Holiday Shopping 2008: What's In and Out

As frugality reigns, cookbooks beat jewelry.

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Looking for a way to distract yourself from all the election coverage? Instead of counting votes, why not think ahead to the holidays. Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away, and with a mood of frugality taking over the gift-giving process, we can't rely on old favorites like cashmere sweaters and the latest camera-phone to fill out our Christmas lists.

As I've mentioned before, my picks for "out" gifts include diamond necklaces, big-screen televisions, and anything the purchaser has to buy on credit. "In" gifts include cookbooks and time, such as the promise of a trip to a favorite museum.

So, vote a day early: What are your picks for best "in" gifts and "out" gifts? The most creative commenter will receive a copy of I.O.U.S.A.: One Nation. Under Stress. In Debt.