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(Tribune photo by Gary Miller)

Holiday Gift Guide for folks in Willmar and West Central Minnesota

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If it's looking a little, well, empty under your tree this year, don't panic yet. Historically, about half of all holiday shopping takes place in the last weeks leading up to Christmas, according to the National Retail Federation.

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So if you still have some last-minute shopping to finish before the big day, consider these ideas as you rush to check every last person off your list.

For the cook

"Jamie Oliver's Meals in Minutes: A Revolutionary Approach to Cooking Good Food Fast" by Jamie Oliver: This cookbook from Food Network star Jamie Oliver offers 50 healthy meals that can be made in 30 minutes or less. Featuring easy shortcuts and tips for organizing your kitchen, this cookbook is perfect for someone who wants to make quality, healthy food in a matter of minutes. - $24, Target

Keurig brewing system: On cold winter mornings, nothing tastes better than a hot cup of coffee or tea. With this single-cup coffee maker, your loved one can make gourmet hot or iced beverages instantly, choosing from more than 200 flavors of coffee or tea available exclusively for Keurig. - $80 to $250, available at most home stores or keurig.com

For the techie

Kindle Fire: Amazon's newest e-reader offers more than 100,000 movies and television shows for download or streaming, games, web browsing and, of course, books: more than 1 million of them, including 800,000 books at $9.99 or less. This seven-inch tablet is the ideal gift for someone who absolutely must have the newest device or gadget. - $199, amazon.com; also sold locally at your favorite electronic store, prices may vary.

Colorplay knit solid texting gloves: These gloves were made for harsh Minnesota winters, when you need as many layers as possible to stay warm but still need to send a quick text on your touch-screen smartphone. For the tech junkie who would rather freeze his fingers off than give up the use of his phone, give him the best of both worlds this holiday. - $28, JCPenney

For the teenager

Someday by Justin Bieber perfume: The teen sensation's first perfume is known to drive him wild. The fragrance is billed as sweet yet subtle - perfect for the daughter or granddaughter on your list. - $18 to $45, Herberger's

Apple iPod touch: iPods used to be for playing music. This one not only plays music, it also allows users to surf the web, check their e-mail and access more than 500,000 apps. Teens can also use the iPod touch calendar and reminder system to stay on top of everything from homework to social events. - $199 to $399, apple.com; also sold locally at your favorite electronics store, prices may vary.

For the bookworm

"The Hunger Games" trilogy box set, by Suzanne Collins: Before this trilogy hits the big screen in March, encourage the book lover on your list to read the series from the beginning. It follows protagonist Katniss Everdeen in a future nation where once a year, two children are chosen to participate in the Hunger Games, a televised fight that allows for only one survivor. - $38, Target

"Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson: Selected by Amazon editors as one of the best books of 2011, this biography tells the life story of the late visionary Steve Jobs. Based on interviews Jobs conducted, as well as interviews from family, friends and colleagues, this biography offers a glimpse into one of the most creative and inventive minds of our time. - $25, Target

For the stylist

Fossil laptop sleeve: This bold-patterned laptop sleeve from Fossil blends beauty and practicality. When she slips her laptop out of this bag, she'll be the envy of everyone at the office. Laptop sleeve fits computers 15 inches or smaller. - $60, Herberger's

Dana Kellin for Target multicolor necklace: Nothing says "merry Christmas" quite like a piece of jewelry. This classic three-strand necklace in champagne, pink and purple will give her something sparkly to find in her stocking. - $50, Target

For the TV addict

"Friday Night Lights: The Complete Series": If your friend or relative still has "Friday Night Lights" withdrawal, make their holiday a little merrier by giving them the complete series to enjoy again and again. This 19-disc set includes commentary, behind-the-scenes looks and deleted scenes, all packaged in a book featuring photos from the series. - $70, Target

Netflix membership: If the person on your list can't decide what TV show to obsess over next, give them a Netflix membership. Netflix allows subscribers to watch thousands of movies or television shows instantly from their computer, iPad or other compatible device - anything from new arrivals to classic favorites. - $8 per month, netflix.com

For the notoriously hard-to-buy-for person on your list

Of the month club membership: For the person who never has an idea of what he wants, try an "of the month" club membership. There's bound to be a club that fits nearly every hobby or interest - whether it's a beer of the month club for your favorite uncle or a flower of the month club for your grandma with a green thumb. Typically, you can purchase memberships in increments of one month, three months, six months or one year. - Prices vary by club and membership

Gift cards: If you're really stuck trying to find the perfect gift, consider giving the gift of choice. According to the National Retail Federation, gift cards are the most requested gift item this year, with 58 percent of people including them on their wish lists. The NRF says department stores, restaurants and entertainment venues, such as movie theaters, make for the best gift cards. However, you can make gift cards a little more personal, too. Think about giving a gift card to the recipient's favorite local coffee shop or book store.

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Ashley White

Ashley White is the community content coordinator for the West Central Tribune. Follow her on Twitter @Ashley_WCT.


(320) 214-4308
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