Gift Guide No. 1

-- gifts over $50, published Dec. 4, 2002

Gift Guide No. 2 -- winter fashions, published Dec. 11, 2002

contents Stocking Stuffers
Books and Music
Graphic Novels
Home Furnishings
No Sweat Shopping

Bulky electronics and trendy toys may steal the holiday limelight, but the season's sweetest, most intimate pleasure is still sneaking downstairs before dawn, kneeling before the flicker of the fake fireplace and digging candy-sticky hands into those red plush socks. Here are our picks for making that magic moment one for the Polaroids.

Casing the Joint
Of all the bygone personal effects from a more genteel era, none is more mourned than the cigarette case ($13-$21, Oblation Papers, 516 NW 12th Ave., 223-1093). After all, is there any more flirtatious gesture than plucking a paper-wrapped wand of tobacco from the outstretched hand of a gentleman? These elegant silver-toned accessories are molded and struck from the original hand-engraved die stamps of the '20s and '30s, and are eminently engravable. Versatile interior straps lock down cash, ID, calling cards or, of course, smokes. For extra points, load one with a handful of Chesterfields--now that's the gift that keeps on giving.

Sachet Sashay
You've seen them--those Mama 'n' Papa Bear beds piled with coordinated chintz coverlets and snowy heaps of pillows. All that's missing is a scattering of Gabe Brown striped-silk lavender pillow sachets ($25 for three, Aubergine, 1100 NW Glisan St., 228-7313). Three smart sample cuts of patterned dupioni silk are shaped into square "pillows" stuffed with fragrant lavender and tied with a neat ribbon. They may eventually get lost amid the down drifts, so save them for your drawer of lacy unmentionables.

Sock It to 'Em!
Tired of fumbling with nuts and tangerines when stuffing the socks on Christmas Eve? Cut the clutter with pre-stuffed nylon stockings ($45 and up, Glamour Gallery, 9 SE 28th Ave., 231-0888). These amazing, one-of-a-kind holiday hose are jammed with odd treats culled from the Gallery's unusual inventory--canned Florida sunshine, vintage Bitch soap, foam curlers, costume jewelry. Each stocking has a theme guaranteed to put a puzzled smile on someone's face come Christmas morn. Transparency in the nylons makes the stockings' contents immediately visible--no more disappointed digging to the bottom to find a nasty old fruit!

Bow-Wow-Meow Hours
The awkward boxy shape, the cool and inhuman digital display--it isn't easy to recommend the typical bedside clock. Bring some whimsy to your wake-up with a stainless-steel dog or cat digital clock ($32, Portland Art Museum Gift Shop, 1219 SW Park Ave., 226-2811). These itty-bitty beasts will fit in the palm of your hand, while their jointed limbs allow you to pose them in all manners of frolicsome attitudes. Best of all, the date and time show in a mini-LED window right where their sad puppy eyes would be--that gives them the kind of Cylon chic you haven't seen since Battlestar Galactica.

Baggage Acclaim
The light bulb. The Frisbee. The simplest designs sometimes have phenomenal staying power. Hervé Chapelier zip pouches ($18 and up, Aubergine) make this year's most-likely-to-last list. These flat-bottomed zipper bags are sewn from sturdy Cordura nylon in fashionable shades and scale up from a tiny coin-purse size to a weekender big enough to house half your closet. Start small with one, or buy an entire set and nest them together. They're every bit as swank as Louis Vuitton (but LV can't go in the washing machine).

Letters to a Young Poet
Every family has a superstar--the Messiah soloist, human-Christmas-tree yodeler or Nutcracker sweetie sweating it out under hot lights for holy holiday glory. After the curtain falls, your pint-sized prima donna will get a glow from Wendy Addison alphabet letters and numbers ($11, Cielo, 528 NW 12th Ave., 445-0111). In a sophisticated classic typeface, they're cut from sturdy pasteboard and liberally coated with heavy-duty German glitter. Better than a silly old star, these Martha Stewart-featured items have grommets for hanging on the green room door.

Pen-Shine Benefits
Ah, Christmas card time--that awkward season when you actually contrive to communicate with exes and estranged relatives. Sometimes your epistolary emotions well up in such a wild way, regular pen and ink just can't won't do. For those extreme zings of feeling, you need a six-pack of glitter pens ($4-$6, Fred Meyer, 3030 NE Weidler St., 280-1300, and other locations). Poetic! Dreamy! Inscrutable!

Window Watchers
If your body is a temple, then Teresa Robinson's Small Things jewelry (rings $50, necklaces $70, Seaplane, 3352 SE Belmont St., 234-2409, and Retread Threads, 931 SW Oak St., 916-0000, are like miniature stained-glass windows for your clavicles. Her handcrafted pendants layer delicately stenciled sterling-silver vignettes--a bird on a branch, a leaf and flower--with translucent colored glass in sky blue, moss green and other winsome shades.


Amber Jewelry
Choose from multiple styles of beautiful amber pendants, rings and necklaces.

$9.50 and up, The Fossil Cartel, 921 SW Morrison St., #105, 228-6998.

Word on a Wire
Created by a California designer, these stylish and playful sterling-silver charm necklaces are available in 60 different words ("luck," "bliss," "friends," etc.) and look great with anything. Choose one or combine a few to make a personalized holiday gift.

$40 for one word, $50 for two. Twist, 30 NW 23rd Place, 224-0334, and other locations.

Crowsenberg's Half & Half T-shirts
The cool kitchenette has even cooler T-shirts--with lumberjacks!

$13, 923 SW Oak St., 222-4495.

Loser Game
This board game will finally determine who among your friends is the biggest loser. Be prepared to own up to all your dirty secrets.


Celtic Jewelry
Browse through one of the largest assortments of Celtic jewelry in the U.S., featuring rings, necklaces, pendants and earrings--all exquisitely decorated with traditional Celtic knot and claddagh designs.

$15 and up, The Celtic Corner, 4142 NE Sandy Blvd., 287-3009.