Holiday gift-giving, like any kind of genius, is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. That means spending weeks in a cold sweat suffering from a dearth of decent gift ideas. ‘Tis the season to change all that. Herewith, the Scout 100, a shopping guide aimed at the entertainment fanatic. More inspiring than a truckload of Chicken Soup books, more discerning than jurors at Cannes, and delivered with as much feeling as Whitney’s rendition of the national anthem, the 100 gifts we’ve gathered are so…well, now (and ranked for the sake of convenience, not necessarily preference) that you might as well just toss the return receipts.

From Gucci guitars to portable DVD players, Marilyn Merlot to charitable causes, there is something in here for everyone, on every budget (including celebrity mix-tape ideas that will cost you little more than your time to put together). There’s even a handy tip sheet warning what not to buy. So, Einstein, grab this guide — and start shopping.

1 George Foreman Grill

AS SEEN ON TELEVISION

Even George Foreman had his doubts. when the former heavyweight champ was presented with a prototype for a slanted, grease-and-fat-zapping electric grill, he thought it was too small for steaks. The infomercial for a slightly revamped product was, in his words, ”a big joke.” But Foreman believed in the appliance: ”As a boxer, you got to put everything in the broiler. And if you forget for a second, the whole house is smokin’.” It was just a matter of convincing everyone else. One meal at a time, he did. The Grill has gone from novelty item to must-have kitchen tool; even skeptics have been converted by the roughly 10-minute cooking times, easy cleanup, and cool black stripes it sears into meat. There are now a half-dozen variations, from the basic Champ to the Indoor/Outdoor Double Champion, plus colorful iMac-style models, and according to Foreman, 12 million-plus units have sold (Salton, Inc., which markets the Grill, won’t verify sales figures). Still, Foreman admits there are drawbacks: ”I go into the airport and people say, ‘George, that grill really works!’ I want them to say, ‘Hey, George, great fight!”’ ($30-130 at Target, Sears, Macy’s)

2 Moviegoer’s Journal [Cent]

”Dear Diary, last night, Woody A. and I watched my DVD collection until we passed out…” Ah, another chance for cineastes to write in the Moviegoer’s Journal. Or use the 160 pages to catalog videos and DVDs, shelve stubs — or scrawl a dream log. ($15.95 at Barnes & Noble, Borders, national chains)

3 F2 Cosmetics [Cent]

Russell Crowe isn’t the only Australian wannabe rock star. Fudge, the hip hair-care brand from Down Under, counts ‘N Sync, Janet Jackson, and Marilyn Manson among its groupies. Fudge has just launched F2, an edgy cosmetics line with 40 shades of lip color, nail polish, and eye goop. With risque names like Smack and Lust that (gasp!) glorify sex, drugs, and rock & roll, this may be the only makeup that could get slapped with a warning label. ($6.95- $8.95 at fudge.com, 888-FUDGE-US)

Advertisement