Food and Drink 

Presents of mind: part one

Ever year around this time I beam out the holiday mantra that the best Christmas gifts are the thoughtful ones that disappear - things you gobble up or glug down with gusto; rub all over your tired, grateful body; or otherwise use up, share, enjoy and at the end of the day only a happy giftee and maybe an empty (recyclable) container remains.

Offering your babysitting services to pals with rug-rats also qualifies as good gifting. Anything that supports one of the amazingly creative local businesses and artists in your community, or that's good for something or somebody besides the recipient also qualify big-time in the gift fairy's good books.

To spread the fun, I sent out a dispatch earlier for other people's ideas and they've been rolling in. What a great concept, since it broadens the possibilities beyond my own shrivelled megamind. Plus wouldn't you know it, these people are so creative, they wrote my column for me!

In fact, I received so many great ideas, I'm running another batch of them next week. But for now, without further ado, here, in the order they e-rolled in, in their own voices with just a sprinkling of editing and notes, are great gift ideas from these three kings of reorientation to giving, three magical magi of originality. Okay, so two of them are queens, but it's high time that women got to be kings, too. Plus "queens" doesn't play well on any holiday themes. We'll have to work on that.


From Feet Banks

Filmmaker and reviewer, editor, quasi-rancher, creator of Notes from the Back Row (see elsewhere in this newsmagazine) and all-round original soul.

One of the best gifts I ever got was 75 bucks in my name at . I'm still loaning it out two years later. (Kiva provides micro-loans in developing areas. It works.)

Locally, there are some nice slippers made in North Van that I am wearing right now (Padraig Cottage's wooly/sheepskin creations) . Although the best slippers I ever owned were Glerups. . They come from Europe and I am seriously considering paying the 100 bucks for them once my Padraigs wear out.

Chili Thom has sweet giclee prints available. (This is interesting because I asked Chili for his best gift ideas and he was humble enough not to mention these. In fact, he hasn't suggested anything... so far...)

Granted Clothing (in Vancouver) makes the most kick-ass knit sweaters in the world. This link is to their cool collaborations but check out their regular stuff as well.


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