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Last Minute Holiday Gifts, Gets & Getaways

Like untold millions of others, amid the rapidly approaching holiday you may be frantically trying to find that perfect gift for someone special but your mind is drawing a blank. This pressure is exponentially harder when shopping for that person who “has it all.” Keep calm and read on, as here are a few diverse gift ideas that, given easy online purchasing, can still swing the time crunch for the impending exchange.

‘Robin Williams: Comic Genius’ DVD Collection ( Robin Williams started performing stand-up comedy in the mid-1970s, amazing audiences with his frenetic energy and razor-sharp wit. He was graced with comedic brilliance, rapid-fire improvisation and a deep well of warmth and compassion that translated to everything he did. Unsurprisingly, America quickly fell for him in his first role as the naïve and hilarious alien from the planet Ork in the Mork & Mindy sitcom. Rocketing to stardom, Williams would go on to do five HBO stand-up specials and dozens of feature films, performing steadily for nearly four decades and entertaining audiences across the globe. Time Life celebrates his inimitable 40-year career with Robin Williams: Comic Genius. Decades in the making, this singular 22-disc set collects all his most memorable stand-up and television performances in one singular collection featuring more than 50 hours of uproarious entertainment with all of Williams’ HBO specials, as well as never-before-released shows, his best talk shows and late-night TV appearances, 11 episodes of “Mork & Mindy,” James Lipton’s Emmy Award-nominated 90-minute interview with Williams on “Inside the Actors Studio,” plus deleted scenes, a comprehensive collection of Williams’ USO shows and the acclaimed 2018 HBO documentary “Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind.” All of that comes included with hours of additional bonus features! If you have a Robin Williams fan in your life, you can’t go wrong with this amazing tribute.

‘The Best of The Carol Burnett Show: 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition’ DVD Collection ( Coming from the same company that brought you some of Robin Williams’ greatest hits comes The Best of The Carol Burnett Show: 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition. On Sept. 11, 1967, Burnett and her madcap cast launched a variety series that combined sketch comedy, singing and dancing. Little did they know that The Carol Burnett Show would become an Emmy winner and survive the changing tastes of TV audiences to last eleven seasons. The Best of The Carol Burnett Show: 50th Anniversary Edition brings together the best of the best—60 hand-picked episodes covering every season—into one uproarious set. Spread across 21 discs are three volumes: The Best of The Carol Burnett Show (10 Discs), 11 Years, Together Again (10 Discs) and The Final Show; and viewers can celebrate the landmark shows’ anniversary with the series’ most memorable episodes, including “Mrs. Wiggins,” “The Oldest Man,” “The Family,” “As the Stomach Turns,” a marathon of movie and commercial spoofs and bloopers, amazing guest stars and lavish stage productions! Adding to the festivities, the Time Life TV DVD archivists have created an inspired collection of bonus programming, including interviews with Carol, Vicki, Tim, Don Rickles, and more; a cast reunion and backstage tour of Studio 33; never-before-seen outtakes and featurettes including “11 Years of Laughter,” “11 Years of Style,” and “The End of 11 Years: Saying So Long.” Treat a Carol Burnett fan this holiday season with the perfect giftable, a tribute in her honor.

CASIO SLIM XJ-A257 LampFree Projector ( Casio’s SLIM LampFree XJ-A257 Projector can run all day, every day and is perfect for projecting vibrant, larger-than-life images through any game, movie or TV show. Boasting a wide range of features and benefits, the XJ-A257 is great for any home viewing experience—and also a stellar option for presentations in the workplace. Weighing in at just five pounds, Casio’s SLIM XJ-A257 is only 1.7 inches thick, requires little to no setup time, and provides projection at maximum brightness in as few as five seconds allowing for a truly immersive viewing experience. At the heart of the XJ-A257 is Casio’s laser and LED light source, which generates brightness up to 3000 lumens, produces clear and brilliant colors, and has a lifespan of up to 20,000 hours without the need to change a lamp. It also boasts a 2X zoom lens and WUXGA resolution for crisp, large images making it impossible for viewers to miss a second of their favorite film, show or sports game. With this model, Casio has applied its unique new Laser & LED Hybrid Light Source to achieve breakthrough development of a mercury-free high-brightness projector. Adopting a new semiconductor-based light source system combining a blue laser, phosphor and a red LED, the company has achieved both high-brightness performance enabling projection in well-lit rooms and environmental friendliness with mercury eliminated from the light source. The 20,000 hours of source life far outshines that of conventional projectors that require mercury lamp replacement. It saves maintenance labor and contributes to a significant reduction in operating costs. Since brightness degradation is more gradual than with mercury lamps, moreover, it maintains vivid image quality through long-term use. The dramatic improvement in color purity achieved by the new light source has significantly improved color reproduction. Not only are the colors clearer and more beautiful, but the projected images also look brighter due to the visual effects of the high-purity colors. Users benefit from clearer, more powerful images than conventional projectors can achieve.

dop Hand’s Free Smartphone Surface Mount ( Dop is a super cool new consumer gadget that makes any mobile device hands- and frustration-free. Designed to enhance the everyday mobile experience, the dop kit let’s users enjoy seamless content creation and consumption with their smartphone. The mount can be positioned on any flat, polished surfaces that exist in your daily routine—including a window, mirror, refrigerator or computer screen—with a unique, non-adhesive, twist-to-secure function for easy removal and a smooth transition from one surface to another. The dop kit includes a dop ring companion piece that seamlessly connects to the dop mount and easily swivels your device at any angle. The dop ring also functions on its own as a stylish, 360-degree rotating accessory for a secure, one-handed grip and sturdy, multi-angle kickstand. The dop mount also simultaneously works as a pop socket. The dop kit is useful for anyone who would benefit from a mobile hands-free experience: The on-the-go news junkie looking to stay informed; social butterfly who video chats while multitasking; binge-watcher trying to keep up with the latest streaming videos; beauty enthusiast who watch and create makeup tutorials; aspiring chef sharing recipes and the at-home chef following along; fitness lover crushing workout goals; and explorers sharing their travel experience from the ground.

Adobe Document Cloud Tools - FREE Holiday PDF Kit ( Need A Holiday Fix amid the festivities now in full swing?  Celebrate the holidays “like a boss” with Adobe Document Cloud Tools. This season can be overwhelming with managing gift shopping, attending parties, curating the perfect cocktail menu for the office part and more. You’re not alone, as reports indicate 88% of Americans say they feel stress during the season. So this year, Adobe Document Cloud is offering some help a free Holiday PDF Kit to ease some of the holiday stress away. The Holiday PDF Kit from Adobe offers a number of PDF templates, including Holiday cards, shopping lists, holiday paper fortune teller, office ad libs and more. Anyone can download the Holiday PDF Kit from Adobe Document Cloud at, or just click HERE for direct access. For those who need to add their own personal flair, users can download free-trial of Acrobat Pro to edit and customize each of these templates to your own design. Also according to reports, it seems the most important parts for consumers are to spend quality time with loved ones (82%) and gift giving to loved ones (56%). With so much going this time of the year, give these templates a try to check off a few of the more stressful items off your list.

Luca + Danni Cardinal Jewelry Collection ( Luca + Danni is a lovely jewelry line focused on celebrating life’s journey. Their unique collections include bangle bracelets, necklaces, rings and earrings that are all handcrafted in America. This includes the charming Cardinal Collection available as a separate bracelet, ring and necklace, as well as in sets. The Cardinal has long represented the presence of a spiritual messenger, letting loved ones know they are still there. Cardinals first appeared to company founder Fred Magnanimi the day his dad passed away, which he took as a sign that his father was okay. Fred created this collection to share that same memory and sentiment with others. Various finishes for the various pieces in the collection include brass, silver-plated and 18-karat gold. Other stacks and sets also feature meaningful charms and seasonal collections, making any of them a heartfelt keepsake. Plus, all pieces are packaged in a lovely gift box. Every Luca + Danni item is handcrafted in the Cranston, Rhode Island, factory. The line is a great way for gifters to impart something truly beautiful, thoughtful and personal, with deeper meaning.

Urban Lights Candles ( Urban Lights was inspired by the iconic work of Massimo Vignelli and his historic NYC subway signs. Designed in “The City that Never Sleeps,” licensed by MTA and handmade in the USA, Urban Lights celebrates unique vibes of Manhattan neighborhoods, 5th Avenue, Wall Street, Grand Central, Spring Street and 125th Street, each with a beautiful olfactive profile. These candles bring the city lights of the Big Apple into lives of NYC-lovers...wherever they happen to be.  In 2019, Urban Lights began as an experiment in candle-making by next-door neighbors, Elisabetta and Taner, who shared the same passion for candles. They soon found themselves busy in the kitchen of their Harlem apartments bringing back to life old candle containers and also making their own naturally-scented candles. During one of their candle-making home sessions, they were inspired by an old New York City Subway platform pillar they had found at a local Brooklyn flea market. This decorative subway sign of their local 125 Street subway station would become the signature container of an iconic NYC-themed candles collection honoring this revered concrete jungle and gathering place attracting people from all over the world.

2016 Ocio Pinot Noir from Cono Sur ( This holiday season gift the indulgence of a special Pinot Noir that is both pleasing and eye-opening all at the same time. While regions like Burgundy and the Sonoma Coast have become synonymous with superb Pinot Noir, the 2016 Ocio from Cono Sur hails from Chile’s Casablanca Valley, a region that is quickly becoming known for this grape. This wine is considered the icon wine of Cono Sur—a true display of the varietal’s potential when grown in the ideal climate for Pinot Noir: foggy mornings, mild days and cool nights. Smooth and elegant, this wine leads with intense red fruits, berries, spices and tobacco, rounded out by a refined concentration and balanced acidity. It’s an ideal partner for an antipasto platter of aged cheese, your beautiful holiday duck or nearly any other festal feast on tap. This wine is fresh, laser-focused and bright. Its aromas and flavors of zesty red fruit are unadorned and pretty giving it that festive flare. Meanwhile, the company Cono Sur wines—firmly grounded in the spirit of New World winemaking—reflect the incredible terroir of South America’s Southern Cone. Surrounded by the Andes Mountains to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Atacama Desert to the north and ancient glaciers to the south, the Southern Cone sees abundant sunlight, vast day-to-night temperature variations and natural irrigation from mountain snowmelt. It all adds up to extraordinary fruit from unmatched vineyards in Chile. Merch for Travel-Lovers ( Keen on finding fab gifts for road warriors that won’t break the bank? Consider my own site for ladies who live for travel. In addition to great articles and interviews with travel industry experts, highly giftable products are also available to help women with wanderlust in their soul celebrate and proudly display their desire to ‘travel, explore, shop, eat and repeat!’ – a mantra that’s on many of the items available. Other products proudly display the message: #slay the play – perfect for those who seek truly unforgettable and Instagram-worthy travel experiences. There are also mugs, mousepads, keychains and more for both guys and gals who love to get out and “DO SH*T”—one of many available designs and messages that adorn a diverse group of inexpensive items like various kinds of drinkware for home and on-the-go, travel bags, keychains, mousepads, ornaments and other swag showcasing a joy for journeying...every single day.  The mugs in particular will keep you sippin’ pretty and duly motivated while you ponder about your next vacay or business trip (or revel in your current one)! Plus they’re also a great way to present those tickets or that printout of a reservation confirmation to a lucky recipient. Check out some photos of the swag on Instagram and give a follow @LuxeListReviews. 

Discovery Cove All-Inclusive Resort ( Also for those who love to travel, consider an experiential gift sure to make marvelous memories. For that, look no further than Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida—an all-inclusive day resort where once-in-a-lifetime thrills happen every day. Give the gift of a day of exhilaration and inspiration that brings you closer to the animal world than ever before to the whole family. Enjoy a one-of-a-kind opportunity to get “nose to bottlenose” with a new dolphin friend. Then, hang on for the experience of a lifetime across the tranquil lagoon. The dolphin swim at Discovery Cove creates unforgettable moments your family will surely cherish forever. Snorkel among thousands of tropical fish and even get the chance to graze the back a velvety ray. The day resort starting price is just $149 and dolphin swim package starting price is $199. The Grand Reef at Discovery Cove gives you a whole new view of sea life. Make feathered friends from around the world in the free-flight aviary. Give the creatures a shoulder to land on and marvel at the countless colors as you meet and feed these amazing animals. Swim up close for an unmatched view of playful marmosets and frisky Asian otters in the Freshwater Oasis. Relax and explore rocky lagoons surrounded by lush landscaping, winding rivers and white, sandy beaches. Freshly prepared meals, snacks and beverages throughout the day and swim gear are all included as well! Guests will experience the most exciting animal encounters the world has to offer in a breathtaking tropical atmosphere all at Discovery Cove. Take advantage of this amazing deal—from now through Jan. 5, 2020, prices will freeze at the current rate, meaning guests can take advantage of 2019 prices for reservations in 2019 AND 2020.

Discover Crystal River Florida Manatee Festival ( Also while in the Sunshine State (or gifting a vacation experience to another), jaunt on over to Discover Crystal River Florida. They welcome visitors all year long, but now through March 31 marks the return of the destination’s most honored guests, the manatee. Known as the Manatee Capital of the World, this is the only place in North America where swimmers can have an up-close encounter with manatees in the wild. Plan now for this bucket list adventure or join them January 18th through the 19th, 2020 for the Manatee Festival. Now in its 33rd year, the Florida Manatee Festival, presented by the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club of Crystal River, is the epicenter of all thing’s manatee. And there is so much to do at the fest! Music on three stages, a Kid Zone with live entertainment, free tours of Three Sisters Springs, a Beer & Wine Garden, boat tours of the bay (for a nominal fee), two food courts featuring the return of International Alley and over 300 vendors featuring fine art, crafts and more.

Oscillococcinum ( Speaking of travel, here’s a little something for the stocking of anyone planning to be out-and-about this holiday or in the New Year—for pleasure or business. Getting sick when traveling can put a damper on even the best of holiday plans. So, give the gift of health with non-drowsy Oscillococcinum. It helps in the worst moments of body aches, headache, fever, chills or fatigue coming. It’s ideal for travelers on-the-go as it comes in great-tasting, easy-to-take pellets that dissolve under your tongue, even without water. Everyone ages two and up can take it. The product has been trusted for more than 70 years and it continues to be a convenient and reliable first choice for relief. It has been shown in clinical studies to help reduce both the duration and severity of flu-like symptoms. Unlike other flu medicines, Oscillococcinum is non-drowsy and has no known interactions with other medications or supplements. It won’t mask symptoms that may develop or indicate a more serious condition, which is especially important due to complications that may be brought on by flu. It is available in boxes of six, 12 or 30 doses that you can select by preference.


As the Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List,” Merilee Kern, MBA is an internationally-regarded brand analyst, strategist and futurist. As prolific consumer trends, lifestyle and leisure industry voice of authority and tastemaker, Merilee keeps her finger on the pulse of the marketplace in search of new and innovative must-haves and exemplary experiences at all price points, from the affordable to the extreme. The best-of-the-best across all product, service and travel categories—as well as noteworthy marketplace change makers, movers and shakers—are spotlighted in her prolific cross-media platform work that reaches multi-millions each month via broadcast TV (her own major market/network TV show “Savvy Living” and copious other shows on which she appears) as well as print and online publications. Connect with her at / Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIN

***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above may have been provided or arranged at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***


Photo courtesy Time Life


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