My true love gave to me

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My true love gave to me

By LORI PRICE
lprice@journalsentinel.com

Posted: Dec. 19, 2007

Ever wonder if it's possible to give or receive anything remotely like the gifts in the well-known carol, "Twelve Days of Christmas"?

We went on a search to find the perfect partridge and pear tree for that special someone, but we didn't get very far with that.

So, we decided to look for some suitable substitutes that would make a dozen neat gifts for any true love.

1. Instead of a partridge in a pear tree: Give a ring, bracelet or necklace made from a tree nut called tagua. Often called "vegetable ivory" because it resembles the material of elephant tusks, tagua is considered a savior for African elephants, whose lives are spared when tagua is used instead of their tusks. Get tagua jewelry at Future Green, 2352 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

2. Instead of two turtle doves: Offer a chance to slow your true love's chaotic, multitasked life to a turtle's pace with a classic tea set from Milwaukee's Rishi Tea featuring two teas, Jade and Orchid. Get it at www.rishi-tea.com.

3. Instead of three French hens: Give puppy love with the Peep Chicken dog toy, a plush velour squeaky plaything for puppies and small dogs. The pink toy, with an oversize head and tiny body, is adorned with a green and yellow flower hat, rosy cheeks and a pink heart. At $5.99 each, they are inexpensive enough to buy three (because Rover or Daisy probably will chew right through the first one). Get them at TeaCupsPuppies.com.

4. Instead of four calling birds: Appeal to the call for all things reminiscent of the 1980s with "Red Carpet Massacre," the latest album from Duran Duran. The boy-songbirds are now a foursome - Simon LeBon, John Taylor, Roger Taylor and Nick Rhodes - who have worthy collaborations with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake on the album.

5. Instead of five golden rings: Give anything metallic, the hot hue of the season. Consider Simply Vera metallic handbags, which come in pewter, bronze and gold at Kohl's.

6. Instead of six geese a-laying: How about a Baby Bonkie swaddling blanket for the recently hatched infant in your life, to help the little one lie in heavenly peace throughout the night? The stylish blankets are made with chenille interiors for womb-like comfort. Get them at Freckle Face Boutique, 407 E. Buffalo St.

7. Instead of seven swans a-swimming: Splurge on an orange Hermes scarf with a design that features paisleys, hearts, flowers and, of course, swans. But at $325 a pop, buying seven of the silk creations may be a bit of a stretch. Order it at Hermes.com.

8. Instead of eight maids a-milking: Skip the milk and go straight for the cookies - specifically, pecan fingers from Aggie's Cakes & Pastries, 1800 E. Howard Ave. (414) 482-1288. Owner Aggie Purcell said the delights are particularly popular at holiday time. Buy one of the pecan fingers - a mixture of butter, pecans, flour, vanilla and powdered sugar - or get them by the dozen or by the pound for about 35 cents each. They're baked fresh each day the shop is open and come in a little gold box to make them gift-ready.

9. Instead of nine ladies dancing: Give a gift certificate to Danceworks, a performing arts company in Milwaukee that offers classes for children, adults and seniors. Who needs nine ladies when you can use your own boogie shoes to make moves in African dance, tap, ballet and more?

10. Instead of 10 lords a-leaping: Get cozy socks to soothe tired feet after a season of leaping from shopping mall to holiday party and every place in between. Consider some from LittleMissMatched, a company that purposely mates sets of three socks in fun bold patterns and colors that don't match. They're available at Crème Boutique, 338 E. Silver Spring Drive.

11. Instead of 11 pipers piping: You can afford to buy one less than a dozen items from EleVen, a line of clothing created by tennis player Venus Williams exclusively for Steve & Barry's. The entire collection, which includes a snazzy piped track set with pants and a jacket, is $8.98 or less through the end of the holiday season at the Steve & Barry's store in Southridge Mall, 5300 S. 76th St., Greendale.

12. Instead of 12 drummers drumming: Pump it up with Rock Band, the music-based interactive video game for PlayStation and Xbox 360 that expands the wanna-be-a-rock-star premise of the game Guitar Hero by letting players form entire bands, including - pa-rum-pum-pum-pum - a drummer boy (or drummer girl).

Courtesy Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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