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Gift of the month clubs make ideal last-minute gifts

Christmas is 11 days away. If you didn't hit the malls on Black Friday or run up your credit card on Cyber Monday in search of gifts for friends and family, chances are:

A) You don't celebrate the holiday.

B) You're serving time in prison.

C) Your credit cards were confiscated after your last holiday shopping binge.

D) You waited for your friends here at ETC to give you some last-minute ideas.

We can't help you with A-C, but if your answer is D, then we have one idea that works perfectly for just about anyone: gift-of-the-month clubs.

Oh, put away that snarky look and don't even touch your keyboard to unleash a tirade. We're not talking cheese baskets, wine or fruitcakes anymore. We got creative and found five clubs, at least one of which should appeal to someone on your list.

1. PIZZA OF THE MONTH: Ever since Spanish explorers waded onto Florida's sandy shores, a horrible stigma has sat like a storm cloud over our sunny state: We have no decent indigenous pizza here. Pizza of the Month Club to the rescue. There are plenty to choose from, but we lean toward's version, which sends three flash-frozen, 9-inch, Chicago-style pies per month. It's about $58 a month depending how long of a membership you pick.

2. J. CREW OF THE MONTH: If you've got a few Benjamins to drop and you know style is more than just a five-letter word, then this might be the perfect club. J. Crew is offering several "of-the-month clubs" to anyone with a healthy bank account. For the women in your life, there's jewelry ($850 including shipping with the first hand-selected piece delivered in January), shoes and cashmere ($1,800 each). If you're buying for a dude, try on a tie ($225). And don't think the kids are left out. There are Tee of the month clubs for boys ($225) and girls ($300). Here's hoping they don't outgrow it before the year's up. Call toll-free 1-866-739-5944 or e-mail and get your shop on.

3. DOG TREAT OF THE MONTH: The quickest way to the heart of a dog lover is through the mutt. Whoops. Did we say "mutt?" We meant that furry, lovable, tongue-wagging, shorter, four-legged member of the family. offers a treat-of-the-month club that sends out a basket of treats PLUS a birthday cake for pooch's big day. Membership is $19.99 a month for a 12-month membership.

4. PROJECT OF THE MONTH: Tired of hearing the kids say, "We're bored. We don't have anything to do?" A project from this crafty club should keep them quiet for at least an afternoon. DIY projects are delivered from to kids ages 4-11. Whether they are builders, scientists or budding artists, the club has something to fit most kids. Projects can come monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly and prices start at $19 per month depending on the length of the membership.

5. INDEPENDENT FILM OF THE MONTH: When considering gift ideas for a movie snob, don't buy the Tom Hanks-autographed DVD of Turner & Hootch. ("Don't eat the car! Not the car!") Head to and join its DVD-of-the-month club. Recipients get an award-winning feature-length indie flick (and a short film) each month before those movies are even available to the public. A yearly membership is $114.99.

Top 5 weekend movies

The Princess and the Frog, 25 million

The Blind Side, $15.5 million

Invictus, $9.1 million

Twilight Saga: New Moon, $8 million

 Disney's a Christmas Carol, $6.9 million


Top 5 primetime TV shows

 NFL Football: Minnesota at Arizona (NBC)

Desperate Housewives (ABC)


The OT (Fox)

Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick (NBC)

[Source: Nielsen Media Research for week ending Dec. 6]

Top 5 albums on iTunes

Glee — The Music, Vol. 2, Glee Cast

Graffiti (Deluxe Version), Chris Brown

This Is War, 30 Seconds to Mars

Shock Value II, Timbaland

Malice 'n' Wonderland, Snoop Dog

[Source: iTunes Music Store]

Top 5 search terms on Yahoo in Tampa Bay

 Winter Weather

 Kim Sears

 Umaga

 Amanda Knox

 Tiger Woods Jokes

[Source: for seven days ending Dec. 10]

Last-minute shopping

Gift of the month clubs make ideal last-minute gifts 12/13/09 [Last modified: Monday, December 14, 2009 3:13pm]
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