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Happy holidays - and that's an order!

Want to find just the right present for those on your holiday gift list, but have no time to go out shopping? Let your fingers do the walking instead and use mail-order catalogs. Besides those you get in from your local department store and the big three--Sears, J.C. Penney and Spiegel--there are hundreds of products being sold through direct mail. Last year, 96 million adults shopped via mail, spending from $25 to $35 billion according to the Washington, D.C.-based Direct Marketing Association. Convenient for consumers and cost-effective for manufacturers, catalog shopping also has given rise to a spate of Afrocentric products marketed by mail. To get an idea of the variety of catalogs on the market, here is a sampling of a few unique and interesting ones to help you with your holiday shopping. (All are free, unless otherwise noted.)

Culinary Delights

Baskets Because, 20 First Plaza NW, Galleria #22, Albuquerque, NM 87102; 505-247-9892. Want to send a little Christmas spirit with a Tex-Mex flavor? This New Mexico-based gift basket company specializes in offering unique and authentic Southwestern items such as blue corn chips and chile pistachios, red and green chile salsa, bizcochitos--the official state cookie--and a Native American handcrafted kachina doll. Or create a customized basket. Prices start at $29.95. Baskets are shipped worldwide within 48 hours after the order is received and are based upon weight; next-day and second-day air are available at an additional cost. Allow at an additional cost. Allow up to five business days for delivery. Send a stamped, self-addressed envelope for a free catalog.

Caribbean Cake Connoisseurs, 56 Grandview Ave., Edison, NJ 08837; 800-322-5452. Friends who've sampled the delicious black cake and fruit cakes of the Caribbean will love getting these authentic, tasty treats for the holidays to share and enjoy. The gourmet cakes are available in gift-wrapped packages of six 4 oz. mini-rounds or loaves for $22.50, a 1 lb.8 oz. bundt-shaped cake for $23.95, a 2 lb. cake for $28.90 and a three-pounder for $34.95; available as either black or brown (fruit) cake. No refrigeration is necesary; large cakes can be safely stored for up to one year and miniatures for two months. Allow two to three weeks for delivery after placing order; however, UPS second-day is available at an additional charge. Visa and MasterCard accepted.

Harry and David, P.O. Box 712, Medford, OR 97501-0713; 800-547-3033. Your clients will enjoy receiving gifts of fresh fruit, nuts, candy, cake, smoked meats and other items from a mail-order food company that's been in the business almost 60 years. Gift packs like the Merry Mix-up featuring a variety of apples, pears, cheeses, nuts and candy start at $19.95 and go up to $149.95. If unsatisfied, nonperishable items can be returned for credit. Allow two weeks after order is received for delivery. Federal Express rush and overnight service is available for an additional charge. American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and Diners Club accepted.

The Popcorn Factory, P.O. Box 4530, Lake Bluff, IL 60044-8098; 800-541-2676. Kids and grown-ups alike love popcorn, especially those gift cans featuring an assortment of flavors and other snacks. Gift tins of sweets and other treats are also available. Packages are shipped worldwide via UPS, prices start at $14.95; Federal Express service available for an additional cost. American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.

Christmas Collectibles

Beautiful Brown Babes, 608 Woodland Ave., San Leandro, CA 94577; 510-632-0291. Doll collectors will love to have one of these porcelain, made-to-order black dolls. Each doll is constructed of hand-poured porcelain and are signed and dated by the artist. Prices range from $110 to $1,250; American Express, Visa and MasterCard are accepted. Items are shipped via UPS within seven to 10 working days; next-day and second-day air service available. A catalog costs $3, which is applied to your order.

Globalcrafts Catalog of the Christian Children's Fund, P.O. Box 518, New Windsor, MD 21776-0518; 800-366-5896. Unique and interesting one-of-a-kind handcrafted items from around the world for children and adults, from Guatemalan ikat woven vests to handcrafted doll furniture from India are featured. All profits from sales are returned to the individual artisans or their cooperatives. Prices start under $10. Visa and MasterCard are accepted and overnight delivery is available.

Ebbets Field Flannels, P.O. Box 19865, Seattle, WA 98109-6865; 800-377-9777. Baseball fans and collectors of Negro League memorabilia would enjoy receiving and wearing a re-creation of the jerseys, caps and jackets of Negro League teams such as the Kansas City Monarchs and New York Cubans. Sizes range from small to XX-large, and prices range from $44 for caps to $295 for jackets. Items are shipped via UPS, unless specified otherwise; allow two to six weeks for delivery. American Express, Visa and MasterCard are accepted.

1992 Rand McNally Holiday Catalog, 8255 N Central Park Ave., Skokie, IL 60076-2970; 800-234-0679. Give that special client, friend or child the world with one of the nearly 200 travel and geography-related gift items in this holiday catalog. For example, a frosted crystal globe puts the weight of the world on those important papers ($24.95), a world map cube of notepaper makes a great grab bag gift ($11.95) and games such as "Name That State" teaches players facinating facts about the United States as they travel across the board ($19.95). MasterCard and Visa are accepted.

Toys And Things

Colorful World Inc., 2363 E. Stadium Blvd., Ann Arbor, MI 48104; 313-714-1177. What better way to reflect the ethnic diversity of our world and increase your children's awareness than through black puzzles, dolls, books, board games and posters. Geared for children ages 2 and up, prices range from $3 to $40. Items will be shipped gift-wrapped within 72 hours of receiving the order, but may take four to six weeks for delivery. Overnight and second-day air delivery are available at an additional cost. Visa or MasterCard accepted. Send $1 for a catalog.

Identify Toys, 2821 N. Fourth St., Milwaukee, WI 53212; 800-272-0287. Promote black pride among youngsters through educational and fun dolls, toys, books and games. Among the interesting items available is a 12-month wall calendar--The Chocolate Kids Calendar written and designed for children ages seven to 12 ($10.99). Catalog items are suitable for children ages 2 and up and prices start at $3.95. For Christmas delivery, orders must be placed by Dec. 17; all items delivered via UPS within two weeks. Mastercard and Visa are accepted. Send $2 for a catalog.

Culture Corner Toy Catalog, 828 Lenox Road, Brooklyn, NY 11203; 718-363-8370. An assortment of multicultural dolls, puzzles and games including several collectible dolls are the focus of this ethnic catalog for children ages 3 and over. Prices range from $15 to $500. Allow two to four weeks for delivery; phone orders are not accepted. Visa and Mastercard are accepted.

Tea Cake Kids Originals, 217 Tessman Trails, P.O. Box 137, Hutchins, TX 75141; 214-225-8357 or via fax, 214-225-9001. Beautiful hand-appliqued images of African-American children at play characterizes this line of clothing kids will enjoy wearing. Designed to provide positive self-images, there is a complete line of items from an infant's layette set and comforter to children and adult T-shirts and sweats. Prices range from $12 for baby bibs to $150 for an infant comforter with a pillow. Items can be personalized for an additional cost of $4. Checks, money orders and American Express are accepted. Allow four to six weeks for delivery; overnight delivery available for an additional cost. A catalog costs $1 and a credit is applied to your first order.

Holiday Assets

Hammacher Schlemmer, P.O. Box 182256, Chattanooga, TN 37422-7256; 800-543-3366. Whether it's for a client or the family, you're sure to find interesting and useful gifts here--from a framed, autographed 16" x 20" print of Muhammad Ali knocking out Sonny Liston in their 1965 rematch ($499) to an automatic potato chip maker ($299.95). Items range from $20 to $2,000 and can be delivered gift-wrapped. Gift certificates are also available. Most orders can be shipped within 48 hours after receipt, and Federal Express delivery is available for most items. All major credit cards accepted including Diners Club, Carte Blanche and Discover.

Neiman Marcus, P.O. Box 2968, Dallas, TX 75221-2968, 800-825-8000. Unique and unusual, practical and fun--these gifts should suit anyone on your shopping list. Executive gifts range from a Waterman rollerball pen ($45) to 12-months of fresh flowering plants ($265), or give this year's his and hers gift--a vintage Harley-Davidson motorcycle with a sidecar, customized to your specifications ($28-$35,000). Gift certificates are also available and items can be sent gift-wrapped. Besides the store's credit cards, American Express is accepted. Two-day Federal Express delivery is available for no additional charge.

Tiffany & Co., 801 Jefferson Road., P.O. Box 5477, Parsippany, NJ 07054-9957; 800-526-0649 or by fax 800-421-4468. Extra special gifts for extra special loved ones, friends and clients can be found in this catalog, from diamonds and pearl jewelery to utilitarian crystal glasses and decanters. Items range from under $50 to several thousand dollars. All orders are gift packaged in Tiffany's signature blue box. Express delivery service is available for an additional charge. All major credit cards are accepted.

Ethnic Awareness

Awearness Contemporary Wear, P.O. Box 417, Brooklyn, NY 11217;212-749-5604. Black Americans looking to connect with their cultural identity will relish gifts made with the kente pattern from Ghana. A complete line of items from men's suspenders to handmade photo and wedding albums. Catalog is available for $3. Prices range from $15 to $200; only cashier's checks and money orders are accepted. All orders shipped via UPS; allow four to six weeks for delivery.

Cameo Designs, Ltd., 599 West End Ave., New York NY 10024;212-769-9084. A signature piece for today's woman of color, THE BLACK CAMEO is a piece of jewelery any African-American woman would love. There are a range of accessories in this classic line including a small and large broach, earings and silk scarf, priced from $40 to $120. American Express, MasterCard and Visa are accepted. Allow two to three weeks for delivery via mail; express service is available for an additional charge.

Cross Colours Home, 3765 Motor Ave., Suite 381; Los Angeles, CA 90048; 310-858-6992 or via fax, 310-858-1660. The contemporary Afrocentric theme has been transposed into dinnerware for the home--a complete line of plates, serving bowls and platters, coasters and trivets. There are seven different ethnic patterns to choose from. Prices range from $9 to $64. Payment by cashier's check or money order only; allow four to six weeks for delivery. A catalog costs $1, which is credited to your first purchase.

A Matter Of Taste, 100 Station Rd., Devon, PA 19333; 800-786-1853 or 215-471-1853. Family and friends would love to receive items from this ethnic line of African and African-inspired home furnishings--from placemats to bedspreads. Prices range from $20 for a table runner to $195 for a kingsized kente bedspread. Visa and Mastercard, money orders and checks are accepted. All items are shipped via UPS.

Atelier Saint James, P.O. Box 27683, Los Angeles, CA 90027; 213-464-8381. Art--originals, lithographs, seriographs and prints--make excellent holiday gifts. Renown artist Synthia Saint James' work is known for its vibrant colors and contemporary ethnic themes. Prices for signed posters and limited edition prints range from $50 to $3,000. Add $10 shipping and handling charge for up to three prints; American Express, MasterCard and Visa accepted.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:gift catalogs
Author:Whigham-Desir, Marjorie
Publication:Black Enterprise
Date:Dec 1, 1992
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Next Article:Spirited gift-giving.

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