SkyMall Monday: Money Maze & Bilz Pinball Game

Bilz Pinball Money Maze Game SkyMall MondayThe holiday season is in full swing and everyone is looking for the best gifts for friends and family. The SkyMall Monday headquarters is filling up with presents for our favorite people. Sometimes, though, you simply have no idea what to get for someone. No matter how much you rack your brain, you just can’t come up with the perfect gift for someone in your life. Whether it’s your coworker, mailman or mistress, you may realize that they’re better off picking out their own gifts. That’s when you need to suck it up and give them a gift card or, if you want to limit them only by their imagination, cash. However, gift cards and cash can seem cold, easy and, possibly, lazy. Not on your part, that is. You were generous. Cash and gift cards are easy for the recipients. Make those people earn their gifts by forcing them to solve a puzzle to get to that sweet consumer gold. Thanks to SkyMall, now your friends and loved ones will be able to cherish the greatest gift of all: humility. Because, after a few glasses of eggnog and with everyone staring at them, they’re going to have a hard time freeing those gift cards from the Bilz Pinball Game and Money Maze.

While there may be no greater holiday thrill than opening a giant wrapped box to find exactly the gift that you were hoping for (oh yes, I remember getting my original Nintendo very well), as an adult there is a simple joy in receiving cash. I mean, it’s money. It sure as heck beats underpants, a hideous sweater or a Two and a Half Men box set. The down side of receiving cash is that it lacks the oohs and ahhs elicited by flashier gifts. If you want the recipient of your monetary gift to be the center of attention, there’s no better way to do so than by forcing them to solve a puzzle to get their hands on their holiday booty.

Think it’s perverse to require someone to solve a puzzle to receive their holiday gift? Believe that it’s not in the Christmas spirit to make someone earn their presents? Well, seems to me that complaining about your gift might just put you on Santa’s naughty list.

Money Maze Bilz Pinball SkyMall MondayThe Bilz Pinball Game and Money Maze also serve another wonderful function: They allow the gift-giver to avoid shopping for holiday cards. Normally, you would put cash in a greeting card. Have you gone to a stationery store to shop for cards during the holidays? Christmas songs are blaring, the shelves are in complete disarray thanks ravenous customers and the employees are counting down the days until their seasonal position is eliminated by slashing marks into their wrists. In other words, it’s not the most pleasant retail environment. By putting the cash in one of these puzzles, you save yourself the time and depression of having to shop for cards. It’s a win-win.

This year, stop trying to figure out what everyone on your list wants for Christmas and Chanukah. Just get them all cash and lock it in either the Bilz Pinball Game or Money Maze. They’ll be sure to thank you when they’re done muttering obscenities under their breath while trying to solve the puzzle that is holding their gifts captive. Frankly, if you have to endure their company at yet another holiday party, the least you can do is make them get carpal tunnel while navigating their gift.

Happy Holidays!

Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.

Airport checkpoint nabs gang with 518 stolen Wal-Mart gift cards

To balance out some of the negative TSA checkpoint stories, I’m always happy when we stumble across some positive stories from the airport. In this story, TSA agents at Nashville airport noticed something strange in the luggage of a passenger, and got the local airport police involved.

Inside the suitcase was a stash of 518 Wal-mart gift cards. When police arrived at the checkpoint, six people were apprehended, but one of the gang members managed to escape and leave the airport. According to Nashville police, the gang used the Wal-Mart gift cards to act as “carriers” for stolen credit card information, and used the cards to purchase other gift cards. The total value of the stolen gift cards purchased could be well over $10,000.

The suspects have been charged with “conspiracy to commit fraudulent use of a credit card and conspiracy to commit identity theft”. Because of the extent of their crime, Nashville police are working with the United States Secret Service on the investigation.

It just goes to show how stupid some criminals are – despite managing to find stolen credit cards, and being “smart” enough to fly all over the country to commit their crime, they didn’t realize that the airport checkpoint agents may find their collection of gift cards a tad suspicious.

Check out these other great stories from AOL Travel

Enter to win a trip to San Antonio

San Antonio is celebrating 15 days of holiday giving by giving away 15 great trips to explore San Antonio. The contest started December 1, but there are still 12 more days to win a prize package for a trip to the city.

Each day, a different themed trip will be awarded. Each trip includes a three-night stay at a different San Antonio hotel, plus activities and extras like spa treatments, cooking classes, meals, gift cards, horse-drawn carriage rides, magazine subscriptions and rounds of golf.

For example, December 9th’s prize is a three-night stay at the Omni La Mansion del Rio on the Riverwalk, a $500 VISA gift card, dinner at Biga on the Banks, and a day at Enchanted Springs Ranch and Natural Bridge Caverns.

For every entry, the San Antonio CVB will donate $1 (up to $10,000) to the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Antonio. To win, all you need to do is enter using the online form. Entrants must be 21 years of age or older and be residents of the US. Winners will be notified by email within five days of the prize drawing and will have ten days to claim their prize.

SkyMall Monday: Anniversary Gift Card Giveaway

Get the champagne on ice, don your finest party hat and put out a cheese plate, because today we are celebrating the ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF SKYMALL MONDAY! On October 13, 2008, Gadling charged me with delivering to you, our dear readers, one SkyMall product review per week. Did I want that responsibility? Yes. Do I enjoy doing it? Of course. Should I be celebrated for it? Absolutely. But you know who else should reap the benefits of our weekly SkyMall dalliances? You! So, to celebrate the first anniversary of SkyMall Monday, we’re giving away a $100 gift card to…SKYMALL!

First things first. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and look at some of the best products featured in SkyMall Monday over the past 12 months. From massive travel pillows to motorized coolers to umbrellas built for two, I’ve reviewed plenty of amazing gear that you most certainly now own. And to make things interesting, we have a poll to decide which SkyMall Monday was your favorite.

After the jump, a look back at some of our favorites and your chance to win that $100 SkyMall gift card.

  • SkyRest Travel Pillow Do you like sleeping on planes and being an asshole? Then why not block everyone sitting next to you from using the restroom while you sleep on a giant wedge of cheese balanced on your lap.
  • Baseball Bat Pepper GrinderYou love baseball. You love seasoning. You feel insecure about the size of your penis. You own this.
  • Wine Glass Holder NecklaceAs the old saying goes, “Keep your friends close and your functional alcoholism closer.”
  • The Double UmbrellaOne of the first SkyMall Mondays remains one of my favorites. What better way to avoid the rain and show everyone from your old high school that you’re not Most Likely to Die Alone? (Note: It appears that SkyMall no longer sells the Double Umbrella. This is a travesty!)
  • Cruzin CoolerIf your cooler had sex with a go-kart and gave birth after the typical ice chest gestation period of four months, the doctor would slap this bad boy on the ass, fill it with Schlitz and ride it down to Daytona Beach.

Now for the fun stuff. Vote for your favorite SkyMall Monday in our poll below and leave us a comment letting us know how you voted. Read the legal muckety muck for more details, but one very lucky commenter will be picked at random to receive a $100 SkyMall gift card!

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To enter the contest for the chance to win the $100 SkyMall gift card:

  • Simply leave a comment below telling us which SkyMall Monday you voted for.
  • The comment must be left before Friday, October 16, 2009 at 5:00PM Eastern Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • One winner will be selected in a random drawing.
  • This random winner will receive a SkyMall gift card worth $100.
  • Click here for complete Official Rules.
  • Open to legal residents of the 50 United States, including the District of Columbia who are 18 and older.

Special thanks to Joey O’Donnell and all the folks at SkyMall for the gift card and for having a sense of humor.

Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.

Fly with Virgin Atlantic — get free spending money

Mileage programs are famous for offering creative rewards for flights, but this is the first that we’ve seen that actually pays you to fly.

As part of Virgin Atlantic‘s big fall promotion, frequent flyers are earning a special bonus on top of their regularly scheduled miles: gift cards. Travelers in all classes of service will be given American Express gift cards of up to $300 round trip, depending on the class of service and date flown.

It’s money that could be used to upgrade to that sweet hotel right downtown, book nicer tickets at the theater, get that extra bottle of wine at dinner or at the very least, defray the cost of transatlantic travel.

Gift cards will be issued for flights between September 15th and November 30th, with limited restrictions on class of service and tiered rewards therein. Check out Virgin’s promotion page for more details.
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