Shot of Brandi Gift Guide: Home Alone

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Blame it on millennials, but after celebrating its 27th anniversary Home Alone is and its famous lines are currently trending.

1. The film starts by showing viewers family members running around a huge house in the suburbs of Chicago as they pack for a holiday trip to Paris. While clearly the biggest gift you could give would be a trip to Paris (or the McMansion the McCallister family lives in), a more affordable gift could be new luggage. This marble-patterned carry on is super cute.

2. A power outage causes the family to sleep in. They to the airport and fail to realize they left behind their eight-year-old son - Kevin McCallister. This is where the whole “Home Alone” part comes in. At first Kevin thinks it’s cool to have the house to himself. Then he becomes frightened of his scary neighbor and two burglars that are looking to prey on his house. If you or a family member are worried about unwanted guests, how about a Nest security camera.

3. Kevin creates a number of booby traps around the house to trick the burglars. One of the is putting toy cars on the ground, which somehow causes the men to fall to the ground. These Star Wars cars are cool for the Jedi on your list.

4. The booby traps are basically like one big obstacle course. And with an unlimited budget, you can get some lucky kids this inflatable bounce house. A more realistic gift is this DIY course from Target.

5 & 6. Like I mentioned earlier, some of the famous lines from the movie are trending on apparel. One of them is from a faux gangster movie that Kevin watches that says “Merry Christmas You Filthy Animal.” Another one revolves around Kevin’s brother’s girlfriend. When Kevin sees a pic of her, he says “Buzz, your girlfriend...Woof.” Both of these are perfect for an ugly sweater party!

And if you are looking to catch up on this flick, you can buy the movie here.
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Shot of Brandi Gift Guide: A Christmas Story

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

This classic story needs no introduction. And if you haven't’ seen this one, TBS plays it for 24 hours on Christmas. I’m talking about A Christmas Story.

1. The movie centers around the main character Ralphie’s wish to receive a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. **Spoiler Alert** while he eventually receives the gun, there are a few other iconic and somewhat unwanted gifts he receives, like a bunny pajamas from his aunt. This bunny onesie would be perfect for Christmas bar crawl or ugly sweater party!

2. Ralphie’s dad wins a “major award” in a contest, but he doesn’t know what it is until the item arrives. Turns out that it’s a leg lamp - which Wikipedia tells me was the logo of a soft drink company. Bed, Bath & Beyond sells a 20-inch replica of the lamp - perfect for a white elephant gift exchange!

3. During the movie, Ralphie slips and says a swear word to his father. As punishment, his mom puts a bar of soap in his mouth. Luxury soaps can be great to keep on hand for last minute hostess gifts that you can keep if needed! I like these from Jo Malone or these plain bars that you can add cute ribbons and labor to!

4. While this item doesn’t appear in the classic, A Christmas Story is filmed in Cleveland, which is the home of the awesome Great Lakes Brewery. The Christmas Ale is one of my favs and is a fantastic item to take to a party!
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Shot of Brandi Gift Guide: Elf

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Boy do I love a good Will Ferrell movie and Elf is no exception. There are so many amazing quotes from this movie, I was able to base my gift suggestions off of the famous one-liners.

1. “Son of a Nutcracker” - While there are a lot of beautiful nutcrackers out there, I love this decorative musical snow globe.

2. “Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?” - As an adult, I still LOVE a good ole box of new crayons. The mini packs are also one of my go-to classroom gifts!

3. “You did it! Congratulations! "World's Best Cup of Coffee."Great job, everybody. It's great to meet you.” - I’m totally obsessed with my cold brew coffee system. Bonus? It’s under $20!

4. “I thought maybe we could make ginger bread houses, and eat cookie dough, and go ice skating, and maybe even hold hands.” - Sugarfina has the most adorably packaged candies. Stock up on a few boxes for hostess gifts or for co-workers! This holiday package, made in partnership with Milly, includes Gingerbread Cookies, Reindeer Noses, and Sugar Cookies.

5. “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear,” - Karaoke machines have come along way and this bluetooth microphone is super fun and compatible with a number of sing-along apps. Perfect for adults or kids who love making music videos.

It was totally hard to narrow down all of the amazing quotes! If you’d like to purchase the movie Elf, you can do so here.
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Shot Of Brandi Gift Guide: Miracle On 34th Street

Monday, November 27, 2017

I love a good theme and my annual holiday gift guide is no exception.

Taking a look back on my last eight years of gift guides, one theme I didn’t tackle - popular holiday movies. So sit back, grab some popcorn and check back over the next five days for the Shot of Brandi* Holiday Gift Guide!

I must start with this classic. You see, my parents received a phone call from my kindergarten teacher letting them know that I told the whole class that Santa wasn’t real. So my parents sat me down and told me that I had to watch Miracle On 34th Street on repeat until I said I believed. It couldn’t have taken more than two viewings.

In researching this post, I learned that the original Miracle On 24th Street won numerous Academy Awards back in back in the late 1940’s. The film was re-made a few times with the most recent version in 1994.

This classic movie, set in New York has inspires a few gift ideas.

  1. The film starts out with a drunk Santa. What do you buy the favorite drunk or drunks on your list? Alcohol! Let me recommend the Rabbit Electric Wine Opener. No more fidgeting with those other openers.

2. The movie revolves around the Santa that works at Macy’s in New York. Aside from the obvious Macy’s gift card, the iconic department store sells a number of branded items - most focusing on the Thanksgiving Day Parade. I’m loving these NYC-themed cookie cutters and wine stoppers.

3. In the movie, Santa ends up in court. I know, you just have to watch this for yourself. First a Santa is drunk and then the real one is on trial. A big scene in court is when people bring letters addressed to Santa into the room. For someone with little kids, this Bed, Bath & Beyond has this cute decorative holiday mailbox. Kids can submit letters during the whole month of December - way better than communicating with an elf!

4. The kid in this movie wishes for a pretty big gift - a new home. Like real house. This is 2017, not the 1940’s and Santa is on a budget. So perhaps a playhouse is like this is a bit more realistic.

If you like to buy this movie on DVD, you can find it here.
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