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Diamonds or Pearls or ??? For Christmas

Posted by Christine on December 22, 2007 at 2:30 p.m.

The politics of buying holiday presents for girls is hard, and since I am Witigonen's resident female, I am here to make sure you do not stray from the path of awesome. Why didn't I post this last week when it would have been useful? If you are asking that question, this post is not for you. This post is geared toward folks like my father who wait to brave stores on Christmas Eve, when everything has been picked through and only frazzled employees remain.

You may be tempted to go the way of a necklace or earrings or something. Were you watching the Las Vegas debate? When asked point blank to pick, even Hillary Clinton couldn't decide between diamonds and pearls. How are you going to make the right decision? There are plenty of issues associated with diamonds, and unless the lady friend in question wears lots of cardigans, I would suggest narrowing your search to black pearls, which are both modern and elegant. So don't follow Clinton's advice of both diamonds and pearls unless you are gifting a stodgy conflict-loving bitch.

Now, what pearl of wisdom to take from Obama's classic charcoal suits? He goes tieless when he can get away with it, and based upon the pictures I have seen he favors light blue ties. Pantone's Color of the Year is blue iris, a brighter version of Obama's blue-to-the-periwinkle. I am not suggesting you buy girls suits or ties, but there is a lesson to be learned about sticking to the classics. Maybe a nice black v-neck sweater? An iris colored scarf?

Cate Edwards spent time between Princeton and Harvard at Vanity Fair, so one can only expect John Edwards to shine as a style icon. He wears ties and suits, but is not nearly as predictable as Obama and still not what I would term "flashy." I suspect he inspires a reconsideration of the green-gift craze, since at the heart of the trend is real and chaotic climate change. I don't recommend the soda bottle birdfeeders I made when in middle school, and the fancy organic jeans at Barney's are not worth it- they are still just jeans. Buy something local, fair trade, or actually useful. I bet you can get most of your shopping done tomorrow at New Season's Market, or whatever community grocery is close to you. Why use a gift bag when you can put everything in a bamboo fruit bowl? Toss in a few candles, organic-vegan-hippie-approved hand lotion, pick up a silk scarf or a notebook, and cover it all with the crinkle paper from your paper shredder.

There are plenty of gift guides out there, and if you skip those you can always rely on a helpful sales clerk 13 hours away from her bed and a holiday bonus. It's the thought that counts in gift giving, but this year consider the politics behind your gift as well.

Bonus round: The down and dirty guide on how to make it in and out of Nordstrom's in 1/2 and hour on Monday:

Shoe section: Skip it. Without her feet along, your only options are slippers and flip flops, and we have too many pairs of those as it is.

Cosmetics: I once gave a girl makeup for some holiday. I think she thought it was my way of telling her she was ugly. Stick to the fun stuff, like lip gloss or shimmer powder. Only buy perfume you know she likes.

Jewelery: See Clinton above. Maybe some hoop earrings are safe?

Hosiery: Seriously, are you her mom? If so, knee socks are really hot right now. Stay away from the legwarmers.

Accessories: These are the gems of gift giving. Scarves and other small items that can make a big impact in helping jeans and a tshirt one day look different from the same jeans and another tshirt the next.

Handbags: Skip it, unless you want to look at wallets.

Clothing: Stick to things like coats and sweaters where the sizing doesn't matter as much. Nothing to make you feel fat like receiving a pair of pants in your size that just don't fit. The same advice should be applied in the intimate apparel section. And remember Obama's charcoal suit- classic always wins.

If you make it through and still don't see the right thing, consider a Kucinich-inspired gift and donate some money to a good cause in her name. You can give it to her with a card promising a nice dinner. I like this idea- it is the grownup version of coupons I used to make for my parents that said "breakfast in bed" or "game night."

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Comments from site editors have a darker background than comments from everybody else.
  • I thought you were going to write about the creative drivers and how much they blow.

    I think for Christmas I will really get you a sign for your car that says "Please get as close to me as possible"

    Posted by: Susan on December 22, 2007 at 8:52 p.m.
    • Wait, I think that sign is already on my car. I just don't know how to take it off... Sorry to disappoint, dear reader.

      Posted by Christine on December 23, 2007 at 12:22 a.m.

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