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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation


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gift ideas within reason 
by Megan Thome
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For your brother, maybe it’s cabelas.comall the macho, outdoorsy gifts that testosterone was made for. Gap, Best Buy, Williams-Sonoma, Urban Outfitters, even favorite local stores—they’ve all got ‘em. Also, think about repackaging the giftcard. Put a giftcard to a local bookstore inside a book the recipient has mentioned. Slide a Pottery Barn giftcard into a frame from the store. Same goes for a music shop.

My littlest sister loves going to the movies with her friends. Loves it like nothing else. I’m loading her up this holiday with gift certificates from a local movie theater and from Blockbuster.

something sentimental
Of course, this kind of gift should go to someone you know very well. Maybe you make copies of old black and white family photos of your grandparents, place them in cool frames and give them to family members who don’t have them. Give your best friend an enlarged photo of when you were kids at summer camp or frame an old note she passed to you in junior high. Find tickets to an event that you and your husband can enjoy together. Write an essay about a memory you have with your mom or dad, or get an artist to paint an interpretive portrait of a memory you have with the recipient. Put together a montage of photos and video clips set to a song. For the younger set, nothing is quite as much fun as a Polaroid camera. Instant memories.

One of my good friends gave me a poem in which he wrote about, well, um, me. A simple, sincere and beautiful gift. It’s under the glass of my antique end table so that guests can remark about what a wonderful friend he is.

food gifts
I don’t mean those pre-made, one-step-above- government-cheese gift baskets filled with pancakes mixes, jams & jellies, coffee & tea, blah, blah, blech. If you are at a loss for a gift idea for someone this year, I want you to go to homesickgourmet.com. Perfect food gift ideas and thoughtful personal connections. Maybe it’s your nephew overseas who’s missing Skyline Chili from Cincinnati. Remind your mother in-law of the North Pacific cruise she went on this year with some Wild Alaska Smoked Salmon. Millie’s Pirogie from Massachusetts, Fluky’s hot dogs from Chicago, Crayfish Farms of Louisiana, Prima Pizza from New York, Eagle Ranch Pistachio Groves of New Mexico, Sheboygan Bratwurst Company of Wisconsin, Key West Key Lime Pie Co., Texas barbecue, chocolate, biscotti, pickles, salsa, wine, buffalo steaks, cheese, pecans, Vidalia onions, crab cakes, cheesecake—you’ll find something. And if you can’t find it here, you’ve at least got the idea to look for it now.

Two good friends of mine dearly miss their favorite pizza from their college days. This year, their gift from me will arrive in the mail from Shakespeare’s Pizza in Columbia, Mo.

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