1. Broken Phone -- Who Ya Gonna Call?

My daughter called me from college after apparently conquering the breakability tests that had defied all those iPhone testers. Yep, with one drop, she had shattered her phone screen.

Collegiate Daughter went to her local Verizon store and was referred to an on-site contractor who could make the repair in 24 hours.

But she'd have to leave her phone. Behind.

As Collegiate Daughter's dedicated Personal Assistant since birth, I knew 24 hours away from her phone could lead to severe withdrawal. We found a company online called iCracked. Described by Mashable as "the Uber for smartphone repair", iCracked comes to you to repair your iPhone, iPad, and/or Samsung phone.

We registered my daughter, answered their questions, and were promptly contacted by an iCracked representative to schedule the appointment within 90 minutes -- in a public place, thank you very much.

Collegiate Daughter received an email with a photo of Rob, the "iTech", who arrived as scheduled. It took Rob 30 minutes to make the screen repair.

While this wonderful service wasn't cheap, at $154, it was about the same price that the Verizon contractor quoted, and it came with a "lifetime warranty." Rob, our iCracked hero, took her credit card onsite following the repair.

2. Have You Started Your Shopping Yet?

That's okay, stay in your sweatpants, make some coffee, and head on over to Etsy, an online marketplace that sells unique handmade, vintage, and factory manufactured items.

Here are your Personal Assistant's 25 Favorite Things:

1. Celebrate your MVP with a custom bobble head likeness. Bobble Heads Etsy Shop says they are past the deadline for standard orders, but you can pay a Rush Design Order Fee by December 5th to have it delivered by December 24th.

Bobble Heads Etsy Shop

2. Shopping for a fan of classic TV? Look at the cool hand drawn floor plans at TV Floor Plans. This one is Mary Richard's apartment. You'll also find floor plans from Seinfeld, Friends, Big Bank Theory, The Simpsons, I Love Lucy, Mad Men, Downton Abbey, Gilmore Girls, Sex and the City, Brady Bunch, Bewitched, How I Met Your Mother, among many others.

TV Floor Plans

3. Here are some 16 mm cufflinks handcrafted with a glass dome for the snappy dresser who is a fan of the gear shift.

Elegant Cuff

4. Your prepster might like to see this vinyl mongrammed iPhone charger wrap decal in her stocking.

The Gatorbug

5. Here's a fun wall decal for a closet door. Etsy has oodles of decorative decals.

Berries and Cherries

6. And on the subject of not-so-boring clothes, why buy a manufactured Ugly Sweater when you can go to Etsy for the real deal? This conversation piece is circa 1980.

Pure Vintage Clothing

7. Artist Ana Mikulic can make you a custom portrait and send you a high resolution digital file of your illustration.


8. Shopping for a golfer with boring golf tees? You could get creative personalizing these tees.

Laser Beam Creations

9. Autumn and Indigo has lots of beautiful crocheted pieces. This mocha cowl scarf shawl hood is on sale.

Autumn and Indigo

10. Word.

More Toasty Goods

11. From Maine to California to Cuba, Vintage Beach Maps has a big selection of fun and reasonably priced vintage map print 18" x 18" pillow covers.

Vintage Beach Maps

12. Have you noticed that tie bar is making a big comeback? Awww, this one has a "secret message" on the reverse side.

Sierra Metal Design

13. Here's an easy stocking stuffer for the Greek in your life -- Mega Greek sells sorority and fraternity headwear.

Mega Greek

14. Kapow! Bam! Zap! Get your Super Hero the cape he or she deserves, customized with an initial.

Pip and Bean

15. Hey, here's something to get someone off the monitor: a 30-piece puzzle of your own design in cardboard or wood.

Tin Tree Gifts

16. Despite the fact that this necklace is called a Kylie Jenner Lariat Necklace, it's lovely and super well priced.

Simple and Layered

17. Love that Etsy has bunches of downloadable, printable personalized gift tags, labels, stickers, bottle wrappers, and candy bar labels. Once purchased for $5, these gift tags can be downloaded to print as many times as your heart desires. If you don't want to use your own printer ink, take your file to Kinkos or Staples and have it printed there.

Bushel and Peck Paper

18. So "Anthropologie Inspired" is an actual thing on Etsy. If you look around the site, I think you'll find that such a translation is in the eye of the beholder; my eyes say this paper flower garland is gorgeous.

KM Hallberg Design

19. A gift guaranteed to please any grandparent: scan a photo of your child's drawing, and this shop will put it on a cotton pillow, 12" x 18" or 16" x 20".

Finch and Cotter

20. Have a fond memory of a childhood board game? Do an Etsy search and you mind find an original. This one is from 1977 and is complete with all the game pieces.


21. Feel the desire to reduce a family member to tears this Christmas morning? Email a clear jpg file of a Dear Departed to the company He She Chic, and they will transfer it to a 14" x 14" burlap "rememberance" pillow.

He She Chic

22. Are you shopping for someone who completed a big race this year? Etsy has necklaces, charms, and bracelets for all types of distances. This one is for a 26.2 marathon.

Shop Something Blue

23. Score one with the frisbee fanatic and get this 1965 Frisbee Patent Poster, available in many different sizes. This merchant also has patent posters for the football, skate board, guitar, and baseball enthusiast.

Patent Prints

24. Stocking stuffer alert! A monogrammed luggage handle wrap will make locating her luggage easy. 5" x 5" neoprene velcro closure with black trim.

Happy Thoughts Gifts

25. Okay. Now it's time to get something for yourself. Maybe this "mid-century modern Christmas wreath" made from reclaimed cedar wood, 2" in diameter and 3" deep? They have lots of color variatons.

An Open Sketch Book

3a. Make an Interesting Napkin This Holiday

Go here and have fun making a Christmas tree fold.

3b. How's the Condition of Your Passport?

Last October, a passenger was not permitted to fly from Philadelphia to Europe because of a "damaged passport." According to this ABC report, the passenger had a thread loose. Better make sure yours is in tip-top condition.

3c. Consumer Reports 2015 Naughty/Nice List

Hm. Very interesting. Read it here.

3d. Pluralizing the Last Name This Holiday Season

Read and bookmark "How to Make Your Last Name Plural This Christmas Season", by Kate Brannen here, and never get stuck on the Smiths again.