Even on Mother's Day, some gifts we give others might actually be gifts for ourselves, providing us with a little peace and harmony in our own lives. Consider them a "gift with a message." Here are just a few suggestions of what we mean:
1. "Honey, lower the TV."
If you find yourself saying this nightly, chances are you are living with someone experiencing hearing loss. Hearing aids aren't the kind of thing you give as a gift, but the Audio Fox TV hearing device might be. It's a pair of wireless stereo speakers attached to vinyl-wrapped steel straps that attach to the back of a chair, bed or couch. The speakers can be tilted to deliver sound directly to your partner's ears, creating an envelope of sound. The device uses an FM signal so a line of sight between the transmitter and receiver is not required -- meaning you are free to move around the cabin, so to speak. $249.95.
2. "You need to cool down."
What can we say about a woman whose hot flashes led her to keep putting her head in the freezer? We can say she came up with a pretty neat product for her troubles, literally. Hot Girl Pearls are a freezable collection of necklaces, bracelets and earrings. The large-size pearl baubles are filled with a non-toxic cooling gel, similar to that found in a baby's teething ring or an ice pack. Leave them in the freezer for a minimum of four hours and you are good to go. The story about founder Connie Sherman and her head in the freezer is absolutely true by the way. "I literally put my entire head in the freezer for three minutes, just to cool down,” she said. Necklaces: About $100, depending on size.
3. "Don't forget to mail me the picture.'"
We all love our smartphones and the fact that we can share the photos on the spot digitally. But what does Granny always say right after the family pose? "Now don't forget to mail me the picture!" And she doesn't mean email; she means a hard copy that she can tape to the refrigerator door or carry in her wallet to show her Mah Jongg friends. Hammacher Schlemmer's Portable Smartphone Printer to the rescue. It's a palm-sized wireless device that prints 2" x 3" photos on the spot from your smartphone. It uses Bluetooth technology so there's no need to download your photos to your computer; since it uses ink-embedded paper, there's no ink cartridges to run out and need changing. There's a free app that lets users edit and add borders to the pictures before printing them at 640 x 1,224 dpi. Price: $200.
4) "Dad, put down your weapon and back away slowly."
For years now, Dad has been burning the steaks and overcooking the chicken at the family BBQ. Perhaps it's time to turn over the grilling reins to Mom, subtly of course. The Pops Q Tool comes in two lengths and can be engraved with the chef's name, leaving no doubt about who should be doing the cooking. Price: $50.
5) "Make jet lag the other guy's problem."
The older we get, the rougher it is to cross time zones when we travel -- to the point that some less-hardy souls may abandon the adventure altogether. That would be a shame, which is why we love the idea of a "Stay Well" Room at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. These specially equipped rooms and suites, designed in conjunction with the Cleveland Clinic and Dr. Deepak Chopra, feature vitamin C-infused showers, blue-shaded lights to reduce jet lag, dawn-simulating alarm clocks, air purification systems and aromatherapy diffusers. Prices vary on size of room and dates of stay.
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