06 December 2011

The What's Last-Minute Gift Guide

The What is dedicated to providing recent college grads with colorful ideas for everyday life. We understand that life gets a little hectic in those first few post-collegiate years and you may forget things, such as Christmas. No fear, we are here to give you a handy guide to suggest a few last-minute gifts for those special people in your life (i.e. the ones who will probably be buying you something).

Who isn't a fan of quirky little books? Quick, entertaining little reads like Grandma's Dead ($9.99 on Amazon) are everywhere. Urban Outfitters usually has a decent selection, or if you're shopping at the couch mall, try Amazon.

Oh no! Not Grand...oh look, a puppy!
Keeping with the theme of reading being fundamental, autobiographies are often an interesting option. Whether going for  a seriously great read like Gene Wilder's Kiss Me Like a Stranger ($10.87 on Amazon) or newer, lighter offerings such as Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) from Mindy Kaling ($14.93 on Amazon) or Bossypants by Tina Fey ($15.34 on Amazon), an autobiography of an entertainer is usually a good call.

While much of our style at this age has evolved, there is still room for a good tee shirt. With Novel-T, you can find the perfect gift for a literary nerd/baseball fan while also finding the least offensive way to give someone a shirt with an asshole on it ($24.95).  Another option is picking from the great variety of city tees out there, like Detroit ($24.00 on CafePress), Philadelphia ($20.95 on Philavania), or New York ($12.99 on Amazon). Though it may seem cliche, you may also opt for a nice scarf, like this one ($19.95 at Gap), or even a decent tie/pocket square combo ($20.00 on the Tie Bar).

So people can see all of the junk in their trunk.
If you're feeling a little fancy and have a few extra bucks to spend, maybe you can lean toward one of these pricier gifts. One sure-to-be hot gift this year is the Roku Player ($49.99-$89.99 on Roku). The Roku is ideal for the movie/television buff on your list as it gives them the availability to stream a ton of programming through their TV. For a more active friend, try this sweet Basil Bottle Basket ($40.00 on Public Bikes). Any cyclist would be happy to have this functional, snazzy-looking extra cargo space. Or if you know someone who could use some relaxation in their life, try the funky self-massager the Thera Cane ($35.95 on Thera Cane) or perhaps a selection of bath bombs and melts from LUSH ($4.95-$14.95 on LUSH).

There is always the option of making things a little personal. Go to local craft shows and flea markets and galleries looking for locally made arts and crafts. Etsy has a ton of great items, like these Philadelphia coasters ($26.00 on Etsy). Local art adds a unique personal touch to gift-giving. Or by embracing your inner Santa at shops that specialize in selling locally-made goods (like this one and this one in Philly) you are supporting your local economy while also finding some quality gift items.

A special thanks to Emily Leischner, Amanda Buck, and Kathryn Koegel for contributing to this article. Merry Christmas and happy shopping to all!

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