Chef Kefi’s Gift-Giving Guide

25 Nov

If you hack into my email, you’ll find a little document that has a list of all the people I love and, next to each name, an ever-changing list of ideas for their Christmas/birthday/anniversary present.  I shudder at the idea of giving gift cards or, worse, cash (perish the thought!), and instead spend all year in search of the Perfect Gift for each of the people on my list.

Now, it might seem that a post about gifts is a strange way to end Gratitude Week.  It has become trendy to be cynical about gift giving at this time of the year– but, for me, a huge part of Christmas* Kefi is the gift-giving.  I loathe the idea of HAVING to give a gift and rather relish the process of thoughtfully and meaningfully choosing something that will tickle the recipient pink.  Are there other ways to show love and say thank you than to give just the right thing to just the right person? Yes–and some of them are better ways.  But I believe that giving gifts with the intent of showing gratitude–not with the intent of checking off a list or outspending our brother-in-law–is a worthwhile and reasonable way to say “thanks” to those who love and support us all year.

Ok, now that we’ve rationalized the consumerization of Christmas*, back to the gift guide. If you’re reading this I assume you’ve survived the up-all-night, door-busting, last-sweater-grabbing madness of Black Friday.  I’ll also assume that–owing to either too little sleep, too many cranberries, too much family, or too little patience for the crazies trying to fight you for a pair of argyle socks– you didn’t find something for everyone.  So I present for you Chef Kefi’s Gift Giving Guide for everyone left on your list.

For the Homebody

 Clockwise, from left:
a) This stylish carafe is great for wine, juice, water. Plus, the cups fit inside, so it’s easily storable or portable. b) Bring the great outdoors inside with this funky little bathroom organizer, great for the conservationist on your list. c) Who could resist this toaster, which comes in 4 different colors, has an adjustable width for toast/bagels/whatever, and one of those pull-out crumb trays for easy clean up?  d) Never be caught without enough casserole- this 5.9 qt dish is great for anyone who cooks for a crowd–plus it comes with a decorative bamboo serving bowl, so it can go from oven to table in seconds. e) This bubbled beverage dispenser is an about exorbitantly-priced as it gets–but my oh my, what a great gift for someone who entertains! Just imagine it full of summer sangria….holiday cheer will flow throughout the year! f) You’ll have the birds singing for whoever hangs their hat on this wall hook. g) If they don’t wear coats, but you still really want to give them something for their wall, try this wall-mounted fish tank—  a unique accessory for the pet-lover with space constraints.

For the Green Team

a) I love these easy-to-clean collapsible boxes for sorting recyclables. b) The stars will come alive for the astronomer-to-be with this at home star projector. c) You should warn the recipient of a 4g ninja flash drive that any wasted paper will result in a prompt round-house kick to the gut. d) Once you give them these beautiful glass bottles, why would they ever use plastic again? e) I’m told cork is eco-friendly–pass that on to whoever gets this cork iPhone/iPad case! f) If everyone got one of these sustainably-sourced and reasonably priced watches, we could all stop counting down the time left til the end of the world… right? f) The green foodie will be reminded of your generosity all year long if you bestow a locally-sourced, in-season CSA box unto them for months to come!

For Everyone Else

 a) If you know Time’s Man of the Year, make sure his status is known 24/7 with this magazine cover pillow case, which also comes in Vogue, Esquire, and Playboy editions. b) For the long-winded techie, this retro phone receiver plugs into iPhones, Droids, and iPads so they won’t talk their own ear off. c) Who wouldn’t want to grow their own mushrooms in a box? d) Give this jazzy little milk-steaming system and get free lattes all year long! e) I bet you anything that the person with everything on your list doesn’t have a personalized bobblehead of themselves! f) A single-serve French press seems just about the closest thing to giving world peace. g) I’ve always been a sucker for a good name plate, and I bet someone on your list is too! h) It’s not you who’s tipsy–these cognac glasses make the stuffy after-dinner drink fun.

And that brings us to the end of Grattude Week at CuK. Have a great weekend.

** I’m aware that it’s crappy to pretend everyone celebrates Christmas–please forgive my laziness; I am a sucker for alliteration.

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