giftguides

Good Gift Hunting

Start checking off your shopping list with help from this nifty guide. Click on "View Gallery" to see the guide. …

Winter sports day trips

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Need to get away for a quick trip but can’t spare the time — or money — for a weekend getaway? Here are a few destinations to get your winter sports on that are only a few hours drive away. Double your vacation as a …

Pampered presents

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Don’t let the stress of the holidays take the pep out of your step. Sail through with grace and a fresh face — not to mention a relaxed body and mind-holiday magic — that a spa escape can bestow. Better yet, purchase a spa gift …

Gifts for the DIY Dude

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Need a gift for a no frills kind of guy? Here are some ideas for the man (or woman) in your life into the basics. Click on “View Gallery” to see the guide. …

Gifts for the fitness guru

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Here are some gifts for the active ladies (even if they think they have it all). Click on “View Gallery” to see the guide. …

Breathe, indulge, chill: Holiday spa escapes

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As the holidays approach, life gets more hectic and becomes a pressure cooker of gifts to buy, dinners to host, family and friends to entertain, holiday work parties to attend and impending deadlines. Take a deep breath, unwind and call on spa specialists. They can …

It’s a family tradition: These three magical locations fill the holidays with lights and wonder

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Make sweet wintertime memories and spend quality time with family and friends by visiting one of these spectacular places. Morton Arboretum Located in Lisle, the Morton Arboretum is going out on a proverbial limb by hosting Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum for the …

On holiday in Chicago: Local museums turn it up for the winter

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Chicago’s famed museums have many stimulating events, exhibits, lectures and celebrations that are sure to make this season a bright one. Art Institute of Chicago Pass the evergreen-wreathed lions as you enter the museum, walk up the Grand Staircase and kiss your loved ones under …

Cheers to the season: Holiday brews and blends

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Give your gathering the right spike. Impress your family and friends with the best simple beverage and brew ideas. These seasonal thirst quenchers can leave you cheering while keeping you cozy all season long. SHAKE UP THE SEASON Try these simple and exciting seasonal beverage …

Gift ideas for the old-school sports nut

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Shopping for your favorite sports nut can be as simple in 2013 as point-and-click, but it can also be much more of an adventure. Sports-nut basics, such as official game day gear, are relatively easy to find. A number of shops such as Clark Street …

Three Kings Day: The Twelfth Day of Christmas, with cake

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While many young children begin counting down the seconds till Christmas no later than Nov. 1, children from other countries look forward to a different holiday: the Twelfth Day of Christmas. Officially called the Epiphany, the holiday is often referred to as Three Kings Day …

’Tis the season: Quick-reference guide to volunteering and charity gifting

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Don’t be a scrooge! Grab your family, friends or coworkers and start making a difference. You can start locally with your village, hospitals, nursing homes, churches and shelters. Find organizations and charities in your community by volunteering and making donations during this joyous time of …

12 days of Christmas

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Santa will be here before you know it. Celebrate accordingly. 1** Make a pumpkin spice latte at home. Heat two-cups milk, two-tablespoons canned pumpkin and two-tablespoons sugar until just steaming. Remove from heat. Stir in two-tablespoons vanilla and one-half-teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Blend until foamy …

Pinterest inspiration: quick, easy and inexpensive DIY holiday gifts

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Most folks these days are familiar with Pinterest: a virtual pegboard that helps you organize and share your favorite online goodies. Boards may be created with multiple links (pins) to manage home décor ideas, >>30 BEST GIFTS FOR KIDS>> favorite recipes and to aid in …

Good things come in small packages

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Need some last-minute stocking stuffers? We've got you covered. Start at the Arthur Murray Dance Center. Arthur Murray has been teaching the world to ballroom dance for a hundred years, and its instructors can teach you and your loved ones, as well. The greatest gift …

Healthy for the holidays

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In the mist of the holiday mayhem, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Ensure that the only weight you put on this holiday season will be on your shoulders from hosting a holiday meal. Drink lots of water Jason Miller, operator at Fitness 19 …

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide

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Unwrap a surprise! You don’t have to rely on big box stores or snail mail for picking up gifts this year. Check out the gallery for a selection of some sure-to-please holiday presents from shops in the area.

11 gifts for a fashionista

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Surround yourself and your favorites with the best of the best this holiday. Splurge and go the extra mile, or be save savvy. It’s a sure bet that you want these gift items in your bag. Season gatherings, family get-togethers and traditions will have you …

Members only: Gifts that occupy zero space, provide hours of fun and get kids out of the house

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Most parents can attest to the incredible amount of living space that is lost to toys and kid-centered items. As the holiday season rolls around the corner, the idea of receiving or purchasing more multi-hued presents for your child seems a bit overwhelming. A membership …

Gifts for your wiz kid: Back to basics with games and books

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Most kids will unwrap their fair share of noisy-yet-fun toys this holiday season-gifts that whirl, zip, buzz and light up. Add some edifying items to the mix that inspire, engage and enthrall children into learning. Fair Game, located in Downers Grove, is a store that …

Winning present ideas for your favorite sports enthusiast

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Chicago is known as a city of major sports. With collegiate teams, two roller derby clubs, two Major League Baseball teams and our other major teams such as the Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks, Chicago shoppers can find plenty of sports goodies. In fact, you’re likely …

Gifts for those children who have been nice

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It's not too late to find the best gift for the little one in your life. Read on before you hit the mall - the perfect present might be right in your downtown.

Wrap it up

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Make sure your gift stands out amid the sea of presents. Create festive artwork that will leave the recipient fantasizing about what lies beneath. “When gift wrapping, we recommend first dividing items by design, pattern or color to ensure that all packaging coordinates,” said Emily …

Help end world hunger this holiday

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If you’re looking for something different to give as a holiday gift this year, you might want to consider a gift that’s more than just stuff. Many individuals and families are looking for alternate giving ideas that help people in need. With one in eight …

What to consider before buying a tablet

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Tablets are the must-have portable computing devices of the moment. In just a few short years, the number of people with tablets has increased dramatically. Computerworld magazine reports that tablets beat out PCs on this year’s holiday shopping lists. Within a year of the iPad’s …

Holiday craft fairs call for vendors

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Craft fairs and flea markets are a staple of the holiday season. Not only are they ideal places to find one-of-a-kind gifts for anyone on your holiday shopping list, but they also are great opportunities for small business owners to broaden their client base while …