martha beck

Photo: Chris Eckert/Studio D. Ornament: iStockphoto

"I'm all for presents that motivate people—especially if they motivate them to take a break."

Light as a Feather

I adore these glass ornaments; I tell the people I give them to that when the tree comes down, they should hang one from the ceiling to scatter good feng shui.

Roost Captured Plume Ornament Set, $58;

Photo: Gregor Halenda

2. Where the Art Is

I spent half my childhood drawing and could only dream of a kit like this, with oil pastel crayons, watercolors, brushes, and colored pencils. It'll thrill any budding artist.

Personalized 80-Piece Youth Art Set, $20;

Photo: Gregor Halenda

3. Card Sharp

Conspiracy theorists will love this aluminum wallet that prevents identity thieves from reading credit card numbers from afar.

Ögon Designs, $39 each;

Photo: Gregor Halenda

4. A Dog's Life

I've learned many lessons from the dogs I've known—including Earl, the mutt at the center of The Gift of Nothing, by Patrick McDonnell. I received this sweet little book as a present and instantly started spreading the word.


Photo: Gregor Halenda

5. Wild Things

On a recent trip, I fed orphaned elephants. Then I promptly adopted the very friendly Kalama and gave sponsorships for others to several friends. Not to brag, but I think Kalama has my thighs.

From $50;

Photo: Gregor Halenda

6. The Yellow Pages

I used to read my parents' National Geographics—now I can give them all.

Originally $70 for six-disc set, now $56 with code OPRAH;

Photo: Gregor Halenda

7. Fair Grounds

I believe in the mystical powers of a slug of caffeine dressed in heaps of fat and sugar. And in 100 percent fair trade, organic products. With Ethical Bean, I can send coffee lovers bags of medium or dark roast that taste good and do good.

$12 for 12-ounce bag;

See more holiday gift guides, handpicked by our contributors:


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