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Finding the perfect Christmas gift isn’t always easy

December 13, 2009
By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer

So, do the 12 days of Christmas start today because it's the 13th and 13 plus 12 equals 25 or do they start tomorrow because starting at 14 and counting 12, you get 25?

That's always a mystery to me?

Or, do the 12 days of Christmas start at Christmas and go to January whatever it would be?

The mystery intensifies.

Just like the mystery of getting a gift for my daughter. She's perfectly happy with anything I get her, which makes it all the worse. Knowing she'll settle for anything makes me want only the best gift in the world for her.

I know she likes music, but I've never really figured out what kind of music. She and her husband go to concerts a lot, but they lose me at the names. All I remember is They Might Be Giants.

Still, under all that pressure, I may have found a perfect thing - and light enough to mail without extra postage. It's called the gorillatorch, by Joby. It has magnetic feet, which holds it anywhere, and a dimming light. Those crazy tripod legs wrap around anything, even themselves, so she can put it anywhere she needs light. She makes jewelry, so an extra light on the spot will be perfect.

Maybe I should tie a bundle of beads in the bow just so she knows why I thought it was perfect.

If you want to see it, look at

I'm also thinking of getting her a box of Shaman organic chocolates - the chocolates with a cause. She's into causes like this.

Every bar sold helps a small tribe of Huichol Indians living in central Mexico in the Sierra Madre Mountains. I love the name Sierra Madre, and I love the idea that this tribe is said to be the last tribe in North American to have maintained its pre-Colombian traditions. All the chocolate sold helps preserve this ancient ceremonial and healing tradition.

Besides, the Huichol Indians consider chocolate sacred, and anyone with that opinion of chocolate is A-OK in my book.

If you want to find them, they're at

I might try music. A group called The Front Porch Country Band does some neat stuff, not so much country sounding as come-listen-to-my-story stuff.

Maybe it's the front porch idea that calls to me. I love a front porch, especially one that wraps around the house with those white railings on it. Maybe that goes back to my childhood when I went to a party on a wrap-around front porch and thought it was such a neat thing.

One of the group's newest albums is "Here We Go Again," and that reminds me of Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again," so that's another point in its favor.

Maybe that's not the way to pick music for her, but at least it's a way to pick music. I've gotten her things for less reason.

You can read about the band at

What I should do is get all three things and wrap them in one big box. She can make jewelry with her new gorillatorch to light up the room while she eats those Shaman chocolates and listens to The Front Porch Country Band sing.

Now, that's a plan.

So long friends, until the next time when we're together.

Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or



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