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Week Four: Pillow Listener

“Hello, Moshi.” This simple greeting is all it takes to activate the Moshi Voice Control Alarm Clock, a fun and convenient gadget that replies to 12 directives, including requests for time, date and temperature. You can even ask Moshi to turn on the night-light—and she will!

This gift is ideal for the tired types who forget to set the alarm before getting cozy in bed, the hurried sort who can only talk on their morning rush through the closet, and even the poor of sight. There are no buttons, no hassle and, unfortunately for some, no radio. But the device’s five-star user rating is no joke.

For more information, visit moshilifestyle.com. You can order online and wrap up your digital receipt just in time for the holiday.

Cost: Now $39.99.                                                                                                      —S.H.
 



Week Three: Fresh Faced

If you join the holiday rush at the King of Prussia Mall this weekend, take a 15-minute pampering break from the long lines and stress at the Clarisonic “pop-up” spa in The Court. Clarisonic—the makers of the Clarisonic PLUS skin cleansing system (pictured)—is offering the public the chance to experience its high-tech skincare devices. During your appointment, you’ll lay back in a comfortable recliner as an expert cleanses your face with the product.

Full disclosure: I have a Clarisonic, and I LOVE it. Every time I use it, I feel like I’m getting a facial.

Ask to also see Clarisonic’s Opal Sonic Infusion System, which combines sonic micro-massage with an antiaging serum to work immediately on the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. And, if you’re worried about reapplying your makeup before tackling more crowds, have no fear—a complimentary makeup artist will be available.

Although there’s no pressure or commitment to buy, iPads will be on hand to make purchases. You just might decide the Clarisonic is the perfect gift for someone on your list—or yourself!

Cost: $225-$245                                                                                                         —T.B.
 



Week Two: For Your Garden Guru

Here’s one of those gifts that keeps giving—a lot. In anticipation of 2011’s Philadelphia International Flower Show, running March 6-13 and themed “Springtime in Paris,” consider purchasing the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Flower Show Value Pak.

Your favorite gardener will get not only four general-admission adult tickets to the show (which means you can go, too!) but also a free one-year PHS membership, which includes (*deep breath*): 10- to 20-percent discounts at participating garden centers like Main Line Gardens in Malvern, Terrain at Styer’s in Glen Mills and Mostardi Nursery in Newtown Square; a $25 gift certificate (for new members only) to White Flower Farm, a mail-order nursery in Connecticut; a one-year subscription to Green Scene, which is PHS’ award-winning magazine written by horticultural experts; personal replies to questions through the “Ask a Gardener Q&A”; savings—if you want it—on the lease or purchase price of a Subaru vehicle through the Subaru VIP Program (details here); circulation privileges at the PHS McLean Library, which is home to 15,000 books (full list of titles here); and—for the traveling gardener—special admission benefits at participating botanical gardens, arboreta and conservatories throughout North America, thanks to the American Horticultural Society’s Reciprocal Admissions Program.

A happy young gardener who's benefited from PHS' Philadelphia Green program.And, believe it or not, the goodies don’t stop there. For more, click here. You can even customize the tickets with your recipient’s name and a short holiday message, then print and wrap them at home. But if you prefer to order over the phone, call (215) 988-8800.

The best part: Each flower show ticket purchased helps PHS provide fresh produce for underserved families and plant trees throughout the Philadelphia region. So your holiday gift goes well beyond your friend or relative. For more information on the Philadelphia Green program and the flower show, visit theflowershow.com.

Cost: $95                                                    —S.H.
 



Week One: Wire Down

We tested this one ourselves. The sleek, original design of the Zikmu Parrot Wireless Stereo Speakers by Philippe Starck not only catches the eye but also makes possible a 360-degree-dispersal of sound. Whether your favorite tunes are on an iPod, iPod touch, iPhone, computer or audio player, the connection is simple through the docking station, a Bluetooth or a wireless connection.

Now, we did have to power each of the two speakers from a wall outlet, but the connection between them was cord-free. When it came to sound quality, we found that, even at volumes much too thunderous for inside an office, it remained solid and crisp. The hardest decision, really, is the color: classic black, arctic white, pearl grey or sorbet lime? (A matching remote control is included.)

We’re afraid you won’t find a dealer on the Main Line, but this high-tech solution to your holiday shopping standstill is easily available at zikmu.parrot.com.

Cost: $1,600                                                                                                              —S.H.
 

 

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