Fans of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” always looked forward to her annual gift extravaganza called “Oprah’s Favorite Things.” On Nov. 10, OWN network officials revealed that Oprah is reviving her popular Christmas giveaway special in 2012. To promote the show, Winfrey even sent out an email to her fans on Sunday announcing the revival of “Favorite Things.” The two-hour special airs on OWN on November 18 and the audience will be filled with deserving military spouses, a perfect tie-in to Veterans Day this week.
As always, the audience members will not suspect that they’re there for the big giveaway show. Somehow, Oprah Winfrey and her staff of energetic elves always manage to stage the surprise to perfection. An added twist for 2012 is that Oprah is opening up the giveaways to her at-home audience. For the first time ever, special messages will appear throughout the show telling the TV audience how to enter for a chance to win.
The products featured on “Oprah’s Favorite Things” are personally hand picked by Winfrey herself. According to the OWN website, “Oprah picked and planned, tasted and touched, sniffed and snuggled her way through hundreds of items to determine her favorite things for the 2012 special.”
To get set for “Oprah’s Favorite Things 2012,” here’s a bit of trivia and fun facts about past shows.
Biggest Favorite Thing: A Cruise Ship
Audience members in the second “Ultimate Favorite Things Show” in 2010 were given a seven-day cruise on the Allure of the Seas, currently one of the world’s largest cruise ships. “Cruising, of course, is one of my favorite things,” Oprah told the audience. “And you are going to have the time of your lives!”
Smallest Favorite Thing: Yellow Crystal Earrings
A little over an inch long, Judith Ripka’s round-cut, canary yellow crystals with pavé white sapphires are still available at Neiman Marcus.
Success for Small Businesses
In 2003, Florida bakery We Take the Cake made only $168,000 a year in sales. After Oprah named their Key Lime Bundt Cake a “Favorite Thing,” owner Lori Karmel told CNBC, “Our voice mail was filling up every 45 seconds – and our phones rang nonstop for two weeks.”
Biggest “Favorite Things” Show Blunder
The audience – after noticing the set had been decorated for the holidays – thought they’d scored the hottest ticket in television. Due to the recession, though, producers had chosen to feature “How to Have the Thriftiest Holiday Ever.” Oprah later said, “You know the saying that it’s the thought that counts? We learned that’s not always true. I went back into the control room during that show, and I go, ‘I think they’re mad at me.'”
Cheapest Favorite Thing: $2.99 Biscuits
“On Christmas morning, I plan on making my new favorite biscuits,” Oprah said on the 2002 “Favorite Things” show. She chose Pillsbury Home Baked Classics frozen biscuits, which was priced at just $2.99 in grocery stores.
Most Expensive Favorite Thing: Volkswagen Beetle
Oprah owned a Volkswagen Beetle and said she loves to “toodle” around town in it. In 2010, the audience found out that they had been given the 2012 model ($18,995). “This is one powerful, sophisticated, sexy Beetle,” Oprah said. “All of you in this audience will be the first people in the world to own one when it makes its debut next year!”
The Very First Favorite Thing: Pajamas
In 1996, Oprah went onstage in her red-and-white checkered Karen Neuburger pajamas, dancing to the song “My Favorite Things,” and said, “There is nothing I like more than going home after a long day and wrapping myself up in these jammies.”
Mr. Christmas Carol: Josh Groban
The only performer to have been a part of two “Favorite Things” shows, Josh Groban was brought back because Oprah had said her dream Christmas duo would be Groban and Johnny Mathis. Both appeared on the “Favorite Things” show in 2010.
The last “Oprah’s Favorite Things” special aired in 2010 on Nov. 22. Winfrey gave away prizes in excess of $27,000 per guest, including a brand new 2012 VW Beetle car. “It’s not really about the stuff,” Oprah Winfrey told a stunned audience. “It’s really, for me, about hope; that the least, most unexpected thing can happen to you.”
Below is the complete list of items given away on Oprah’s 2012 ‘Favorite Things’ special, part two:
- Sparkle Ug boots, $175 value
- Coach “Sophia” satchel, $398 value
- Magaschoni Cashmere sweater and silk leggings, $598 value
- Hope in a Jar moisturizer in three sizes
- Nordstrom $1,000 gift card for a lingerie shopping spree for two
- Herb Saver, $29.95 value
- Centerville Chicken Pie by Harry & David, $40 value
- Garrett giant commemorative popcorn tin, $135 value
- Le Crueset 10-pc. cookware set, $599 value
- Miraclebody jeans, $100 value
- Pottery Barn jewelry box, $179 value
- Jessica Leigh diamond earrings, $1,900 value
- $100 card to be used at Donors Choose website
- Williams & Sonoma mini croissants, $39.95
- Talbott Teas holiday tea assortment, $150 value
- The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo
- Johnny Mathis and Josh Groban CDs
- 2012 Volkswagen Beetle (doesn’t debut until May of 2011), $23,000 approx. value
In 2012, Oprah Winfrey will play Santa Claus once again when a 2-hour episode of “Oprah’s Favorite Things” airs on November 18 on OWN. As always, it will be one of the most highly anticipated Christmas specials of the season.
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