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Don’t Go Berserk on Christmas Morning!

Amazon.com offers Frustration-Free packaging

I’ve always been a pretty mellow guy, but if there is one thing that absolutely makes me go nuts it’s the little plastic-coated wire twist-ties that the toy and electronic manufacturers use to secure their products in their pretty packages. I’m not kidding – I’m never closer to making a fool of myself than I am on Christmas morning, in front of my kids, on what’s supposed to be the happiest day of the year!

Traditional vs. Frustration-Free Packaging

When one of my guys gets a toy, and they bring it over to me to help them open it, most of the time I pretend I don’t see them – which is kind of hard when they’re right in front of me! Either that or I act like I’m totally engrossed in the instruction book (written in 14 different languages) for the new watch I just got, and I ignore him. Of course, this doesn’t work for long, and soon I have to face the music.

Wrap Rage Tools

So out to the garage I go to get a selection of implements of destruction to try to get that Lego ship out of the package, and I get to work. 2 hours later – success! Plus, I hardly broke anything! I tell you, I earned that Christmas afternoon nap!

Well, Amazon.com has teamed up with several manufacturers to come up with what they call Frustration-Free packaging. Items come packed in a brown box, with none of the twist-ties or clam-shells, and much less packaging.

Speaking of clam-shells – don’t you hate those things? You look at it and think “Aha! This is one of those deals that you just have to pry apart until the two little pegs come free and out will fall the item!” Then, you realize that it’s actually sealed by some devious machine, and you have to figure out a way to cut it open without ruining the product and/or the instructions.

Fisher-Price Imaginext Pirate Ship

Amazon.com to the rescue! Click here to view the items you can get that have frustration-free packaging. One of the first to launch was the Fisher-Price Imaginext Adventures Pirate Ship. This looks like a pretty cool gift for a kid, and best of all it will eliminate “Wrap Rage”, and help you and your family to have the most enjoyable, peaceful Christmas in years.

If you're ready for a couple of laughs (and maybe a few tears) check out The Gallery of Wrap Rage. Come on - let's unite against the forces of the world that subject us to twist-ties and clam-shells!

Filed under Good Christmas Gifts, Hottest Toys, Kids, Socially Conscious

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Amazon Kindle – Portable Ebook Reader Review

Amazon Kindle

I have heard about a state of the art portable ebook reader made by Amazon. Three years ago, they set out to design and build an entirely new class of device—a convenient, portable ebook reader device with the ability to wirelessly download books, blogs, magazines, and newspapers. What they came up with is the Amazon Kindle.

What I like is that Kindle is completely mobile and simple to use for everyone, because it wireless. No PC and no syncing needed. It uses the same 3G network as advanced cell phones to deliver your content using their wireless delivery system, Amazon Whispernet. What is amazing is that it is unlike WiFi in that you don't have to find a hotspot. Amazon pays for Kindle's wireless connectivity so you will never see a monthly wireless bill for shopping the Kindle Store! There is no wireless setup—you are ready to shop, purchase and read right out of the box.

So basically, you can be anywhere, think of a book, and get it in one minute. You not only get books, you can get e-articles, and newspaper and magazines. Wherever you are, your newspaper subscriptions are delivered wirelessly each morning. Most magazines arrive before they hit newsstands. Can’t find the book for tomorrow night’s book club? Get it in a minute. My favorite is when you’ve finished your book in the airport (or almost finished), you can download the sequel while you board the plane. No more lugging armfuls of books everywhere with this portable ebook reader.  Great in this day of extra luggage fees.

And it so cool how Kindle lets you download and read the beginning of books for free. This way, you can try it out—if you like it, simply buy and download with 1-Click, right from your Kindle, and continue reading. Want to try a newspaper as well? All newspaper subscriptions start with a risk-free two-week trial. Very simple.

Kindle’s paperback size and expandable memory let you travel light with your own personal library. With the freedom to download what you want, when you want, you’ll never again find yourself stuck without something great to read. This is the best ebook reader out on the market now.

What's included in the box?

Kindle Electronic Reader
Book cover
Power adapter
USB 2.0 cable

Having trouble finding it at Amazon? You can always get one at , sometimes at an even better price!

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Filed under Gift For Someone Who Has Everything, Good Christmas Gifts, Hard to Shop For, Socially Conscious

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How To Use Your Amazon Kindle Portable Ebook Reader

Now that you have the best ebook reader, how do you use it? You will be pleased with how simple it is and that you are on the cutting edge by having a portable ebook reader.

Shop the Kindle Store Right from Your Device

The Kindle Store currently carries more than 190,000 books. It also has newspapers, magazines, and blogs. Convenient for you on this portable ebook reader, you can shop the Kindle Store directly on Kindle or on your PC via Amazon.com. Both ways, all titles are wirelessly delivered right to your Kindle for free. And what I like is that Amazon pays for the wireless delivery charges so you don’t have to. You can shop the Kindle Store wirelessly right from your device, allowing you to click, buy, and start reading your purchases within a minute. I recommend this ebook reader also because of the use of Amazon where you get the great customer service experience you're used to, including customer reviews, personalized recommendations, and low prices.

All you do is search for the title or author you're interested in, or browse the store to discover titles. So the next time you hear about a great book, just click, buy, and read.

In addition, a copy of every book you purchase is backed up online in Your Media Library in case you need to download it again. So now you haveroom for new titles on your device, knowing that Amazon is storing your personal library, which can always be re-downloaded wirelessly. If you happen to be out of wireless coverage, such as traveling overseas, you can download books to your computer from Your Media Library and transfer via USB to your Kindle.

Paper-like Screen

Utilizing a new high-resolution display technology called electronic paper, Kindle provides a crisp black-and-white screen that resembles the appearance and readability of printed paper. It reflects light like ordinary paper and uses no backlighting, eliminating the glare associated with other portable ebook readers. The screen never gets hot so you can comfortably read as long as you like.

See what others are saying about the Kindle screen:

Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball, "I'm telling you, after five minutes I've ceased to think I'm looking at a screen. It's not like reading a computer screen. It's more like reading a piece of paper. I think it's actually clearer, easier on the eye than the printed word."

Keyboard

Being a somewhat technologically impaired, I like Kindle's QWERTY keyboard. Simply type in a title, author, or keyword to find the book, newspaper, or magazine you are looking for. From there, click to buy, and begin reading your selection in under a minute.

Bookmarks and Annotation

Also using the keyboard, you can write notes just like you might write in the margins of a book. And because it is digital, you can edit, delete, and export your notes, highlight and clip key passages, and bookmark pages for future use. You'll never need to bookmark your last place in the book, because Kindle remembers for you and always opens to the last page you read. I can even write notes like “share this passage with Kat”.

Long Battery Life

Since I forget to plug things in, I like that I can leave wireless on and recharge approximately every other day. Turn wireless off and read for a week or more before recharging. Kindle fully recharges in two hours.

I hope this review on how to use the Amazon Kindle will help you to realize that with the invention of Kindle, portable ebook readers have forever changed. And are the way of all future readers!

Sold out at Amazon? You can always find it at , sometimes at an even better price!

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Filed under Gift For Someone Who Has Everything, Good Christmas Gifts, Hard to Shop For, Kindle, Socially Conscious

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Unique Christmas Gift Idea – The Green Book

The Green Book: Help Save the Planet One Step at a Time

Environmental matters get the star treatment in The Green Book. The authors, Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen, address the fact that Americans endanger the balance of the ecosystem by the amount of waste we produce, the amount of water we use, and the amount of energy we consume in small practical bites.

Celebrities, including Robert Redford, Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Aniston, Faith Hill, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. contribute suggestions for living green. Rogers and Kostigen establish 12 aspects of our habitat, like home, work, and school, and suggest better lifestyle choices for each. Small adjustments are the focus of the book that add up to significant and positive environmental effects by using descriptive rather than numerical analyses.

The Green Book offers hope and practical suggestions, such as:

With a 3 ½ star rating, the reviewers all like the authors sensibilities in offering small, easy to implement suggestions. One downside however, is that the actual numbers should be corroborated before quoted. Some calculations, when researched, were off.

With wit and authority, the authors provide hundreds of solutions for all areas of your life, pinpointing the smallest changes that have the biggest impact on the health of our precious planet.

The Green Book is the perfect unique Christmas gift idea for someone who loves the environment and wants to make a difference in this world.

Looking for something a little different? Check out our Gifts For Someone Who Has Everything page.

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Gifts For Someone Who Has Everything

Finding a unique Christmas gift idea is tough - especially if you're looking for a gift for someone who has everything. Sometimes the best answer for this person isn't even something for them - sometimes it's something from them. Here's an idea for the person who has a heart for the poor and undernourished around the world.

The FEED Bag - The Gift that Gives Back

Are you stuck for what to give to the person who has seemingly everything? How about a gift that will give them the sense of satisfaction of helping others?

The FEED bag is a product of the United Nations World Food Programme, and was designed to raise awareness and funds for hungry children. Hunger and malnutrition are the No. 1 risk to global health, killing more people than AIDS, malaria, and TB combined. In fact, every five seconds, a child dies because he or she is hungry.

Each FEED bag sold will provide a school year of meals for one child in need and give them the hope of an education and a regular meal.

Whether they tote their FEED bag to school, work, play, or shopping, your loved one will remember that their bag helped to feed and educate a child. It will also be their way of sharing this charitable opportunity with everyone they meet when using this bag.

What a great gift for someone who has everything - the gift of life!

Looking for something a little different? Check out our Gifts For Someone Who Has Everything page.

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