Holiday Giving With Panache

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If you give nothing else to the traveller in your life, give these: CocoonUSA.com has developed the perfect travel pajamas. These pajamas as so light weight, so sleek, so gorgeous, that we aren’t kidding when we tell you that the pants can substitute as night-out-on-the-town slacks (of course, if you’re too chicken to double up their use from bed to glam, then you can always purchase Cocoon’s little silk dress and use it to sleep in).  No bigger than an overstuffed wallet, you’ll be muttering to yourself, "These can’t be real pajamas," while you undo the little sack they come in and, voila, sure enough out pop the best feeling full sized pajamas (men’s or women’s, to size) that have ever been put on the face of this earth.  The colors are fabulous: try raspberry, royal blue, tuareg, steel and coral for starters.  The sizes range from small to extra large.  The styles range from Full-length Sleeves and Pants to Short-Sleeves and Boxers, either with collar or without.  The fabrics are strictly oo la la.  Choose from silk to Egyptian cotton to SeaCell (a specialized antibacterial and fungicidal fiber made by combining silk and cotton with cellulose and seaweed – the same kind of seaweed used in cosmetics!).   These p.j.’s are warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot, and the absolute perfect gift for those who want to travel and size down to a carry-on-only traveler.  We highly recommend these, because not only are they a good invitation to travel or throw a pajama party, but your gift recipient will be hard put to ever take them off, hence, you’ll be on their mind night and day.  Learn french the celebrity way – fast!Michel Thomas has taught language to many celebrities and it’s easy to see why they all clamor for his attention. Forget learning the way you’ve always learned, with the avoir and être verbs, segueing into how to ask for a room with a bath. Michel’s way of teaching French is so relaxed, you’ll even catch him with a cough drop in his mouth–and boy will you learn. This is absolutely the best learning system for those of you who have become proficient in all the beginnings of French, and then found yourself stuck still not really understanding the “y’s” and “en’s” and “il faut’s”. He’ll even make future tense as easy as saying “Voila!” He also teaches Spanish, German and Italian.  Unlimited phone calls for the expat and at home If you know someone who lives overseas but would like to call home unlimited (for a $34.99 monthly charge) broadband phone service Vonage.com might just be the ultimate gift for you to give to your ex-pat. Used by the President of www.BonjourParis.com, this service comes highly recommended and can also be used in the States. It’s worth visiting their website just to see all the goodies they offer, i.e., an 800 number for $4.95 a month, choosing your own area code, fax capability, and more. A luxury gift you can afford to send Ever dream of going to a European chocolate shop and picking and choosing the chocolates of your choice? Then visit zChocolat.com and you’ll see 100% unadulterated class. One only has to meet the owner, Jean-Philippe Khodara, to know that this is a company that delivers excellent products. Eat zchocolats and swoon, but save the packaging–it’s almost as delicious as the product. Wooden engraved boxes that say you care, filled (and refillable) with specialized gourmet, hand-made French chocolates. If you need something besides chocolate, then by all means consider the Calissons  a fabulously scrumptious almond candy-cookie thing, hard to describe, but easy to consume too fast. For between $36-$54 you can send something that says Je t’aime beaucoup; between $54-$89 you can say Je t’aime oh la la; over that, you can get out of trouble with the wife! P.S. Once you shop here online, you probably won’t want to shop anywhere else. Zchocolat.com remembers everything for you, securely. Plus, the follow ups they send you to let you know your order wherabouts are not to be missed.  Say "i love you" with travel gifts Magellan is, hands down, the one-stop shopping on the Internet for travel supplies. Find some of the same items here you would find at Hammacher Schlemmer, but for less money. Need some sunglasses that actually fit your glasses? Solution: for $12.85 try Sun Spot Lens Covers.  Feeling too busy or too dumb to learn a foreign language? Solution: $9.85 will get you Kwikpoint, a laminated point-and-show fold-out card. Concerned about SARS and other flu-like epidemics on airplanes (and who isn’t)? Solution: $12.85 will get you the N95 Breathing Mask (4-pack). Magellan is the place to shop if you need a handle extender for your luggage, or neon identification tags, or disposable panties or, well, let’s put it to you this way… plan to want to spend an hour on their website, enjoying  the virtual traveling experience.  Uncommon goods offers uncommon fun www.uncommongoods.com
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