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My VIP Wish List

My birthday is very close to Christmas, a dilemma that, growing up, I shared with many other fellow miserable Sagittarius cusp kids who lived through the horrors of “the combined gift.”

My defense against the dark art of the combo gift became my painstaking need to create gift lists for my parents and relatives. I would start these lists — two separate distinct lists with nary a duplicate between them — in early fall. My parents learned to appreciate the lists because they made shopping for me mindless for them. The grandparents and the aunts and uncles liked them because when they inevitably called my mom to ask “What does Jackie want for his birthday?” (Yeah, they called me Jackie. Shut up.) My mom always had a quick answer, which made their shopping mindless too.

I learned the psychological truth that if you want to get someone to do something or act a certain way (or in my case, pick a generous and appropriate gift), tell them exactly what you want.

So, my friends, it’s only late summer but I was inspired by this issue chock full of TWICE VIP Awards winners that I thought I’d start my wish list early, in case you’re one of those people who likes to shop early (and for whatever reason would like to indulge me with a gift).

The parameters I gave myself were this: I could only pick from the nominated products, more than 220 of them; my picks didn’t necessarily have to be VIP winners; and I have to truly need (I use that term loosely) the item since the first thing I might see after adding 10 more technology products to my household would be divorce papers. Here are the top 10 items on my VIP wish list:

1 LG Smart InstaView Refrigerator: Have you ever watched a 13-year-old boy look for an afternoon snack by opening both French doors and staring mindlessly at your array of leftovers for two solid minutes? I see it almost every day. But give me a fridge that my son can see inside just by knocking, or even more fitting, using his smartphone? One with a touchscreen that interacts seamlessly with Alexa for shopping lists, recipes and Amazon orders? LG, you had me at hello.

2 Samsung’s Frame TV: We finally hung a TV in our bedroom and I love it, but since you walk in and see the side of the TV first, and subsequently the mount and some cables, my wife doesn’t. Plus, we hung the TV where we used to have a framed print. I love killing two birds with one stone.

3&4 Elite Screens Yard Master 2 Dual Projection Screen and Celluon’s PicoBit Projector: Because I miss the drive-in movies of my youth.

5 LG HOM-BOT Turbo+ Robotic Vacuum: Never having to vacuum again? Duh.

6 Renogy Solar Phoenix Generator: During Hurricane Sandy we lost power for 16 days and I had to drive into Pennsylvania to buy gas for my generator. Never again with this Swiss Army Knife of a generator. It does it all and produces zero carbon emissions.

7 Blue Satellite Premium Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones: I am a huge music fan but have never talked myself into headphones north of $300. The best gift is the one you wouldn’t buy for yourself, right?

8 Skylink Group’s ATOMs Garage Door Opener: Now that I finally cleaned out my garage I’d like to show it off.

9 Odyssey Toys Build-A-Drone: It’s for my kids. Really. I mean it. Seriously.

10 Maytag Extra-Large Capacity Dryer with Extra Moisture Sensor: Have I mentioned I have two boys?

Happy shopping!