Medal for your tree?
A tradition since 1981, the White House Christmas ornament celebrates some feature or event (or inhabitant) associated with the storied manse. For 2006, President Chester Arthur is honored ($16.95; proceeds go toward preservation of the permanent White House collection of art and furnishings). The piece reflects his penchant for Tiffany design – heavy on the red, white, and blue. See whitehousehistory.org.
Quality goods come from the world over, but as the season of heavy retail gives its harness bells a shake, shoppers who think locally might try shopforamerica.com, an aggregation of more than 3,000 products made in the United States, from Chippewa boots to Burt's Bees lip balm to Taylor guitars.
A Christmas evergreen
'Tis the season to watch the sparkling restoration of the 40-year-old animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas! This faithful rendition of the book is read by Boris Karloff, who also voices the Grinch (talk about holiday confusion). Extras include "Horton Hears a Who!"
The killer app on the new "Seinfeld" Season 7 DVD box set, a series of scenes reimagined as cartoons, can now be viewed at http://digg.com/movies/Seinfeld_stick_figure_animation. In "The Big Race," Jerry's hyperbolic high school tale is literally sketched in as stick-figure versions of Elaine and George listen.
To create the new Beatles album, Love, George Martin and son refracted 130 Fab Four tunes through their own visionary prism, reconstituting the song fragments into something altogether more luminous. Thus the drumbeat of "Tomorrow Never Knows" is grafted onto "Within You Without You," "Green Onion" now includes echoes of "Hello, Goodbye," and "Yesterday" steals guitar lines from "Blackbird." "Love" is considerably more than the sum of its parts.