Hard up for gift ideas this holiday season? Never fear: Here are three new items that are sure to please the discriminating skiers on your list -- or get eggnog tossed in your face.
What the heck is it? Battery-powered alarms you stick to your skis. If you prerelease in deep snow (or forget where you racked 'em at lunch), just whip out the antenna doohickey, hit the button, and follow the beeps.
Who's it for? Uncle Clarence, who'll be damned if he's gonna lose his still-good-as-new Head Standards.
Alternate uses: They'll stick to anything: Think "hat finder," "glove finder," "lip-balm finder," "unspayed-Wheaten-Terrier-probably-eating-chicken- bones-out-of-the-neighbors'-garbage finder."
Why it'll rock: You can make your skis beep on command -- all day long. Drive your ski buddies crazy.
Why it might kinda suck: Other skiers could easily mistake your $800 Atomics for 15-year-old Dynastars -- the ones with the red plastic bubbles.
Slope-cred factor: Sort of like making a Silly Putty egg the hood ornament on your car.
Get it from: Wireless Alarm Products, Inc.: 888-442-6256; www.wirelessalarm.com, $80
What the heck is it? A home snowmaker. With a standard garden hose, 115 volts, and a temperature under 25 degrees farenheit, covers the backyard with white stuff in just a few hours.
Who's it for? Aunt Gert, who's got a decent-sized hill and plenty of room for a kicker in her backyard and bakes one hell of a snickerdoodle.
Alternate uses: Industrial-strength Sno-Kone maker.
Why it'll rock: It's the flamethrower of snowball fights.
Why it might kinda suck: Snow-depth races among overzealous neighbors could lead to Christmas Eve brownouts in many suburbs.
Slope-cred factor: Just think: In parts of Nebraska, you could be the slope.
Get it from: SnowStation, L.L.C: 877-989-SNOW; www.backyardblizzard.com, $2,995
MODEL SKI-LODGE TRUCK
What the heck is it? From the Franklin Mint, a 1:24 scale model of a 1946 Chevrolet Suburban, complete with mini skis, sleds, snowshoes, engine, and campy ski-lodge paint job.
Who's it for? Cousin Ted, who invested everything in 50 sets of the Franklin Mint's American Presidents collector plates in hopes they'd triple in value in a year. Which is why he lives in your basement.
Alternate uses: Carry it on the chairlift and tell potential mates that the real thing's in the parking lot with a mattress in the back.
Why it'll rock: The look on your spouse's face when you announce, "This is our nest egg, honey."
Why it might kinda suck: It doesn't actually do anything.
Slope-cred factor: Big props from the 3-5 age group.
Get it from: The Franklin Mint: 800-THE-MINT; www.franklinmint.com, $120