By Charles Leocha Travel columnist
updated 12/20/2007 2:22:52 PM ET 2007-12-20T19:22:52

The best gifts for skiers and snowboarders are those that add warmth for the body, dreams of new slopes to conquer and memories of favorite resorts. This short list of perfect snow lover gifts meets all of those criteria. And the final gift is a bit of education for the budding skiers and snowboarders on your list.

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Gloves for warmth
Skiers and riders both seem to go through lots of gloves. Some put off buying really good gloves because their money went to other equipment or they are always losing them and don’t want to spend the big bucks on something that may disappear. That makes this the perfect gift — something that someone really needs and can use that they won’t buy for themselves. Grandoe Switch Gore-Tex ™ gloves ($95; are at the top of the recommended list this season. They blend Gore-tex for dryness and , a 2-in-1 liner that allows the gloves to be used on warmer days and in the bitter cold, a sheepskin palm, leather accents and a pocket for a warmer added to the back of the glove for temperature extremes.

Dreams of new slopes to conquer
Two guidebooks (by yours truly) outline virtually every major resort in North America and Europe from atmospheric Old World villages to modern high-rise resorts. Leocha’s Ski Snowboard America(World Leisure; $24.95) and Leocha’s Ski Snowboard Europe ($21.95) describe the personality of each resort with prices and phone numbers for everything from the best slopes and lessons to the top lodges, restaurants and après-ski haunts. Award-winning journalists visit each of these resorts, from the Rockies to the Alps, to bring readers everything they need to plan their perfect ski or snowboard vacation. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

A gift of history
The Story of Modern Skiing
by John Fry (U. of New England Press, $18.45 from Amazon) chronicles the history of skiing from the days of the Stem Christie to shaped skis. John Fry covers development of ski equipment, the creation of America’s resorts, the formation of the U.S. Ski Team and the unique personalities of the ski stars who shaped the culture of the sport.

Memorable posters
Few gifts bring faster smiles than vintage ski posters with their bright colors and stylized skiers. The New England Ski Museum offers a collection of 67 posters and prints featuring famous American and European resorts. The museum store also sells note cards with reproductions of the most popular posters, classic ski photos, t-shirts and more. The U.S. National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum also has a selection of ski and snowboard gifts in its online store.

Remembering resorts you love
Ski Areas USA Playing Cards ($7.95) make a great stocking stuffer. Each card features a different resort from California to Maine and from New Mexico to Montana. Besides maps of the areas, each card details the coordinates and elevations of America’s ski resorts. These playing cards can be found in many gift stores, Restoration Hardware, the New England Ski Museum and online.

Painstakingly putting together a puzzle of Colorado Ski Country resorts ($15) captures memories of skiing with plenty of time to appreciate them. This colorful 500-piece puzzle gives skiers and snowboarders, who love to ski only on sunny days, something to do while storms rage outside. This puzzle is available online from the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame.

Education and snow
Creating new skiers, snowboarders and environmentally aware kids takes many paths. A science education toy, Fire & Ice Mountain created by Be Amazing Toys ($25) allows kids to learn about the powerful forces of avalanches and volcanoes. Young environmental scientists can create an avalanche with Insta-Snow Powder to learn about the strength of winter. They can also trigger a volcano eruption from the same mountain. The guide is filled with other activities to encourage an active mind aware of nature. The science kit is available from Amazon and many online stores as well as Toys’R’Us.

At Christmas when the imagery focuses on winter wonderlands, these gifts for skiers and snowboarders wrapped under the Yule-time tree or tucked in stockings hung with care will add to every skier’s winter spirit.


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