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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

12.12.2002

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gift ideas  
within
reason 

by Megan Thome
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1 2 3

Do you know anyone who’s really going to give the $10,000,000 bra and panty set from Victoria’s Secret to someone this year? Yeah, me neither. Nor do I know of anyone who will be the recipient. It’s not that my friends and I are chintzy, but we like to put at least as much thought into a gift as money. And often times, I have more thought than money. So here’s a little list of ideas that could help you put ten mil worth of thought into a much, much, much, much, much, much smaller budget.

ebay
I became an Ebay addict—er, advocate this year. Who knew that it really is quite possible to find everything you’ve ever wanted? Everything. Vintage Cuban travel posters, original 1950s aluminum tumblers, a Mr. Peanut serving spoon. For those on your list who seem to have every piece of Simpson’s memorabilia or Elvis 45, Ebay is the one place you’re guaranteed to find something they don’t already have. Two things to remember though: One, sometimes you can find "brand new" items, but the majority of the items are used. Since you will be giving these items as gifts, look for the best quality and make sure the recipient is the kind of person who values your originality or has the ability to overlook garage sale-ness. Two, you may be getting an item from the other side of the country. Buy with enough shipping time. Plus, the heavier the item, the more you’ll pay in shipping costs.

Both of my parents are trying to reclaim pieces of their youth. So I picked up an old vintage camera with a big, newspaper reporter-like flash for my mom and an original Little League Louisville Slugger bat for my dad to give this Christmas. Together, both cost me less than $50. These gifts not only have special meaning but, Holy Mother of Martha Stewart, they aren’t from the mall.

giftcards
Some may see this as impersonal, heartless and only slightly better than Aunt Gert’s annual five-dollar bill she shoves at you with her bony, veiny hand. I say for the teens and the twenties, you can’t go wrong with this one. The important part of this gift, though, is where the giftcard/certificate is from. Try to make that special. Choose someplace that really speaks to your best friend or roommate. Take sephora.com. There might not be a Sephora where your niece lives, but she might feel cool ordering Urban Decay lip gloss or Philosophy bath gel online.

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