It's that magical time of year! Christmas is right around the corner, and I know there are some hockey fans who have been nice this year. There probably have been some naughty ones too, but they may just need a present to see the error of their ways. In both cases, what do you get your hockey-intensive husband/wife/dad/mom/son/daughter/randomly selected family member? There are a lot of options out there for your spending dollars, but HBIC wants to highlight a few businesses that I've supported over the years with much happiness. And I'm happy to report that none of these businesses know I'm doing this. Except one. And we'll talk about his business first.
Rob Ullman, a great guy and superb artist, creates "illos", aka "illustrations". Most of these illustrations tend to be of women in various states of sports attire. The cool part of Rob's business is that he'll sketch up your wife or girlfriend in a sports scene if you send him a photo (and some cash!). Contact him here if you want to get a very personalized gift for your gal this year. If that doesn't work, click here to pick up something from the Atom Bomb Bikini store or buy some of his great artwork. I have two of Rob's books, and they are fantastic! You won't be disappointed in Rob's ability!
I can't say enough good things about Mr. Frank McClelland's product. The Skate Fenders literally save your feet from pucks and slashes that may otherwise leave bumps, bruises, and broken bones when they hit your feet. As you know, skate boots offer little in the way of protection, and I am happy to say that I love the Skate Fenders for what they do. If you have a loved one who is playing the game of hockey who doesn't have these, I recommend them over any other piece of equipment that may end up under the tree. Keeping your loved one on the ice is better than having him or her dealing with a serious foot injury! To order the Skate Fenders, please click here. I've order three pairs for Christmas this year to give to hockey players I know!
I won't lie - this gift idea is more for those who have a little extra cash on the side. It's probably not the best idea for growing children, but I want to say something about MLX Skates. While I have yet to use these, I do have a pair on the way, and I am very interested in their claims of how fast the boot molds to the foot. I love my CCM Tacks, but they took a while to break in. As you may be aware, this causes some serious discomfort for skaters, and normally results in players needing weeks to break their skates in at practices. MLX Skates are hoping to change that. And because it's Christmas, they've dropped their prices and are throwing in a free t-shirt and hat! Click here to take advantage of the new prices!
As you're aware, Teebz's Book Club advocates reading at every level of life. Whether your hockey star is playing her very first game or your veteran superstar is playing his fortieth season on the ice, reading is still a required skill for everyone to succeed in life whether it be on the ice or elsewhere. Here are some of the books I've liked since starting this blog as well as places to order them:
- When The Lights Went Out - Random House, Amazon, Chapters/Indigo
- Saving Face - Wiley, Amazon, Chapters/Indigo
- The Code - Triumph, Amazon, Chapters/Indigo
- They Don't Play Hockey In Heaven - Globe Pequot, Amazon, Chapters/Indigo
- Where's My Hockey Sweater? - Scholastic, Amazon, Chapters/Indigo
- Off The Crossbar - Scholastic, Amazon, Chapters/Indigo
There are a lot of children and adults who ask for hockey jerseys for Christmas. I, for one, used to ask for jerseys when I was younger, but I found that some unscrupulous people sell knock-offs and fakes. You have to be careful, readers, so I am linking this excellent article from the Ottawa Citizen about how much the fake jerseys are costing legitimate businesses in North America. Now, there's no doubt that the prices advertised by some of these off-shore companies are attractive from a buying perspective. But I urge you to investigate and to buy from a local store. It helps the community, and it can drive these illegitimate shysters out of business. Jeff, author of the excellent Third String Goalie blog, has an excellent jersey-buying guide on his site on how to determine a real Rbk jersey from a fake one. Jeff also has a ton of merchandise available in the Third String Goalie store if you want to support him. Well done, Jeff!
There are a few suggestions if you're still looking for a last-minute hockey gift idea. I can't guarantee shipping times for any of the businesses being that it is the holiday season, but if you order today, there's a chance it could get to your house in time for the big day on December 25. Happy shopping, and may your Christmas be merry and happy!
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!