Your greenie neighbors
Mae West once said, “I have always felt a gift diamond shines so much better than one you buy for yourself.” We share that sentiment, which is why we’ve come up with more than 50 gift ideas to help you treat the folks in your life to something unexpected this holiday season. Of course, some people are harder to buy for than others, so we’ve focused on the more difficult recipients—from your art student sister to your conservative stepdad—to help guide your search. You’ll find everything from decadent sunscreen and silky lingerie to digital microscopes and fish grillers. (Yep, we said “fish grillers.”) You won’t see any diamonds on the list, but there’s plenty of sparkle just the same. Hey, don’t say we never gave you anything.
Your greenie neighbors…
Wake up at 5am to let the hens out of their coop and join you for a pre-dawn bike ride around the neighborhood. You sure do appreciate the fresh-baked zucchini bread they bring when you invite them over for dinner, but still find it irritating that they use a tiller until 9pm every night from June-August. Last year, you bought them some incense for Christmas, but were reminded afterwards of the husband’s severe asthma.
For those long days in the garden. Elemis sunscreen from Neroli ($39, Barracks Road Shopping Center North Wing, 984-3450); Won’t this look pretty hanging from the tree on a summer night? Nkuku lantern from Sustain ($44, 406 W. Main St., 244-0028); The perfect perch to keep outside the kitchen window. Nkuku birdhouse from Sustain ($28, 406 W. Main St., 244-0028); Following an afternoon of digging, they’ll need this sweet-smelling scrub. Gardener’s Hand Scrub from Plow & Hearth ($9.99, Barracks Road Shopping Center, 977-3707); Once they’re past their prime, these dishcloths are compostable. Swedish dishcloths from Artifacts ($7.95 each, 111 Fourth St. NE, 295-9500); Any fan of living off the land will enjoy this read. Stalking the Wild Asparagus by Euell Gibbons from New Dominion Bookshop ($17.50, Downtown Mall, 295-2552); A thoughtful 12″ by 12″ print for above the kitchen table. “Radishes” by John Grant from Les Yeux du Monde or johngrantstudios.com ($350, 841 Wolf Trap Rd., 973-5566).
Your art student sister…
Spent her entire fall break camping out with the nearest Occupation to show support for the 99 percent. She lives for her Tuesday night dance class, wears vintage slips under her secondhand dresses and has been saving up for a motorcycle for three years. Last Christmas, you bought her Chinese meditation balls and she gave them to her cat, Manet, to roll around her Downtown apartment.
A proper cat toy for Manet. Boots & Barkley cat toy from Target ($2.99, Hollymead Town Center, 964-0231); A stylish alternative to a nylon pencil bag. Baggu leather pouch from Elsie Garden ($48, 109 S. First St., 979-2888); Like something a biker chick might wear (if she had a bike). Snake bracelet from Roxie Daisy ($80, 101 E. Water St., 202-8133); She can never have too many of these. Paintbrushes from Studio Art Shop ($7.95-13.95, 1108 W. Main St., 293-8356); To transport her masterpieces to and from class. Prestige soft-sided portfolio from Studio Art Shop ($33, 1108 W. Main St., 293-8356); An arty book she’ll appreciate. The Exquisite Book by Julia Rothman from Barnes & Noble ($29.95, Barracks Road Shopping Center, 984-0461); A pretty, subtle nod to artistic interests. Measuring tape bracelet from Elsie Garden ($68, 109 S. First St., 979-2888); Perfect to revive her dry hands after a long day of pottery class. J.R. Watkins Apothecary “Lotion Devotion” set from Target ($8.29, Hollymead Town Center, 964-0231); A shiny new pair for the next semester of classes. Capezio ballet shoes from The Hip Joint ($34, 110 Second St. NE, 971-6888); Treat her to something she wouldn’t buy herself. Mimi Holiday teddy from Derriere de Soie ($155, Downtown Mall, 977-7455).
Your boyfriend’s fashionable younger sister…
Listens to Katy Perry almost exclusively, never misses an episode of “Gossip Girl” and was heartbroken when Kim Kardashian and what’s-his-name called it quits. She works at Urban Outfitters, spends her spare time organizing her walk-in closet and texting her girlfriends. Last year, you bought her tickets to a concert you thought she’d like, but she ended up scalping them to some kids at her private school to pay for a pair of Tory Burch flats.
Fit for a princess! Wall hooks from Roxie Daisy ($12.95 each, 101 E. Water St., 202-8133); This’ll add subtle shimmer to her desk. Frame from Artifacts ($20, 111 Fourth St. NE, 295-9500); A clever roadmap for any young lady. Modern Girl’s Guide to Life by Jane Buckingham from
Barnes & Noble ($25.99, Barracks Road Shopping Center, 984-0461); Gen Y’s answer to Emily Post? Very Classy: Even More Exceptional Advice for the Extremely Modern Lady by Derek Blasberg from
Barnes & Noble ($17.99, Barracks Road Shopping Center, 984-0461); Pink watermelon, blackberry and red currant: yum! Twirl perfume by Kate Spade from Ulta ($65, Barracks Road Shopping Center, 293-4958); Sparkle and sass. Hobo chain wallet from O’Suzannah ($72, 114 Fourth St. NE, 979-7467); A pretty pair she’ll wear with everything. Earrings from Cha Cha’s ($14 each, Downtown Mall, 293-8553); The cheeseburger phone of the modern age. Retro cellphone handset from And George ($49, 3465 Ivy Rd., 244-2800).
Your gay best friend…
Wakes up early on Wednesday morning to re-watch the latest episode of “Glee” online. He orders a venti, nonfat, no foam, no water, six-pump, extra hot chai latte before heading off to browse the local comic book store until he settles on the most recent installment of “The Green Lantern.” He wears Kenneth Cole sneaks, shops at Diesel and works as an assistant to an interior designer. Last year, you bought him the complete collection of Joan Crawford movies, and he thought it was amazeballs.
A sensible wallet with a surprise color pop. Daines & Hathaway wallet from Beecroft & Bull ($135, Barracks Road Shopping Center, 979-9010); Something unexpected for his coffee table. Thomas Paul goldfish box from Roxie Daisy ($53, 101 E. Water St., 202-8133); To keep his bachelor pad smelling super fresh. Lasco candle from Roxie Daisy ($54.95, 101 E. Water St., 202-8133); A quirky interiors book combining photographs and illustrations. The Selby Is In Your Place by Todd Selby from Roxie Daisy ($35, 101 E. Water St., 202-8133); For jotting down important thoughts and ideas. Leather journal from Rock Paper Scissors ($56, Downtown Mall, 979-6366); A stylish topper for day or night. Fedora from Target ($16.99, Hollymead Town Center, 964-0231); Cool enough to stash his comic books by the couch. Jenna Rose hamper from
O’Suzannah ($90, 114 Fourth St. NE, 979-7467); Every dapper gentleman needs a pretty pocket square. From J.Crew ($39.50, Fashion Square Mall, 975-2889).
Your supportive mother…
Is a favored chaperone at your little brother’s school. She somehow manages to keep the house tidy despite her overcrowded schedule of yoga teacher training, French language classes and a book club with her girlfriends. Her chicken tetrazzini is still better than any foie gras torchons with rhubarb foam you’ve ever tasted. Last year, you presented her with a fun new apron from T.J.Maxx and it still hangs, with its tags on, in the pantry.
She deserves a little jewelry, don’t you think? Eric Silva sterling silver bracelet ($175) and necklace ($130) from Angelo (Downtown Mall, 971-9256); To keep her busy schedule in check, in style. Graphic Image day planner from
Rock Paper Scissors ($34, Downtown Mall, 979-6366); So soft, and they keep fingers free! Katie Mawson gloves from
O’Suzannah ($78, 114 Fourth St. NE, 979-7467); A cheeky cutting board for family dinner prep. From Roxie Daisy ($49.95, 101 E. Water St., 202-8133); Vibrant blue brightens up an intense workout. Tonic yoga pants from
The Hip Joint ($102, 110 Second St. NE, 971-6888); A stylish, stainless steel water bottle to use during training. Kleen Kanteen from Blue Ridge Eco Shop ($19.95, Downtown Mall, 296-0042); Such a pretty addition to her bedside table. Nouvelle candle from Ivy Nursery ($40.95, 570 Broomley Rd., 295-1183); This nontoxic mat is made from thermoplastic elastomer for durability. Prana E.C.O. yoga mat from
The Hip Joint ($50, 110 Second St. NE, 971-6888).
Your tech-geek brother…
Is constantly on his Ubuntu box, playing “World of Warcraft” and following subReddits. Thanks to his unfailing devotion to all things geek, he knew about “Keyboard Cat” before it hit the mainstream, Chuck Testa before the fallout, and Pinterest before—well, no. He’s still the only male who knows about that. When he’s not glued to his monitor, he’s out camping with his geeky friends. Last year, you bought him a subscription to WIRED, but on your most recent trip home, noticed he was lining his hamster’s cage with its shredded pages.
For late-night games by the campfire. Bananagrams from Target ($14.99, Hollymead Town Center, 964-0231); Almost too cool for school. T-shirt from A Mystery in Common ($25, McIntire Plaza, 244-0100); The ultimate battle tool. “World of Warcraft” gaming mouse from Best Buy ($79.99, 1615 Emmet St. N, 977-1578); This would look so cool hanging in his bedroom. Topographic map from Blue Ridge Mountain Sports ($16.99, Barracks Road Shopping Center, 977-4400); An essential for young camping enthusiasts. Deuter backpack from
Blue Ridge Mountain Sports ($109.99, Barracks Road Shopping Center, 977-4400); He wore his last pair down to the nubs. Teva Kids camping shoes from Shoe Store Next Door ($45, Downtown Mall, 293-8400); A stylish pair to drown out background noise. Philips-O’Neill headphones from
Best Buy($59.99, 1615 Emmet St. N, 977-1578); Makes a great stocking stuffer. Hexbug from
Target ($9.99, Hollymead Town Center, 964-0231); Combines his two loves: computers and the outdoors. Zoomy Handheld Digital Microscope from Shenanigans ($59.95, Barracks Road Shopping Center North Wing, 295-4797); Like a Swiss Army knife for campers. Pocket cutlery from Cha Cha’s ($14, Downtown Mall, 293-8553).
Your conservative stepdad…
Wears a tie to Sunday brunch…in his own home. Even after five years, he refuses to acknowledge that you’re living in sin with your significant other and insists on calling him your “special friend.” He listens to Glenn Beck, custom orders his dress shoes and is a lifetime member of the NRA. He takes annual trips to the Outer Banks to fish with his good ol’ boy buddies. Last year, you bought him a new tie clip, which he says he’s saving for a “worthy occasion.”
The best way to fry his big catch. BBQ Fish Basket from The Happy Cook ($28.50, Barracks Road Shopping Center, 977-2665); Something bright for his Sunday best. Breuer tie from Eljo’s ($95, 1067 Millmont St., 295-5230); A savvy saver, he keeps the thermostat pretty low. Peter Mailler cashmere sweater from Beecroft & Bull ($195, Barracks Road Shopping Center, 979-9010); To help the holidays go down smooth. Made in Sperryville, Virginia! Wasmund’s Single Malt Scotch from the ABC Store ($36.90, Various locations); Oh no, not Rudolph! Reindeer horn bottle opener from Artifacts ($35, 111 Fourth St. NE, 295-9500); For his study. Bookends from Patina Antiques, etc. ($58, 2171 Ivy Rd., 244-3222); Every serious fisherman needs one of these. Barbour shirt from Orvis ($99, Barracks Road Shopping Center, 977-6882); To replace the ugly duffel he’s been taking on business trips for years. Dr. Koffer leather weekender from Van Nesa Luggage & Leather Goods ($395, Barracks Road Shopping Center, 977-8561); New luggage requires a new luggage tag. Graphic Image luggage tag from
Rock Paper Scissors ($27, Downtown Mall, 979-6366).