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Now it's time so spoil yourself

Call it Black Saturday. Armed with the Christmas cash found under thetree, many millions of Canadians will lose their minds on Boxing Day ina shopping frenzy as they rush out to purchase all the stuff theyreally wanted for the holidays.

Call it Black Saturday. Armed with the Christmas cash found under the tree, many millions of Canadians will lose their minds on Boxing Day in a shopping frenzy as they rush out to purchase all the stuff they really wanted for the holidays. Sure, we could save this money —hey, the RRSP deadline is a little more than two months away — but what’s the fun in that? Here are some suggestions:

A Good CD Box Set: Virtually any song ever recorded is just a mouse click away, but you can’t download the kind of goodness that you get in a carefully-compiled box set. If your budget affords it, it’s almost always better to go with the deluxe edition. Recommendations: AC/DC’s Backtracks (Standard: $40, deluxe: $200); the recent Beatles re-releases (Go with the In Mono set over the stereo collection for the packaging alone. It’s worth the $350 or so); and the Pixies' Minotaur, which, at two feet tall, is one of the most ambitious — and expensive — rock boxes ever produced ($500 and up. Way up).

A New Deluxe Edition Re-release of an Old Album: If box set is on the dear side, why not opt for an expanded and enhanced version of an older record? Recommendations: The Legacy edition of Pearl Jam’s Ten (same remix/remaster but without all the extra pieces in the other versions: about $20), U2’s Limited Edition Box Set of The Unforgettable Fire (a decent value at about $50).

A Turntable: This is what I’m shopping for today. I need a replacement for my venerable Akai belt-drive, which has served me well since the ’70s. Turntables were an endangered species for a while, but with vinyl making such a comeback, they’ve risen from the dead. Recommendations: A USB turntable like the ION Profile that can help you turn those old records into MP3s ($90 and up); a Technics SL-1200 series machine, the DJ’s favourite and rumoured to be going out of production in 2010. ($700 and up. Make sure you shop around).

Rock Band/Guitar Hero/Band Hero:
Competition between games and platforms means that being a virtual rock star remains very affordable. Recommendations: The Beatles edition of Rock Band brought this kind of entertainment to a whole new level. (Prices vary, but I’ve seen the Rock Band Special Value edition —which includes the Beatles game — selling for about $100).

 
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