Gift | featured news

Foreign governments lavish gifts on White House

Barack Obama - USA Today

A bamboo bicycle valued at $1,060 from The Philippines ... a golf bag price priced at $7,750 from then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy ... a number of shirts, pens, sculptures and rugs. Foreign gifts to President Obama and his family totaled $243,970.96 in 2011, according to a Yahoo News analysis of a report from the State Department.


$1 Billion Gift Gives Met a New Perspective (Cubist)

Cubist Painting - NY Times

In one of the most significant gifts in the history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the philanthropist and cosmetics tycoon Leonard A. Lauder has promised the institution his collection of 78 Cubist paintings, drawings and sculptures.


Book Buzz: Give the gift of books this holiday season

Take a look at today's top book and publishing news... Find a beautiful coffee-table book for anyone on your list with USA TODAY's Jocelyn McClurg's guide, from Monumental Venice to Rolling Stones 50. And for the aspiring cooks in your life, check out Carol Memmott's cookbook suggestions and read a recipe from each of the books. And cozy up with Bob Minzesheimer's holiday picture book picks for young readers.


Gift Guide: USA TODAY's top holiday picks

USA TODAY reporters offers a few suggestions.


Video: Lose the toys -- kids happy with boxes

A preschool teacher took away the toys in his classroom and was surprised to receive zero complaints.


Last-Minute Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Valentine's Day

Ok. So you’ve waited to the last minute and you don’t have a Valentine’s Day gift for that special someone in your life. And, in these trying economic times, you might not be able to afford anything extravagant. But you still want to do something special.


13 Valentine's Day Gifts That Aren't Romantic At All (PHOTOS)

Valentine's Day is by far one of the most stressful holidays of the year for couples. Whether you're trying to pick out the perfect present, the perfect restaurant or the perfect bouquet of flowers, it's certainly not easy. To make things even more complicated, companies rake in tons of cash marketing "romantic" and "sexy" products to the masses, trying to convince you to buy tacky, confusing or borderline offensive gifts. We mean come on: who's REALLY buying edible undies for Valentine's Day -- much less ones made out of meat?


This Valentine Give the Gift of Cherished Memories

According to the National Retail Federation,, Americans will spend $17.6 billion on Valentine’s Day this year. This is equivalent to about $126 per person who’s celebrating the holiday, and makes Valentine’s Day the second biggest gift giving holiday. Men spend on average $169, which is almost twice as much as what women will spend.


If you’re giving or getting a gift card, some safety tips to follow

Gift Cards

My daughter participated in a Christmas gift exchange in her young-adult-usher ministry. Every teen but my daughter brought gift cards. She came with a movie to exchange. Her gift was not so popular. My, how times have changed. Forget the crazy-colored scarves or the overly bold-smelling lotion gift packs. The gift card is the go-to present when you don’t know what to get someone. My husband and I laughed that the teens could have put all the cards in a bowl and then selected the one each wanted.


5 thrifty Mother's Day surprises

5 thrifty Mother's Day surprises

Take heart, sisters and brothers: While it is assumed that you will not let that woman a) prepare a meal, b) wash a dish or c) touch a vacuum or broom on her one special day of the year, you can also surprise her with one of these five frugal gift ideas.


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