AskPatty’s Winter Wish List -- Gift Ideas That SHE Would Love
Dear Santa, I’ve been very good this year, and one of the elves working at the nearby dealership let it slip that you might be giving me a new sled for Christmas. If it’s true, I’d like to offer you a few hints to help make sure my new ride is appropriately decked out for safe, comfortable travels year-round.
Bluetooth infotainment smartphone interaction with voice operation would allow me to drive and communicate hands-free, while also connecting my Droid or iPhone directly into the vehicle’s sound system to make calls, play music, assist with navigation, and even read text messages while I’m driving. Add in a whole-car WiFi system, and all my passengers could benefit by browsing the internet while we’re out and about, allowing kids to do homework or stay entertained while running errands in the car with me. Versions of these systems are available on pretty much every car out there, as long as you step up to the trim level with the infotainment options, so please don’t forget to include the Bluetooth infotainment system.
Santa, if you’re gonna drop a pretty penny on my new sled, it would be a good idea to protect its pretty paint against bug smears, bird droppings, and rock chips with an aftermarket protective film. These types of “Invisible Bras” are made from a transparent but durable urethane film that's computer-cut to fit the vehicle and then professionally applied to the surface of the paint. Material and installation costs vary depending on the amount of protective material required and the intricacy of the installation, but can range from $500 to $1500 depending on the vehicle and amount of protective film installed.
Santa, if a new car is not going to be in my garage on Christmas morning, I hope you will consider these alternative ideas that I could still enjoy in my daily driver.
An in-car espresso machine that plugs into the cigarette lighter would streamline my caffeine intake and reduce lengthy coffee shop stops along my route. It also means we can have fresh hot coffee no matter where our travels take us: all we’d need is a bottle of water, a few espresso pods, and a scenic rest stop, and it won’t be long before we’re back on the road with energy for the next few hundred miles of travel! $199 on Amazon.
To travel in style, I’d love an interior lighting package: They’re all the rage on new cars these days but can also be added to older cars as well. Made with durable LED technology, interior lighting kits are available in a variety of styles offering a choice of colors and solid or flashing illumination. The tube light strips can be easily installed under the dash or seats, and are available from a variety of aftermarket retailers.
What car-loving woman wouldn’t also love a Harvey's Seatbelt bag? Among the most-popular bags in the Harvey's line are a collection of 100% recycled seatbelts called "Treecycle": Fully lined with hemp fabric imprinted with eco-friendly inks, the Treecycle line includes small wallets ($78) and messenger bags ($98), full-size totes, and satchels ($118). During the holidays, I especially love my cranberry red messenger bag and the attention it gets from others who are attracted to its lovely but durable appearance! Plus, Harvey’s bags are handmade in the USA and come with a lifetime guarantee.
As long as we’re on more fashionable accessories, consider getting me something from MariClaRo.com, where they turn of bits of recycled automotive materials -- like old dashboard woods and seat leathers -- into beautiful and functional accessories like jewelry and handbags. Creativity, attention to detail, and layers of automotive history are present in each one-of-a-kind Mariclaro creation.
I know your reindeer won’t find many obstacles up on the roof, but an aftermarket rearview camera system is a great idea. While the primary goal of these rearview camera systems is to provide a view to the rear while I’m parking or backing up, they offer a significant safety advantage because they can help me see a child, pet, or hazard in the blind zone behind my vehicle. Whether you want to help me keep my children safe (according to KidsandCars.org, more than 50 backover accidents resulting in at least two deaths occur every week) or more easily fit my car into the garage, the $149 Magellan Wireless Back-up Camera combines with a handheld RoadMate GPS navigator to help me better see what’s behind me.
The weather outside is frightful, and the view from inside my car is not so delightful. I could really use a new pair of wiper blades to clear the rain and snow off the windshield! I’d love a new pair from AutoTex PINK, and each purchase of their blades helps increase awareness of and contributes to the fight to “Wipe Out Breast Cancer!” through donations to either National Breast Cancer Foundation in the US or the Breast Cancer Society of Canada. AutoTex PINK blades come in metal, frameless, or uni-blade variants with either a classy pink ribbon on traditional black wiper blades or in the AutoTex PINK Plus model, an all-pink windshield wiper blade that proudly shows your support with every perfectly pink swipe. AutoTex PINK blades are available at a variety of AskPatty.com Certified Female Friendly® locations or by calling (800) 692-3962. Order online at AutoTex PINK and use the Code ASKPATTY10 for 10% off your first order!
My hands are always full of kids and bags and stuff: how many times have I locked my keys in my car? A membership to the Automobile Association of America would pay for itself next time I shut the trunk on my purse with my keys inside. Not to mention jumping my battery on cold days or filling a flat tire. Or a free tow if I’m ever stranded on the side of the road. Plus, if the safety and convenience of an Auto Club membership isn’t already enough, when you give a $68 AAA membership this holiday season, AAA will also toss in my choice of a DreamWorks Animation's TURBO DVD or a certificate for a one-pound box of See's Candies® Chocolate. You can purchase an AAA membership online or by calling 1-866-272-5495 -- and tell them I would like the See’s candy, please.
Thanks in advance, Santa, for adding these features to my next new sled. I promise to give you a ride if your own reindeer need a break!