Last year I stuck to gifts under $100 (check out the Friends & Occasional Lovers Edition and the Family Edition.) This year, I say pshaw, let's spend some rupees! Today's gift guide is for the gals in your life; tomorrow is for the fellas. All items have either been given or received by yours truly, or come at the recommendation of friends. Enjoy!
For: Your best friend Beatrice, who just moved from New York to LA to work for GOOD magazine.
What: Hand-silkscreened Map of America by the Columbus-based duo at These Are Things.
Because: It will remind Beattie of your epic cross-country road trip together last summer when her ancient Civic broke down in Marfa, TX (which turned out to be the best three days of the journey). Plus, she could use some help brightening up her tiny new Eagle Rock apartment.
The Damage: $25
For: Your awesome oldest sister Roxana, who works as a designer for Rossignol (when she actually works), but spends most of her time thrashing some sick powder in the Utah backcountry.
What: Hand-stitched, hand-beaded and totally to-die-for Astis Mittens.
Because: If ever there were an opportunity to blow two hundred bones on a pair of mittens, now's your chance. Please, seriously, someone buy these. Modeled after the traditional mittens of the Cree Indians, these puppies will last a lifetime. Wear them skiing. Mushing. Igloo-building. Walking around Boston when it's really bloody cold out.
The Damage: $195
For: Your amazing twin sister Frankee, who is simultaneously opening her own restaurant in Providence, RI and planning her own wedding (which will feature a pit-barbecued 400-pound heritage Berkshire hog).
What: The new Dutch-style city bike from the bipedal geniuses at Public Bikes in (where else?) San Fransisco.
Because: It's the perfect union of utility and design, just like your sis. The curved step-through frame is designed to accommodate lassies in skirts, and all that extra storage space means Frankee can commute between home, work and the farmer's market with ease.
The Damage: $495. If your whole family pools in on this one, you can totally swing it.
For: Your literary mummy who loves all things Colonial America, and who may or may not have "borrowed" some cuttings from Monticello when she last visited Jefferson's incredible gardens.
What: Maira Kalman's wonderful new book, And The Pursuit of Happiness.
Because: It began as a blog for the New York Times on what democracy means in America. It's Kalman at her best; it's witty, earnest and her illustrations are ravishingly delightful. (If you aren't familiar with Kalman's work, by Jove, get on that.)
The Damage: $20
For: Maude, your strange and precocious niece who dresses exclusively in mauve and who obsessively photographs pigeons.
What: The Fuji Instax camera, plus two packets of Instax film to get her started.
Because: The Instax makes Polaroid-like instant pics that will finally give Maude that retro look she's been working on. (Let's hope the pigeon thing is just a phase.)
The Damage: $80
For: Your lil' sis Edwina, who is a freshman at Wellesley and who has rad taste.
What: Modest Mouse poster by Austin-based Cabaret Press.
Because: Edie loves: Modest Mouse and narwhals. Edie hates: Standard cheesy college posters. Duh: Get her this poster and help her cover up those cinder block walls.
The Damage: $40
For: Your preppy cousin Daphne, whose timeshare in the Hamptons might be offered up next summer if you play your cards right.
What: This adorving Quill clutch by South Carolina-based Proud Mary.
Because: It's not from J. Crew, it's super cute, and it will fit Daph's iPhone, Burt's Bees, and her Virginia Johnson scarf.
The Damage: $60
What: These totally amazing Mongolian warrior princess Peu boots by Camper.
Because: You've made it this far without buying a pair of Uggs, bless you, and no one makes more comfortable, long-lasting, adorable footwear than those crazy Spaniards at Camper.
The Damage: $219