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The Boot’s Holiday Gift Ideas

Everyone’s got that someone on their holiday list who is hard to buy for. Whether it’s your spoiled nephew who already has every toy he could possibly want or your grandma who still listens to music on vinyl, there seems to always be that one person who always stumps you during this time of year. The gift of music is always a good idea for anyone of any age, so The Boot has come up with a few country-themed presents for that picky special someone on your list.

01
For Dad, Who’s Still Mourning Hank Williams
Hank Williams box set
Amazon
‘The Hank Williams Complete Mother’s Best Recording … Plus!’ box set ($199.99) features 15 audiodiscs of Hank Sr. and one DVD featuring Hank’s daughter, Jett, interviewing the Drifting Cowboys band members who were present when the historic show was put down on acetate. There’s also a 100-page booklet with an introduction by Hank Jr. and an afterword by Jett, which includes never-before-seen pictures and stories. The entire package comes in an antique radio with a working knob that plays a WSM jingle and a snippet of Hank Sr.’s voice.
02
For Mom, Who Voted for Carrie Underwood 1,000 Times During Season 4 of ‘American Idol’
Carrie Underwood biography
Amazon
She already has all of Carrie‘s CDs, so treat Mom to some great reading on the country songbird! Vernell Hackett’s heartwarming book, ‘Carrie Underwood: A Bio’ ($28), starts with Carrie’s humble beginnings in Checotah, Okla., where she first started singing in church, then goes on to her competing on ‘American Idol’ and her rise to fame as one of music’s biggest stars. The book is as current as Carrie’s wedding to Mike Fisher this past July.
03
For the Husband Whose Wardrobe Needs a Little Help
Rascal Flatts
Amazon
He’ll be looking as fashionable as Rascal Flatts‘ Gary LeVox, with a gift certificate to JC Penney. The department store carries the American Living apparel line that the trio wore during both their ‘Unstoppable’ and ‘Nothing Like This’ tours. While you’re at the store or purchasing online, pick up a copy of the Flatts’ new album, ‘Nothing Like This’ ($9.99), as well. A dollar from every CD sold benefits the Salvation Army.
04
For the Nephew Who Wants to Be the Next George Strait
George Strait
Mark Gail, Getty Images
OK, so maybe he can’t mimic George as well as Easton Corbin, but your nephew can at least look like the King of Country in a brand-new pair of Justin boots from the George Strait collection (prices vary). Throw in a pair of starched Wrangler jeans, and he’ll have a look that’s “pure country.”
05
For the Friend Who Always Cries at Awards Shows
'The CMA Awards Vault'
Amazon
Deborah Evans-Price has penned the ultimate CMA Awards book, which might have your buddy shedding a few nostalgic tears. This beautiful coffee table book, ‘The CMA Awards Vault’ ($32.97), gives the history of the awards show with exclusive photos, along with pull-out replicas of CMA Awards programs, tickets, handwritten notes and more. It also includes exclusive stories from the show, like how Reba felt in her famous red dress and what Brad Paisley does after he finishes his night of hosting the awards.
06
For Your Noisy Next-Door Neighbor
Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd
Amazon
Besides the phone number of a great real estate agent, give him a set of noise-reduction shades by Blinds Chalet. He won’t even know it’s really a gift you’re giving yourself, as he can happily blast ‘Free Bird’ as loud as he wants, accompanying Skynyrd on his own drum set, while you won’t hear a sound. And if you’re feeling really generous, throw in a copy of the new compilation, ‘Sweet Home Alabama — The Country Music Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd’ ($15.98), featuring some of the legendary band’s biggest hits covered by artists including Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser, Uncle Kracker and more.
07
For the Boyfriend Who Could Stand to Lose a Few Pounds
'Dance With Julianne' DVD
Amazon
Give him a copy of Julianne Hough‘s new ‘Dance With Julianne: Just Dance’ workout DVD ($10.99). He probably won’t even get the hint, because he’ll be so excited you actually want him to watch this blonde bombshell in skintight workout clothes! Plus, he’ll learn some great dance moves and perhaps stop embarrassing you at wedding receptions.
08
For the Girlfriend Who Doesn’t Know Her Way Around a Kitchen
Trisha Yearwood cookbook
Amazon
Trisha Yearwood now offers two best-selling cookbooks, ‘Home Cooking With Trisha Yearwood’ ($18.98) and ‘Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen’ ($18.98), both of which offer relatively easy recipes to please any down-home-cookin’-lovin’ man. Aspiring cooks can learn how to perfect that delicious Southern dish, along with a few helpful hints and shortcuts in the kitchen, all while reading about what Garth Brooks eats for dinner!
09
For the Friend Who Just Went Through a Bad Breakup
Reba, 'All the Women I Am'
Amazon
Give her a little girl power! Reba‘s brand-new CD, ‘All the Women I Am’ ($9.99), weaves songs of encouragement, empowerment and inspiration to help her move on. Tracks like ‘The Day She Got Divorced’ and a countrified cover of Beyoncé’s ‘If I Were a Boy’ are destined to be on many newly minted singles’ playlists.
10
For the Classic Country Lover Who Hasn’t Listened to New Country in a Decade
'My Country' book
Amazon
‘My Country: 50 Musicians on God, America & the Songs They Love’ ($21.45) is a brand-new book by Melanie Dunea, featuring gorgeous photography that is almost as powerful as the words. Dunea photographed and interviewed country artists ranging from Kenny Rogers to Taylor Swift for her book, which is the perfect tool for introducing fans to some of the newer artists while catching them up on their old favorites.
11
For the Party Host
Sonos music system
Sonos
We’ve all got that friend who can throw a fabulous party … by running around like a chicken with her head cut off the whole time, making sure everyone’s happy. Help her relax and enjoy her own shindig with the Sonos wireless multi-room music system (prices vary). It lets Keith Urban fans rock out downstairs while the kids are listening to Taylor Swift upstairs.
12
For Your Kids, Who Are Always Complaining That They Never Get Enough Cash
Johnny Cash
Amazon
Start them off with ‘The Essential Johnny Cash‘ ($12.99), then add ‘The List’ from Rosanne Cash ($12.99), John Carter Cash‘s ‘The Family Secret’ ($16.00) and ‘Press On’ from June Carter Cash ($12.98). Money can’t buy musical happiness; Cash can.
13
For Your Weird Brother-in-Law, Who’s Constantly Raiding the Kitchen at Midnight
Darren Hauck, Getty Images | Ben & Jerry’s
Get him a whole case — freezer room permitting — of Willie Nelson‘s Country Peach Cobbler ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s ($5). The flavor was dedicated to the Red-Headed Stranger in honor of his tireless efforts to help American farmers through the annual Farm Aid concert. And if your brother-in-law eats it fast enough, he’ll empathize with the headache he causes you every holiday.
14
For Your Mother-in-Law, Who Has a Key to Your Place
Grand Ole Opry
Bill Vincent for AOL
Get her out of town for the holidays! For one cheap flight to Nashville (prices vary), you can send her on a country music lover’s dream vacation. Throw in tickets to the Grand Ole Opry’s Christmas Show at the Ryman Auditorium, a backstage tour of the just-renovated Grand Ole Opry house and tickets to Louise Mandrell’s ‘The Gift’ Christmas and dinner show to make Nashville your mom-in-law’s home for the holidays.
15
For Your Niece Who Idolizes Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift
John Shearer, WireImage
She’s downloaded every song in Taylor‘s catalog — twice — so what’s left to get your tween? How about the limited-edition Baby Taylor acoustic guitar ($299), which is adorned with Taylor’s embossed signature and designs created exclusively by the country superstar. Throw in guitar lessons, too, so your niece can follow in the footsteps of her idol!
16
For Your Budding-Singer Cousin, Who Is Moving to Nashville
'They Came to Nashville'
Amazon
Every big-time country star remembers the day he or she moved to Music City to make dreams of becoming a singer a reality. Now Marshall Chapman, a singer, songwriter and author herself, has gone back to the beginning in a new book with more than a dozen of the once-hopefuls who truly made it — Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Miranda Lambert, to name a few — to find out how they got to Nashville and persevered through the ups and downs of waiting for their big break. ‘They Came to Nashville’ ($16.50) is the chronicle that dreamers with guitars on their backs and music in their hearts will want to keep close as they reach for the bright lights of stardom.
17
For Your Pal Who Cranks Up ‘Frosty the Snowman’ During the August Heat Wave
Lady Antebellum
Amazon
So, you have one of those friends who likes to listen to ‘Let It Snow’ in July. Not to worry, as there is no shortage of holiday albums from country artists to keep her humming all year long. Lady Antebellum have released their first Christmas EP, a six-song collection titled ‘A Merry Little Christmas’ ($27.87), which features five favorites and a new tune called ‘On This Winter Night.’ The trio recorded the project during the hot summer months, in a studio decorated for Christmas.
18
For Your Uncle, the Die-Hard Rocker Who Sticks to His Roots
Robert Plant
Amazon
He still loves his Led Zeppelin T-shirts but listens to Pat Green and Emmylou Harris, too, so you’ll get him a copy of the Americana folk-rock blend CD by Robert Plant, ‘Band of Joy’ ($11.88). The collection features Plant’s legendary vocals backed by Texan Patty Griffin, troubadour Darrell Scott, and Americana stalwart Buddy Miller, who also co-produced the disc.
19
For Your Fiancé
Garth Brooks
Ed Rode, WireImage
How many people can say Garth Brooks was their wedding singer? You can with a weekend trip to Las Vegas, where you can not only save money on your nuptials but also see the country megastar live in concert at the Wynn Las Vegas Resort and Casino (ticket prices vary).
20
For Your Aunt, the Wine Connoisseur
Kix Brooks
Michael Tran, FilmMagic
If she enjoys a bit of the holiday tipple, order Dad’s big sis a nice 2008 Merlot from Kix Brooks’ Arrington Vineyards ($24.99), where he is part owner and stays actively involved in the running of the business. If she also has a sweet tooth, throw in a bottle of Arrington’s famous raspberry dessert wine ($19.99), which is sinfully delicious poured in a glass or drizzled over ice cream.
21
For Your Grandmother, the Do-Gooder
Keith Urban
Getty Images | WireImage
She makes everyone else smile, now you have the chance to return the favor – make a donation in her name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as part of the ‘Keith Urban Birthday Project,’ a fund-raising drive approved by Keith and the hospital as a way for the singer’s fans to “give” him a birthday present in lieu of cards or other items. And let Grandma keep feeling the love when you buy her Keith’s new album, the joyful ‘Get Closer.’
22
For Your Friend Who Spends All His Money Traveling to Concerts
SXSW
Tim Mosenfelder, Getty Images
Why not just buy the guy a pass to the South By Southwest Music Festival ($675.00) in Austin, Texas, and save him some serious gas money? Taking place March 16 – 20, 2011, South by Southwest will celebrate 25 years as “the biggest and most anticipated convergence of all things music” with five days of conversations, panels and bands, bands, bands by the hundreds on over eighty stages. It’s a music lover’s one-stop shopping. Buy a South By Southwest Music Badge
23
For Your Pet Sitter
Music Row Dogs and Nashville Cats
Amazon
Animal lovers can read all about the four-legged family members of their favorite stars, from Wynonna’s rescue dogs to Brad Paisley’s beloved horse. ‘Music Row Dogs and Nashville Cats,’ by Karen Will Rogers and Laura Lacy ($6.94), includes heartwarming stories and adorable photos of an eclectic mix of country music’s furry friends.
24
For Your Son, the Autograph Hound
CMA Festival
Jon LeMay, Getty Images
Don’t just see the stars, meet them! Blow your country loving son’s mind with tickets to next summer’s CMA Music Festival ($110), which takes place in Nashville June 9 – 12, 2011. With four days and nights of concerts with everyone from Tim McGraw to Taylor Swift, a star-packed convention center full of celebrity autograph and photo opportunities and Sports and Family Fun Zones, it’s a can’t-miss visit for the whole country music loving family.
25
For the Scrooge in Your Life
Elvis
Amazon | www.store.livenation.com
We all have that one person who just insists on having a ‘Bah! Humbug!’ attitude while the rest of us are aglow in holiday spirit. One thing that’ll snap the Scrooge right out of him is ‘Elvis’ Christmas Album’ ($9.16), with the opening harmonies of ‘Santa Claus Is Back in Town’ to the finger-snapping ‘Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me.’ Throw in an Elvis 75th Birthday Musical Tree Ornament and an Elvis 2011 calendar, and there’s no way your Scrooge won’t be ‘Loving You.’

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