I love this time of year when all my favorite celebrities share their favorite holiday gifts. Unfortunately for me whenever I peruse one of these high profile lists I get sticker shock. Honestly often just one item will be more than my entire holiday budget. So every year I make a list of my own. Be forewarned I am a little bit on the frugal side but that doesn’t mean I don’t spend a lot of time picking the best of the best for friends and family, just not a lot of money. Things I value most are happiness, music and well written words, so if you have anyone on your gift list who likes to laugh or listen to great music or enjoy the well turned phrase, here are my picks for this Christmas. Five are for those who want to buy and have someone else do the work and five require you purchase the supplies and do the work yourself. All ten say the gift giver is one thoughtful and quirky person and can quite likely win this years "Best Gift Ever" contest.

1. For the Funny one in your crowd or just the one on your list who never quite recovered from their tenure at Catholic School I highly recommend http://heynunnienunnie.com/  This little website offers the most hilarious $15 Christmas CD  I have ever listened to, ever, and the two ladies who produced it actually have a large enough vocabulary they can make you laugh without bleep-able  verbage!  And a perfect stocking stuffer is the $5 Get Out of Hell Free card; this is the kind of soul insurance everyone on your "naughty" list needs.

2.For the guitar player on your list I suggest any CD by Mel Brown, but i especially recommend "Chicken Fat". I was reintroduced to him recently by the gurus of sound at Hoodlums music. Not only do I recommend you pick up the CD I totally recommend you buy it local. If you live in the Tempe/Phx area I recommend Hoodlums on the SW corner of Mclintock and Guadalupe. If you are one of my many friends who live elsewhere, then have your own local harmony hookup bring it on, and may I say, buy one for yourself. It is always in my Ipods "most Played" list.

3. For the musician or music lover who lives in the greater Phoenix area I cannot recommend highly enough the gift of tickets to the Musical Instrument Museum or MIM. I was taken for my birthday this year and cannot wait to go again. Regular adult admission is $15 and tickets can be purchased on line, although if you are already in Scottsdale pick up the tickets in person and check out their gift shop in which plenty of lovely and unique low cost items also abound. Here is the link for admission tickets  https://tickets.themim.org/show.asp

4. For  Something unique to put a giftcard or sweet sentiment in, or if you just want to turn over a new leaf; try this etsy site for imaginative paper boxes and "clean/dirty" leaves. http://www.etsy.com/shop/branwen71. The ceramic leaves can be used as dishwasher magnets or magneted to a lapel can set the tone of the humor at your next holiday party.

5. And my top book recommendation for gift giving is as always a children’s picture book, well like the "Giving Tree" is a children’s book. They even still have signed copies at Changing Hands, also in Tempe. Located conveniently close to Hoodlums music. Check out this review of this witty bit of lit.  http://www.motherreader.com/2010/08/its-book-jackass.html.

Also some other authors websites to check out for can’t lose autographed books that come in full adult novel sizes try:

And my top 5 DIY Christmas projects this year are where you buy the supplies but supply the love and construction time are

1. http://web.me.com/chrismcveigh/mintinbox/home/Entries/2010/11/29_Lego_Death_Star_Ornament.htm

2. http://www.knitting-and.com/knitting/patterns/drwho/drwhoscarves.htm
3.http://www.knittingonthenet.com/patterns/hatfelticesplash.html  Only don’t use the novelty yarn like they do, just make and shape the hatr from their pattern  and then attach a lovely dollar broach or silk flower on the Right side.

4. http://www.crochetme.com/media/p/90002.aspx

5. http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Homemade-Book and add your own poetry, pictures or comics

And that is my favorite things under 20$ this year.

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