I am OBSESSED with wedding shows. I watch everything from “Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?” to “Say Yes to the Dress.” I even give some occasional love to “Cake Boss” and “Amazing Wedding Cakes.”

The one thing that I’ve grown to love about the premarital gifting process is the time-honored tradition of the bridal registry. This is where a couple (or in most cases, the bride) picks a store and then goes around that establishment picking out gifts that she and her hubby-to-be would love to own. The gifts go onto a list and then guests can go to the store and purchase those gifts to give to the couple.

Now with the holidays fast approaching, it’s my humble opinion that people should get over the tedium of purchasing gift cards as well as the embarrassment of buying a loved one crap that they’ll never use. Instead, I present the idea of a gift registry ... for Christmas.

Stores such as Target, IKEA, Crate and Barrel – even Pier 1 Imports offer them. If you’re just moving into your first apartment and need furnishings, this is ideal for you. Or if you have a number of friends and family members with eccentric tastes and diverse financial situations, you’ll help them by taking the guesswork out of making you happy.

There are also a number of playful mom-and-pop shops in the area that also have year-round registries and/or wish lists. One that I’m a big fan of is the (relatively) new popKiller store in Los Feliz (1856 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles; popkiller.us). popKiller sells the best in cool shades, graphic tees, vintage gear and all around quirk – perfect for the person who THINKS they have everything.

My birthday was last month and despite the recession, I racked up a nice pile of swag from good buddies. My beau gave me the best of the best, however, when he gifted me with a couple of old poetry books filled with his favorite verse. He took great care to inscribe them and also pointed out to me why these books in particular were important to him. I could have cried.

You see, some of the best gifts are often the ones that aren’t rooted in material value, but instead hold sentimental significance. For the word nerd in your life, try perusing yard sales or garage sales for old first edition books from interesting authors. Write a nice message of love or appreciation, then carefully wrap your literary gesture and present it with pride.

I’ve always been big on the gift that keeps on giving. Subscription gifting is a clever way to say, “happy holidays” for the next 12 months. Magazines have taken a MASSIVE hit in circulation during these trying economic times. We should all pitch in to make sure that no more writers and journalists go hungry.

Therefore, why not hook up your favorite enthusiast with a publication close to their heart? Many magazines are offering gift subscriptions, which will arrive with a lovely card that shows they can expect more issues as the months go by. What’s more, these gift orders are often presented as buy one, get one free, which means that in some cases, you can hook up two friends or family members for a mere $20 or less. You can also gift subscriptions to foods or cosmetics as well.

Finally, if you want to give the impression of being a baller but you don’t have the cash to do so, just fake it. Assemble your very own gift bag. Shops like the 99 Cents Only Store often carry decorative bags that can be stuffed full of goodies.

Recently, I put together a Hanukkah basket that consisted of the following: a bottle of Coppola Shiraz, two bottles of scented lotion, an elegant scarf, some earrings, a funky set of shoelaces, a five dollar gift card to SUBWAY and a six-pack of chewing gum. The Shiraz I got from Trader Joe’s for around $15. The bag, scarf, jewelry, laces, lotion and gum came from the 99 Cent Only Store and the gift card from SUBWAY.

All in all, I spent $26 on the present, and it looked like a million bucks. My friend will use everything I bought because it was all stuff I knew she’d love.