shipping) you can go all-out and get her the complete bedazzled office supply set.

The coworker who: really needs to shut up.
Gift: Pandora One subscription
Price: $4/month.
Because it’s kind of hard to talk over music.

The coworker who: is always hungover.

Gift: Pedialyte packets
$9.99 for eight.
Late night last night? No problem. Pedialyte restores electrolytes lost drinking and helps cure hangovers. This powder mixes with water from the water cooler to discreetly treat your hangover at the office.

The coworker who: is high-strung.

Gift: Relaxation fountain
Price: $26.96
Let the sounds of a gentle stream of water help your stressed-out coworker find his or her center…without leaving his or her desk.

The coworker who: is snarky.
Gift: Maxine 2013 desk calendar
Price: $12.59
Who better than Hallmark’s signature cranky Maxine to deliver a little snark every morning for 365 days? This is the gift that keeps on giving all year long.

The coworker who: hogs the office candy dish.

Gift: Giant Hershey bar.
Price: $15.95
If this doesn’t give him or her the hint, nothing will.
http://www.hersheysstore.com/product/7628

The coworker who: commutes.

Gift: CitySlips
Price: $22.25
Whether your coworker is a busy mom from the suburbs or single in the city, every commuter can appreciate a pair of these convenient foldable ballet flats after a long day at work.

The coworker who: is always freaking sick.
Gift: 5-pack of Bath & Body Works pocket bac hand sanitizer, plus antibacterial hand soap in a wintry scent, like Twisted Peppermint.
Price: Anti-bacterial gels, $5 for 5, soap, $5.50 each.
This gift is appealing to the recipient but also cuts down on germs spread through the office bigtime. So basically, a win for everyone.

The coworker who: has children.

Gift: Digital photo frame
Price: $19.99
Let your coworker showcase family pics all day long with this LCD photo frame.

The coworker who: loves to read.

Gift: Barnes & Noble membership
Price: $25
The recipient gets unlimited express shipping on all orders, 40% off hardcover bestsellers, plus 10% off everything. Not a bad deal.

The coworker who: is a go-getter.

Gift: Kate White’s new book, I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know
Price: $16.49.
Bonus: You can get the sparknotes version by asking her what she learned after she reads it.

Be sure to check out yesterday’s guide of what to get your boyfriend. And don’t forget to check back tomorrow for our 3rd day of gifts! Happy shopping 🙂

Flashback Friday: Old Navy Performance Fleece

“Performance Fleece! Ooh, it’s fine!

Performance Fleece? I’ll be there at nine!”

Old Navy has had some catchy commercials over the years, but none have been as catchy or memorable as the performance fleece campaign from 1998. 14 years later, I can still sing the song from this video. The great thing about performance fleece was that anyone could wear it. And I know I’m pushing it to say fleeces look good on everybody, but at the time I remember the fleece as an accessible but still coveted and stylish garment.

My entire family got performance fleeces for Christmas in 1998. I was in eighth grade that year, and fashion blogs hadn’t been invented yet, so almost everybody I knew shopped at the same stores in the mall. Most people at school got performance fleece over the holidays, too, so you were pretty much out of the loop if you didn’t have one.

Today, the fleece is back in its appropriate place in the fashion hierarchy as acceptable attire for things like hiking, seeing a sporting event, or going to the gym. Sorry, people, but fleece isn’t going to cut it at Christmas parties anymore, but we can just chalk that up to the 90’s being the 90’s.

Did you have a performance fleece in the 90s?

(If not, NBD, you can buy one here.)

5 Christmas Specials I Still Watch in my 20s

My siblings and I have been watching the same Christmas specials since we were little. Relaxing with a cup of hot chocolate in front of the TV as a family and watching these classics is still one of my favorite holiday traditions, although as an adult even I am skeptical of things that kids take for granted, like how much the red light of a reindeer’s nose could lead Santa through a snowstorm. (Who came up with that, anyway?) Still, it doesn’t feel like Christmas until I’ve watched a few of specials with some hot chocolate. Here are my five favorites:

1. A Charlie Brown Christmas

First aired: 1965

Memorable quote: Charlie Brown, you’re the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem!

Favorite moment: When Linus tells us what Christmas is all about.

Disappointing realization as an adult: Waving your arms in front of a skinny tree does not make it grow branches.

 

2. Frosty the Snowman

First Aired: 1969

Memorable quote: Frosty: Are you coming to the North Pole, too?
Karen: I’m sure my mother won’t mind, as long as I’m home in time for supper.

Favorite moment: When Professor Hinkle makes a deal with Santa and has to get busy busy busy.

Disappointing realization as an adult: What kind of parent raises their child to think nothing of hopping a refrigerated box car to the North Pole?

 

3. A Garfield Christmas

First aired: 1987

Favorite moment: When the family turns on lights after they’ve decorated the tree and their mouths are shaped in big Os. My entire family does that every year as a joke after we light our tree.

Memorable quote: Climbing trees is my life, sir. If I’m not back in an hour, send a banana cream pie after me.

Disappointing realization as an adult: I’m pretty sure feeding a cat lasagna would give him diarrhea. Not willing to test this theory.

4. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

First aired: 1964

Memorable quote: Whoever heard of a skinny Santa? Eat. Eat!

Favorite moment: When the misfit toys find homes.

Disappointing realization as an adult: Rudolph could have sued the reindeer games for discrimination.

 

5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

First aired: 1966

Memorable quote: It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
It came without packages, boxes or bags!

Favorite moment: When the Grinch’s heart grows three sizes.

Disappointing realization as an adult: The Grinch only cuts out one layer of fabric from his red curtain but winds up with a Santa suit.

 

What are your favorite Christmas movies 20-somethings? If you’re a fan of A Charlie Brown Christmas like me, make sure to catch it tonight at 8pm on ABC! If not, you can still get in the Christmas spirit by watching the annual lighting of NYC’s Christmas tree on NBC at 8pm followed by an SNL special of memorable holiday sketches. The holiday season is finally here!

Confessions of a 20-Something: I Browse for Baby Names Online

Most people who know me are aware that I am not the kind of person who likes to plan ahead. Many a three-day weekend has rolled around for which I have made no plans, I often find my fridge with nothing for dinner, and I never pick out my clothes for work the night before. There is one project I have gotten a head start on, though: naming the children I won’t have for at least several more years. I’m all over that.

I’ve been obsessed with celebrity baby names for several years now. One night back in college, before the invention of more effective time-wasting sites like tumblr, I came across a site called BabyNames.com where you can make an account and even save your favorite names to a list. As a college student, what better way to put off doing homework due tomorrow than picking out names for your future children?

One day in the computer lab, I spotted another girl browsing BabyNames.com. A kindred spirit! I approached her. “Oh, my gosh, you do that, too?” I said. She gave me a weird look and said that her older sister was having a baby. Well, then.

Here’s the challenge: I want to find a name that’s unique, but not too unique (I’m looking at you, Suri), feminine, but not evocative of a bimbo (show me a CEO named Britney) and popular but not passe. Adding to this challenge is my desire to have twins. I always wanted a twin of my own after growing up watching Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen movies. The two-for-one pregnancy is definitely the way to go, but naming twins presents an additional challenge: the names have to go together. And I haven’t made very much progress on names for boys yet.

My roommate at the time, however, had picked out only boy names because she wants to have a son first. We compared lists and I told her I liked the names Chloe and Reilly for my twin daughters. “You totally stole that from an Olsens movie,” she said. Darn! If a non-Olsen fan recognized the pairing, most people probably would, so it was back to square one.

I’ve been slacking in my baby name research lately, but I do go back to my list every now and then and update it. I haven’t gone all Charlotte York with a “dream box” and the name Shayla reserved, especially because I don’t believe you can “steal” baby names. The woman who gives birth first gets to use the name and that’s that.

But as with any important life event, a little preparation goes a long way. I don’t understand people who give birth to a baby and then, three days later, still haven’t thought of a name. In this one aspect of my life, I’m going to be prepared.

Flashback Friday: Middle School Awkwardness

MTV’s Awkward is one of my favorite shows, and I can definitely relate to the uncomfortable situations. There is one phase of life, though, that is more awkward than high school: middle school.

Passing Awkward Notes

In middle school, in the land before time texting, all of the best gossip and conversations traveled via notes passed in class. If you had something juicy to tell your best friend or just wanted to chat, you would write it in a carefully folded note that must not, at all costs, fall into the wrong hands. If you had nothing to talk about, you could make a paper plane, tabletop football or a fortune teller. Notes were also a less risky way to ask your crush if they like you back or if they want to go to the dance with you: circle yes or no. Waiting to get that note back was torture.

Awkward School Musicals

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy High School Musical. But, like most movies, they are nowhere close to an accurate portrayal of what a school musical is actually like.  Everyone would try out for the leads whether or not they could sing because getting cast as a lead was pre-internet equivalent of instant rockstar status. What really annoyed me about this was the shameless elitism of the leads. Before the invention of YouTube, being the best singer in the school automatically meant you were the best singer in the world and would probably be dropping out of school soon for a starring role on Broadway.

Since I can’t sing, I was always relegated to the ensemble cast. Being a part of the show was always fun… until I watched it (on a VHS tape, obviously). What seemed to me like a Tony-award winning performance of Peter Pan was actually a nearly three hour long trainwreck!

Awkward Bar and Bat Mitzvahs

At my middle school, a person’s popularity was easily measured by the number of bar or bat mitzvahs he or she attended. Super-popular people sometimes had to attend two in the same day. And oh, the horror, because My Super Sweet 16 and probably most weddings have nothing on these parties. There was great food, tons of party favors (hello, giant sunglasses and inflatable guitars) all of the best dance music, and by that I mean the Macarena.

But when you think about it, is gettin’ jiggy wit it in front of your extended family any less awkward than a couple being separated by the principal at a dance for grinding too sexually? And if you weren’t invited to the hottest bar or bat of the weekend, you were totally out of the loop. Two people in my grade had their party together and it was, as they say in high society, the social event of the season. And it felt like everyone was invited but me. I’M STILL MAD ABOUT IT. Even though I’m not jewish, I totally wanted a bat mitzvah. My confirmation party was fun, but catholic kids totally get shafted by having to wait until eighth grade for their big, lavish parties.

First. World. Problems.

Or as we said in middle school, mo’ money, mo’ problems, but coming from a bunch of thirteen-year-olds, that’s pretty awkward too.

Fall Reading for Twenty Somethings

A big (and I mean big) benefit of not being in college anymore is having the freedom to read for fun and not for school. Even as a college student I’ve always sneaked in some pleasure reading. Here are three fun options to stock your e-reader or bookshelf.

The End of the World as We Know It by Iva-Marie Palmer

How many times have you thought, I wouldn’t kiss that guy if he were the last man on earth?

Sarabeth, Evan, Leo and Teena are trapped in the basement at a party when their sleepy Chicago suburb is invaded by aliens. The End of the World as We Know It chronicles the fight of this unlikely team against the aliens intertwined with their personal backstories, Breakfast-Club style. Sparkling with snarky one-liners and pop culture references, this book is a fast-paced adventure that doesn’t skimp on character development. As an added bonus, the characters raid their local Toys R’ Us for battle supplies.

How to Look Expensive by Andrea Pomerantz Lustig

This book is the Spark Notes of years of research by Glamour magazine’s beauty editor Andrea Pomerantz Lustig. It has great advice on what products are worth the splurge and which you can snag from the drugstore. Filled with how-tos, specific product recommendations and tips from top celebrity makeup and hairstylists, How to Look Expensive is well worth the price.

Suri’s Burn Book by Allie Hagan

If you’re like me and enjoy visiting the Suri’s Burn Book Tumblr for an endless supply of high-larious celebrity baby commentary, check out the print edition, released on September 4th, Beyonce’s birthday, obviously to upstage her. Suri gives us her thoughts on celebrities who should have babies (Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, I’m looking at you), celebrity child fashion, and how she dreads the inevitable birth of William and Kate’s first child, especially if it’s a girl.