Oprah Winfrey's holiday frenzy missing spark, but even you get a free gift this year

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The show that sparks a frenzy each holiday fizzled this year, not by fault of Oprah Winfrey, but thanks to a Grinch of struggling economy.

The lavish gifts. The screaming fans. The satisfaction of knowing what brand of slippers Winfrey lounges around wearing at her California estate -- all gone.

"The holidays are upon us and I know a lot of people are feeling the pinch and are trying to scale back this year," Winfrey said Wednesday during a toned-down version of her yearly gift fest. "We felt that this is not the time to be introducing you to a lot of things that cost money."

But that doesn't mean viewers and audience members didn't walk away with a gift.

For 48 hours after the airing of this year's show, viewers can download a mix of Winfrey's favorite holiday hits -- from Tony Bennett to Faith Hill -- free from Oprah.com (you can even print out an "O" Holiday Hits label, too).

While Winfrey and her producers were right in theming this year's show around gifts from the heart and those that cost next to nothing, it still took away from the very reasons people tune in each November to see the show.

That said, this year's show did take viewers back to what the true meaning of the holidays should be, done in typical Winfrey fashion.

Viewers from across the country shared their ideas of low-cost gifts -- from hot cocoa cones to homemade gifts from your garden.

"It has been the gifts that cost the least amount of money that mean the most to me," Winfrey said, offering two gift ideas from the heart.

The first -- a gratitude box -- similar to the gratitude journal mentioned in her DVD set. Construct a box (can be holiday-themed) to give to a person that contains notes on why you're thankful for that person. For the holiday party twist, leave an empty box at each person's place setting on the table and hand out blank notes for guest to fill each person's box.

Second, make a treasure box to remember special moments in life and fill it with keepsakes.

Want to eat the holiday dinner Winfrey will be eating this year? You can also download Chef Cristina Ferrare's picks for Winfrey's holiday meal at Oprah.com

Still looking for a cheap gift to give for the holidays? Winfrey touted her last book club pick The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski as a perfect pick about the "magical bond that this mute boy shares with his dog. But it's so much more than a dog story."

Images: Harpo

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Thanks Oprah for the post.....

People watch that show to see her GIVE AWAY good, expensive stuff! I understand she's trying to set a good example, but no one I know seriously ever bought the stuff she put on her shows. It was like window shopping. It reminds me of the time she renovated people's homes 'affordably' and said, "This whole room for $10,000! That's incredible! What a good deal!" Could she have maybe aired the expensive stuff show AND a more practical-for-the-economy show?

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mark Bieganski published on November 26, 2008 9:51 AM.

Oprah asks court to dismiss defamation suit was the previous entry in this blog.

Oprah Winfrey happy to stay on TV until 2011, hints at new contract is the next entry in this blog.

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