This Christmas, give the gift of TV
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A big part of the fun of gift giving is finding that perfect gift that matches the recipient's personality and/or interests. If you have a TV lover on your holiday gift list, you could go the obvious route and buy things like DVD sets, soundtracks from or books related to their favorite shows. However, it doesn't take much more effort to get cooler presents.
Head to various networks' online stores for fun, unique gifts. For instance, ABC has a "Revenge" Infinity Box, Fox has "Simpsons" character flash drives and CBS has plush toys including Bert the Farting Hippo from "NCIS" and a singing Soft Kitty from "The Big Bang Theory."
One of my (and my co-workers') favorite gifts last year came from the NBC store: a "Law & Order" gavel that makes the franchise's distinctive "doink doink" sound when you bang it. There, you can also get Ron Swanson BBQ Sauce from "Parks and Recreation" and a Dundie Award from "The Office."
Or there are plenty of other show-specific routes you can go. Many toy stores sell action figures, including those from "The Walking Dead," and you can find graphic tees from all kinds of shows in stores like Kohl's, Hot Topic, Target, Walmart and Spencer Gifts.
Also, a number of shows have board games - "The Office," "The Walking Dead," "Dexter," "NCIS," "Survivor" and "Grey's Anatomy" just to name a few. This could serve as a centerpiece for a viewing party when the recipient's favorite show returns from hiatus or airs its finale.
If you're feeling crafty, make your own gifts. If you like to bake, why not whip up some blue "meth" (rock candy) for "Breaking Bad" fans? If you're adept with a needle and thread, cross-stitch characters or quotes from favorite shows.
Even if you're less artistically inclined, there are still some DIY projects you can do. For instance, with some photo paper and a quality printer, you can turn funny show-based Internet memes into frameable wall art.
A number of my friends are TV fans, but they don't actually have cable. If you know people like this, help them out with a subscription to Hulu Plus and/or Netflix to give them (legal) access to their favorite shows.
If you're willing to spend more, you could get them a streaming player (Roku and Apple TV are the leaders of the pack) that will allow them to stream shows and movies from the Internet on their TV. If they watch on their iPad, consider getting them the Amplifiear, a simple clip-on that boosts the device's sound.
While getting presents is nice, of course, seeing your recipient's face light up when you've really nailed a gift selection is pretty great, too. With ideas like these, you're sure to get some big grins from the TV lovers in your life this holiday season.
Series premiere: "Golden Sisters," 10 p.m. Sunday, OWN (owners of a dating website).
Season premieres: "Impractical Jokers," 10 p.m. today and "Full Throttle Saloon," 9 p.m., and "Black Gold," 10 p.m. Wednesday, TruTV.
Sneak preview: "1600 Penn," 9:30 p.m. Monday, NBC (White House family sitcom).
Returning: "Toddlers & Tiaras," 9 p.m. Wednesday, TLC.
Series finale: "Gossip Girl," 8 p.m. Monday, CW.
Season finales: "Survivor," 8:30 p.m. Sunday, CBS; "Big Rich Texas," 8 p.m. and "Glam Fairy," 9 p.m. Sunday, Style; "Take It All," 10 p.m. Monday, NBC; "Frontier Earth," 8 p.m. Tuesday, Animal Planet; "Start-Ups: Silicon Valley," 8 p.m. Tuesday, Bravo; "Ink Master," 9 p.m. Tuesday, Spike (live); "The Voice," 9 p.m. Tuesday, NBC.
Specials: "Royal Pains: Off-Season Greetings," 9 p.m. Sunday, USA (Evan and Paige tie the knot); "The Bachelorette: Ashley and J.P.'s Wedding," 9 p.m. Sunday, ABC; "VH1 Divas," 9 p.m. Sunday, VH1 (with Demi Lovato, Jordin Sparks, host Adam Lambert and more); "Tiny Tonight! 2012 Year in Review," 10 p.m. Monday, VH1 (pop culture wrap-up); "Miss Universe Pageant," 8 p.m. Wednesday, NBC; "20/20: The Year with Katie Couric," 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, ABC.
Christmas specials: "Peter Rabbit's Christmas Tale," 7 p.m. Friday, Nickelodeon; "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," 8 p.m., "Yes, Virginia," 9 p.m. and "The Elf on the Shelf: An Elf's Story," 9:30 p.m. Friday, CBS; "Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir," 8 p.m. Sunday, PBS; "Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury," 8 p.m., and "Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Special," 8:30 p.m. Monday, Fox; "Charlie Brown Christmas," 8 p.m. Tuesday, ABC; "A Home for the Holidays with Rascal Flatts," 8 p.m. Wednesday, CBS.
Movie of note: See the Oscar-nominated Frederic March version of "Les Miserables" before the new musical hits theaters on Christmas.
Reach Amy Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.