By EW Staff
Updated November 12, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

Santa may know who’s naughty or nice, but how does he know what you want for Christmas? By looking at your online gift registry, of course. Once you sign up at a site and specify the items you want, anyone can log on and buy you that one Weird Al CD you don’t already have.

To create a gift list, acquisitive types will want the widest variety of choices, which they’ll find at cyber-shopping mall registries. MyGiftList ( has 120 shops covering everything from Indian River oranges to posters. Service Merchandise ( features more than 12,000 brand-name products to choose from, ranging from George Foreman’s $60 Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grilling Machine to a $4,499 diamond ring. Some registries will protect your list from strangers: At the Webistry (, members’ lists are accessible only with a password.

You’ll also find registry sections at traditional specialty shops like Williams-Sonoma ( and Web-only outlets like eToys ( Of course, posting your list to Santa on the Net is convenient, but it can also make you seem a tad greedy, so you’ll have to come up with a subtle way to let people know where to find your wish list. We suggest you avoid a mass ”Dear Santa” e-mail.