Top 10 Christmas Gifts for Yourself this Year

This photo is a great example of #9 below.   Copyright by Lorna Tedder.

1.        The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 Color Mobile Scanner:   The smallest ScanSnap document scanner—multi-page, double-sided scanning, all sized of documents from receipts to legal paper, fast, up to 10 sheets at a time, up to 600 dpi.  It’s a teensy tiny scanner that takes up very little room on my desktop—so it’s always there!  This one little scanner in the past year has helped me clear out NINE filing cabinets of important papers, now in my Dropbox account,  and keeps me organized because I simply scan and forget about any important mail or documents as they come into my house.    Makes it easy to NOT be a hoarder!  Check it out or take a look at a slightly bigger version.

2.       Shakeology nutritional shake:  A low glycemic index shake with 70 nutrients, Shakeology functions as a meal replacement or a meal supplement.  It’s like a liquid-vitamin-slash-protein-shake to me with only good side effects:  more energy, lower cholesterol, better digestion, and very quick and easy.  I drink it daily as breakfast and, if I get a late evening craving,  as a “chocolate mousse dessert, ”  which is about, oh,  3000 calories less than what I used to eat for a chocolate dessert!  My favorite way to drink Shakeology is the 140-calorie (far less than a candy bar or soda) method of pulverizing a double handful of ice cubes, a little water, and a scoop of chocolate Shakeology in a blender.  The end result, depending on how much water I use, is somewhere between a chocolate slushee and a thick chocolate mousse, and I do like the taste.  It’s pricey and not sold in stores, but I’ll tell you the best deal.  You can order it (money back guarantee) here at $4-$5 a shake, but if you like it and find it helpful, sign up as a “coach” as I did and the price comes down to a very manageable $3 per shake/meal and free shipping.

3.        A second computer monitor:  Shoot, I’d have four if I could hook them all up.  This is a must-have for the multi-tasker like me.  I’m just too fond of being able to compare or work between multiple documents in multiple programs all at once.  When I bought my newest desktop, I picked up this one as well.  An ex-boyfriend used to joke that my desk—a near-circle of monitors and techno-geek tools, looked like something out of a Captain and Tennille concert

4.        “Getting into the Vortex” Guided Meditations and User Guide (CD and Book):  A musically-scored, breath-enhancing CD of four 15-minutes meditations for General Well-Being, Financial Well-Being, Physical Well-Being, and Relationships.  I’m a big fan of meditating but this is a bit different from other meditation CDs in that the breathing sequence is extremely calming. I’ve noticed a greater sense of serenity in myself since doing the 15-minute daily meditation (easy!) and have even noticed my college-student daughter’s increased calmness and sense of joy since she’s been meditating every morning before school. 

5.       Roku streaming player:  Stream movies, music, and TV shows to your Roku through channels like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Video-on-Demand, and Pandora.  I actually have two Roku players now—one for my home gym where I watch daily while on my treadmill and one for the family room where houseguests tend to gather and watch reruns of Buffy, Xena, Torchwood, and …the XFiles.

6.       The Amazon Kindle:  Okay, I’ve been a huge advocate of ebooks and e-readers since the late 1990’s when my indie publishing company first pubbed an e-version of Access and two non-fiction guides for writers, back in the day when authors were actually ridiculed and omitted from published author forums (like within Romance Writers of America’s organization) for not having a  “real book” published by a “recognized publisher” (yes, I was there, and the elitism is why I left).  We’ve come a long way in the past 10 years, as much in technology as in a change in mindset.  Though a number of my own books are already available on Kindle, this year ebooks became real to the rest of my family.  My 17-year-old saved her money and bought her own Kindle to she doesn’t have to carry huge textbooks and assignments to her college classes.  Because the Kindle is so easy for her to handle, she now reads a book a day.  My 81-year-old mom is getting one for Christmas this year—she loves reading those huge (expensive), hardcover Republican propaganda books that weigh about 7 pounds, so now she’ll be able to curl up in her favorite chair with a device that weighs and handles about the same as a small paperback and buy ebooks on her retiree income at a substantial savings.   Me?  I went with an iPad, which I love, but for different reasons other than reading…but I do have an iPad and iPhone app for Kindle.

7.       Knowledge:  Learn a new skill, technique, or language using services like Elance and Odesk.  This year, I gave my teen an upgrade in her professional Photoshop skills for her photography business by putting out a request for quote on Odesk.  We found the perfect expert in the Philippines—the exact background she was looking for—and for $35, we purchased a series of one-on-one lessons via Skype over several months’ time.  It was all around a wonderful experience in which she greatly improved her skills, got the chance to interact with and learn about another culture, and her expert got to send hours at a time practicing his (perfect) English. 

8.       P90X exercise program:  Seriously.  It works. 

9.       An experience:  Ditch the expensive collecting of “stuff” and take a trip instead.  Or go to a special event.  I decided a couple of years ago to give my daughters an “experiential Christmas,” which meant we put our Christmas present money into a Carnival Cruise out of nearby Mobile AL to Mexico.  We spent our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day climbing  Mayan pyramids and trudging through archeological digs in Santa hats.  This year, depending on the weather, I’m hoping for a special adventure that includes ziplining over a river and bird sanctuary or perhaps visiting a wolf sanctuary.

10.   Pheromones:  An over-50  female physician I admire swears by this stuff.   The Athena Pheromone 10x for men or 10:13 for women lets you add the laboratory-synthesized product directly to your favorite perfume.