BY NOW, you've heard that Oprah Winfrey plans to end her talk show in 2011, and in a few weeks will launch her TV network OWN.
Her annual Oprah's Favorite Things shows, during which the talk-show star gave away the latest technology, beauty products and even cars to unsuspecting audience members, were always among her top-rated programs.
I loved that show and hoped to one day be on it.
But when I heard that Winfrey wasn't going to do it anymore, I decided to take up the tradition and bring it to the Daily News.
Although the Page 1 story we published on Dec. 1, offering 10 of my favorite items, didn't inspire hysteria or require us to have paramedics on standby the way Winfrey's has, I had a hoot organizing it and giving things away to randomly selected readers.
It was a great distraction.
The holidays can be challenging even when you haven't lost a parent, as I did earlier this year. To compensate, I've thrown myself into the holidays with a vengeance. I've been decorating and shopping like a madwoman for gifts for friends and family.
Assembling what I hope will be the first annual Daily News My Favorite Things giveaway allowed me to do the same for many of the readers who've supported us throughout the year.
We gave away scented candles by Matthew Izzo, John & Kira chocolates, Eagles hoodies by Mitchell & Ness, Charter Club cashmere sweaters from Macy's, snow globes from Things Remembered and other merchandise as well.
That old cliché is true: It is better to give than receive. I haven't had this much fun in a long time. Thanks to all who e-mailed, and the Haddonfield resident who wrote me a letter by hand.
Here are the lucky winners.
(Note: If you didn't receive your gift yet, it's on the way.)
Betty Addison, Gaby Affleck, Judith Blount, Ethel Brinkley, Joshua Brown, Marian Ciliberti, Greg Cooper, Linda Ellerson, Samantha Gaines, Crystal C. Garrett, Anne Marie Harvey, Virginia Knight, Jamilah Leonard, Nyeasha Lewis, Cathy Mapps, Lavon Brinkley McCombs, Deborah A. McDowell-Wright, Mary Munizza, Rose Nagle, Rosemary O'Neill, Anitra Papanier, Wayne Perry, Elena Rodriguez, Mary Jude Szymanski, Susan Waldron, Camille D. Williams, Jean Williams, Jessie Williams.
Cherry Hill, N.J.
Constance Anne McqLensey
Lafayette Hill, Pa.
North Wales, Pa.
Woolwich Twp., N.J.