Or, the Foreign Title "What to buy your Girlfriend/Sister/Best-Friend/Mom/Niece".
Or, if you like Mr. Folds, "Bitches Ain't Shit".
I plan on doing a few, more specific Etsy posts in the coming week or two, all grouped under the "Etsy Gift Guide 2007" category. Forgive my insolence and assumption that you're at all interested in what I think you should buy for people you love. People you love who have lady parts.
I admit that I am doing this for my Imaginary Canadian Boyfriend, Chaz. If I were a guy who was dating me, this is all stuff I would buy for me, his girlfriend. Whatever. Those green Chalcedony earrings are legit, though. Just be aware. How about the fantastic art? Girls love art, I'm serious, we love it almost as much as cures for tuberculosis. You know? If you bought us that print of a wispy ingenue wandering romantically through the birches, we would think that's how you remembered the time we plundered through that overgrown acre on your parent's land, swearing and somehow managing to get bird poop and pine needles in our nose. The flouncy briefs on the end, there? Right, let's pretend they're all for her, and not just a little bit for you.
I love my mom. I'd put money down, on the dirty ground, that you love your mom too. Christmas is a nice time to show that love in a materialistic fashion, delighting her not with Crabtree and Evelyn's holiday sampler ("Cabbage Rose! Honey, thank you.") but with handcrafted magic, the kind of which she can show off to every member of her Book Group or the ladies at work. I'm totally describing my own mother here, so don't be offended. Your mother probably butchers wild boars and leads protests for Biodiesel-run Harleys. But what mom, really, would be against Goats Milk Soap flecked with real vanilla beans, or a grown-up handcrafted version of Poppycock? Buy a set of silver hammered stacking rings for her, and tell everyone that they signify you and each of your siblings. Buy a tiny print of a child who is cuter than you or any of your siblings were, and watch the tears flow. Let her mop them up on that sweet little cashmere/merino neck wrap.
I have two sisters, and they are where I ran into trouble with my "Buy only from Etsy" pledge this year. I wish I had thought to do this guide earlier, so that I could have saved myself the cold sweats as I attempted to find promo codes for big business sites. But you still have time, you do, and I'm sure your sisters will love these ideas -- a leather messenger bag is cooler than anything anyone on campus is schlepping around with. Remember when your sister bought that dog that she all of a sudden loved more than you? Buy the dog a personalized leather collar this year, instead of a gift for your sister, and see how soon that allegiance wilts. And it is kind of creepy, but so are you, all of you, so she'll understand the meaning behind the stellar print of three girls all chewing each others hair. At least you hope she will. Let's pray.
I firmly believe that if you are 10 years older than any female relative under 12, you can demand to be called "Auntie". Or "Old Leather Face with a stomach that looks like a futon mattress on the side of the road with a 'FREE' sign stapled to it". Either way, delight the littles in your life with a bevy of quirky, creative gifts -- the giant balloon that is almost as wide as she is tall (3 feet!), the compass ring that will have a legitimate use if she's under 12 and a metaphorical one if she's over 16, a re-bound and covered vintage children's novel...all are things I would love, even now, to discover in my stocking.
I really like my friends. I love them, in fact, and yet I never know what to buy them for the Holidays. So we either end up exchanging cards, and if you still want to do that, take a look at those chestnut cards, or I end up buying nothing for the people who have seen me weep snot and witnessed what I like to call "The Limited Sweater Years". This year? Who knows. But for your friends, treat them to only the best -- luxurious Louisiana Caramels, a set of high-fashion notecards for the one who does the best Tim Gunn impression, and a drop of winky glass for the one who makes you feel like a million American dollars, which now amounts to .5 cents outside of our borders. But let's worry about that in the new year.
So there are some ideas for the ladies in your life. Mix and match until you get the right fit, and I'll be back soon, with gifts for dudes.