Before we begin, can we get this out of the way? I feel pretty shoddy, showing up here after months, and before that produce talk, with nothing but some materialistic business.
I wish I had something real to tell you, to excuse my absence. The reasons are dull and painful and months old - stale hurts that kept me from so much, including this. But don't worry. I also neglected my hair, and the hamsters I was raising for illegal street activity. I removed their skeletons in the night. Why don't you want to eat at my house? Why did you call A&E?
It is a beautiful time of year, and I hope that it only gets better for you and yours. As always, I am not compensated, approached or encouraged by any of the vendors listed. I encourage you to partake in their talent, though. It's sitting out, getting cold. Just go make yourself a plate. And so many people do these gift guides better than I do, quicker, tastier. I just wanted to bring something to the table. To this potluck circle.
I don't know how many entries will be delegated to this series. Probably twenty. Maybe one hundred. Or four. We should start with ladies, because it is 1910.
She's related to you, she's not related to you, she's your alter-ego (the Sasha to your 'Yonce), she's a lady and you'd like to buy her something. Below, a selection of considerations and the hypothetical recipients. Not included, the bag of cat litter you'd light on fire and throw through the window of your fifth grade teacher's home.
She cares about: Not Caring
Before she chokes on her ironic ennui, feel free to gift her with something that may or may not make up for wanting to take her out to dinner on her birthday. So go for gifts that don't require you to consult her mom. A nameplate ring that could defend her should things come to blows in that metaphorical dance-off she's always talking about, deadstock glasses that fit her job and lifestyle as a male pilot in 1976, a beanie that may or may not compete with the hat she made by gutting a stuffed animal and tying yarn to the flapping jowls and finally, a gorgeous remnant that she can wear as a neck piece to Prom. If she goes, and doesn't borrow your old dress. That she spent 20 minutes laughing at. Because 1999 was that funny.
She cares about: Quality Control
Maybe she's the one who quietly points you towards J.Crew or Anthropologie wish lists, her eyes fearful, letting you know that she's worried about receiving bars of gummed-on Ivory Soap and a coin purse made of tampon wrappers. How can she not know that there are troves of beautiful items, all competitive with the prices of her favorite stores. Shoes abloom with silk and satin, a vintage VERA scarf, that dainty gold circle necklace and leather bag that look like they walked out of Anthropologie, and a structured, modern grey top that will have everyone asking where she got it. Calm down. Put the tampon wrapper coin purse in her stocking.
She cares about: Having Raised You
I look at Christmas as the chance to repay my mother for the years she put into bringing me into adulthood, the manners and weakness for thrift shopping that she gave me, and guide me through this life. The lady you consider to be your Spirit Guide, or Power Animal, whether she's a mom, Grandma, Aunt or conglomerate, she deserves a little something. All of the above are things I am considering - the webbed shawl and the gorgeous votive holder especially. A red wool cloak with a belt that you'd like to wear yourself, on your own body, but your mom would like even more since she's the one who showed you how to love a wide sleeve. The delicate but strong oak leaf bracelet speaks to her constitution, if you want to get 8th grade English about it, and I always do. And that print is just great.
She cares about: Being Fourteen to Sixteen
Back when I was 14 or so, I did things like buy a Trainspotting poster to hang over my bed. I didn't see the movie for at least a few months and to this day have not fully lived life, since I am not a male heroin addict living in Great Britain. It is a hard age. You really want to embrace life as an adult, that vision of adulthood that Seventeen magazine prepared you for but you're not sure how to claim, beyond listening to Iggy Pop's 'Lust for Life' and watching Dazed and Confused. For me, that uncertainty lasted until 16. And then I knew everything. So even though she's smarter than you will ever be, in your life, even with the help of prescription drugs from Mexico, prayer and Sylvan Learning Center tutoring, pretend you know a little something and scoop up one or more of the following - gorgeous floral pins for that hair she's trying to tame, some notebooks for thoughts not fit for the internet, a low-key shirt that speaks to her transformation and a great bag. Accessories help.