Favorite things on the cheap: Oprah Winfrey to have toned down version of annual gift fest

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Blame it on the struggling economy if you want, but don't expect gifts like a $3,800 HDTV refrigerator or a $900 DVD collection to be on Oprah Winfrey's list of favorite things this year.

A Harpo source confirmed today that Winfrey's annual gift-fest would be toned down this year, but still have a twist.

The show, airing next Wednesday, will showcase some of Winfrey's things that cost next to nothing, including a special gift that won't cost a thing.

Viewers will meet a family who talks about their tradition that doesn't cost a penny, and get ideas to make holiday festivities memorable and affordable.

Last year, Winfrey showered fans from the town of Macon, Ga., with gifts from her list. Macon had consistently given the talk show its highest ratings.

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Oprah is a big fat hypocrite. She's a hog who can't stop eating and has to diet every other month to lose all the fat she gains from overeating. Meanwhile she crusades for the hungry who could live on what she eats alone. She gives away more money because whe makes more money and notice how everything she does or gives away is a big media event. I know so many people who give with quiet dignity a good percentage of their entire incomes and never receive the accolades and acknowledgments this pretentious overrated diva demands. On top of that, she chose to support someone of her own race rather than a woman which also makes her a racist and a bigot. It is time to move her out of her ivory castle and out of our our televisions.

WAY TO GO Oprah!!! I agree that we need to help society in many other ways than expensive gift giving. My gift to you is to tell you how grateful we should be for the LOVE you have given. Not just in the way of a gift to others but in the reaching out with open arms to all on your show and I am certain in person.
My gift to you would be to say thank you for all that you have and are doing, and to give you a big Christmas hug.

WAY TO GO Oprah! I want to thank you for ALL you have and are doing for this world. I think the public is getting a little greedy. If I could give you a gift I would want to give you a big hug and just say "Thank You Oprah".
God Bless your sweet heart.
Nancy Dawn

I absolutely enjoyed the show. I learned how to give thrifty but valuable gifts to friends and family without breaking the bank!

What greedy people there are these days! They are lucky to just even get something and they complain... At least Oprah even thinks of her audiences at home. I was lucky to get a free snapfish photo book a few weeks ago and a Christmas CD to download from Wednesday's show.

People suck... we just can't be thankful anymore, it seems.

Oprah's favorite things on facebook,http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=33137344&o=all&op=1&view=all&subj=33590373418&aid=-1&id=27703570&oid=33590373418#/group.php?gid=33590373418

Here is the rich's woman in the world and she's cutting back on her favorite things hardly. I guarantee she didn't cut back on her favorite things for herself. Oprah should encourage people to support the economy. I am so sick of Ophra’s pompousness. She’s a turd.

oprah has always been a huge feminist a voice for all women...but as soon as it came between a male african american in office or a female in office she went for race all the way...im disappointed in you oprah...what a hypocrite you have turned out to be

I wouldnt mind being a gift getter from Oprah. Those items would make for a very nice Christmas for my family.
Some people just dont appreciate what they are given, for free or for the cost of taxes.

It's a darn shame that people have the nerve to complain when someone is generous enough to give them ANYTHING they don't have to pay for. I can't beleive it! Here I am out of work, because I was diagnosed with an illness, don't even know where I will be for Thanksgiving dinner, and I have to read this, how absolutely selfish of those even having the nerve to print this foolishness. Next year maybe there will be an opportunity for those who really are in need to be a part of this show, those who know how to appreciate the kindness of others. That's all I have to say about this! Oprah, keep up the good work, and have a great birthday, we share the same day in January!

I just heard on AOL online that your favorite things has been cancelled or will be cancelled, and that Perez Hilton is reporting that one audience member was "dissatisfied" with the price tag of their FREE gift.
Well, honey, let me tell you. It's shameful because I was always told "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" "Beggars shouldn't be choosers" and so on.
Shame on them if it's true. With today's economy, you'd think a person would be grateful.
Keep up the good work. I admire you and kudos for trying to bring a little joy into others' lives.
Your work inspires me because you give back so much.
Hattie Hendrix, Sallisaw, OK

I'd love to find a way to work with Oprah's team to help save our children. I can only imagine that the future leaders of the world will be those who had parents who cared enough to work with them with this course throughout their life.
I would even donate 50% of my profit to her charity. Just don't have enough marketing experience to help. Any ideas? Our economy and school system would not be such a mess if every family owned this... Help.... I'm more concerned with helping than my commission.. My goal in life is to give and make a difference. Ten percent of my commission already earmarked to build two no kill animal shelters..
Believe it.. I am the real deal "Ask and it is Given (by the Hicks - awesome book!) With love and hope for God's children! Diane

First of all, I was a fan of Oprah's since I was 17. Now 32. I was at the taping of the show that is going to air the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The show was taped on Tuesday Nov. 18th. Let me give you a glimpse of what went on that day... When you walked into the studio, you were amazed by all the Christmas decorations and how beautiful the set was. And everyone had that feeling in the pit of there stomach, that OMG it's her Christmas show. To comment on an earlier blogger on how greedy the guest's were, if you were at that show you would not believe what really happened. And yes, most people would like to be chosen for her favorite gift show. Especially now with people losing there jobs and the economy being the way it is.

This is why people are so hurt and upset.

The theme was The Thriftiest Christmas Ideas

The show started out with one of her producers coming out and getting us all excited for the show. Which was great!!! But....keep reading...
Oprah comes out everyone is so excited and before the camera starts rolling, the first thing out of her mouth was....My producers told me to let you down easy. This would've been my favorite show but how the economy is, it wouldn't be right. And I agreed at first...she can't sell things for the sponsors that GIVE her all of her FAVORITE THINGS, if know one will buy them.

Her first comment to her audience...THIS WOULD'VE BEEN MY FAVORITE SHOW...BUT....

Then she proceeded to say " last year we gave away a talking refrigerator and a plasma TV. " NOT THIS YEAR" Were the EXACT WORDS FROM HER MOUTH. That was the 2nd comment to her audience. Ok, Oprah we get it....Your not giving anything away this year.

The show starts out nice, on how to make a treasure chest out of memories and how when she had her 50th Birthday Party her friends wrote letters and put them in a fancy box for her. She had a couple of tapping's of what people do for Christmas without spending money. NICE RIGHT??

Then she yelled at her producer because her microphone fell off. Her words..." How many years have we been doing this show? Do you think we could get this right." At first I thought maybe she was having a bad day. She had a taping for another show right before ours. One thing I have learned because I have worked in public relations, when you put yourself in the spotlight and people look up to you and love what you do. It's not about you anymore, it's about them. So if your having a bad day or things in your life aren't going so well you never let your audience see that. It's a shame to say, but
it's true. " The front of the house, should never see the things that are wrong in the back of the house. "

Then her show went into Thanksgiving. She started taking about making Thanksgiving dinner. So was the show Christmas or Thanksgiving? I don't think they new. And for the Thriftiest Christmas ideas, she didn't say how we could save money on our Thanksgiving dinner. She could've said, instead of preparing your dinner like you do every year, you can save money doing it this way and get more for your dollar. That would've been thrifty, wouldn't it????

There was so many mistakes, it was like the show was thrown together. Like, they didn't know what they were going to do.

Then there was a part of the show where her friend made a pumpkin pie. They gave us a piece of pie. Then, comment number three to her audience...as they were passing out the pie, Oprah said " Yeah no talking refrigerators." I looked around were I was sitting and if you saw her fans faces including mine and my best-friend, we were stunned. It was like we had a wound already, and she kept opening it up and pouring salt in it.

All through the show it seemed she was faking any enthusiasm what so ever. As the show ended, she said.." Happy Holidays...I can smell the new in the air" Referring to the audience buying a new outfit for HER SHOW. She said " you know you all bought a new outfit" make sure you wear it for the Holidays. So yes Oprah, people bought a new outfit for your show. They wanted to look nice for YOU. Even if they couldn't afford it.

I agree there are greedy people out there, that take advantage and expect things from stars.

I was disappointed, I will be honest it would've made Christmas nice, especially this year. But I was hurt by the words that came from her mouth, the comments about last year and what she gave away. Her trying to fake being happy. I was happy just to see her. But how much can an audience take, especially before the showon of her producers came out and got us all excited. And asked how many people were laid off or lost there jobs. There was quite a few hands that were raised in the audience..The producer said we were going to be so excited for this show. What slap in the face for me and those people.

Right before we were leaving, she says to us " look in O magazine to see my favorite gifts under $100.00. ANOTHER SLAP in OUR FACES.

As we walked out and were in the hall way, some people were in shock, others in tears and some just mad at how we were treated.

My best-friend got the tickets and turned to me and said, honey I am so sorry. We had are day planned, to go to Oprah and to have dinner. We didn't know what happened. My friend said it feels like we just were blindsided. I asked her was there a plot to the show? She agreed and said no. And we both agreed it's one thing not to give anything away, but to have said and acted like she did was another thing.

We just sat and ate dinner in silence most of the night. I was an Oprah advocate, if anyone said anything bad about her I was there defending her. I would say look at all the good she has done for people. And all she has given away over the years. But Oprah your words hurt and so did your actions that day. I know you hurt me, and the people left in tears that day.

And I heard she was going to throw Obama a party. Which she has every right to, it's her money, she has earned it. But don't say you wouldn't feel right having a favorite things show and giving away gifts this year.

People could've used a little spirit lifting, especially this year. Not what she normally does, but maybe a small sign of hope. Since her fans look forward to this ever year and it has become a Oprah Tradition. But instead we were told over and over through out her show, what she gave away last year and how she was not giving away anything this year.

I think that's why this story came out. People weren't being greedy, people were just HURT.


YOu are a hypocrite and you have changed. I have stop watching because you are not real any more.

Also because you have money and turned your nose up at God, Well I have no use for you.

Jeannette K. Rook

give me a break Oprah gives more money to charity than anyone I know. The guest should be grateful they received anything this year with the economy being so bad

I was on the show that will be airing on Wednesday and initially it was disappointing to hear that we were on the show that was previously called the "favorite things" but this year it would be about giving from the heart and giving memories verses more things we didn't need. My friends and I enjoyed being apart of the show and are thankful for what we have.

I would be more than happy to recive free gifts from Oprah, we have got to selfish in today society

she's done.... throw the hat we need change!

I think it's great that Oprah's favorite things are going to be affordable. It might not work out as well for her audience that day, but for the rest of us, it's kind of cool.

I was recently in an Oprah audience for a taping of a show that featured "The Biggest Loser". Honestly, I was embarrassed when others asked the woman warming us up what "freebies" we would be getting. I don't blame Oprah for backing off the gift giving. I think it brings out selfishness and entitlement and moves people away from what I see as her personal mission.

Too bad Oprah and her staff did not make the decision to give those gifts to charity vs. her greedy and self-serving guest. I guess that would be too much to ask.

I beat Oprah this year.
Please check out MY favorite things at


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This page contains a single entry by Mark Bieganski published on November 21, 2008 8:53 AM.

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