Postcards with maps on them and an included needle and thread for stitching the itinerary of your latest sojourn through America, Europe, or around the world. Completely riddle the cards with stitches celebrating your travels and experiences, and then send them to your friends to make them horribly, horribly jealous.
No, it's not a little person with a pilot's license. It's a little kit bag that seemingly unfolds in four dimensions, because it can carry a lot more than you would think by looking at it. It's small, black, and really, really tough. Just what you need if you’re a frequent flier.
Michael Chiarello, he of Napa Valley three-star fame, loves this gadget, so you probably will too, if you like to keep your cutlery as sharp as possible for as long as possible. It's a spring-loaded pair of abrasive rods that you run your knife through, but unlike most others of the basic design, it automatically conforms to the angle of the blade, getting you ready in minutes to slice and dice with ease and abandon. And for us fanatic cooks, that's better than therapy.
These are serious leather accessories-tanned cowhide formed into wrist cuffs and decorated with brass or other metal tags salvaged from post office boxes, machinery, and suchlike. When you wear these, everyone knows you mean some kind of business, and respect will flow to you like a mighty river.
What to get for the guy or gal who has everything material already, or doesn't actually care about material things at all? Bingo, a new experience! You can give them a ride in a hot air balloon, a cooking lesson, a formula one ride-along, and many many more experiences that will please and excite him or her. Or if you're stumped for what floats their boat, give them a gift certificate and let them choose. Long after that necktie or even those emerald earrings have lost their luster, a new experience can keep giving terrific memories and ongoing excitement for ever.
Shabby chic, hyper-caffeinated. Take eight coffee sacks, sew them together, line the resulting great big bag with cotton and fill with recycled Styrofoam, and you've got a beanbag chair with a kick. They keep the original plantation markings, so you can know if you're cooling out with Kona or jamming with Jamaica Blue Mountain.
These kits contain all the various cleaners you need to make the cave sparkle after a long winter's hibernation – window spray, dish soap, counter cleaner, and the indispensable all-purpose liquid. The thing is, they incorporate aromatherapy oils in the formula, so at the end of a long day's scrubbing, you're left with an aura not only of cleanliness, but of oneness with the universe. Or at least your bathroom.
Nylon mesh bags to carry your produce home from the grocery store. Just like they've used in Europe forever and ever. Reusable, lightweight, and gosh-darned pretty. Use one of these for a year and eliminate using up to 700 disposable plastic turtle-killing bags. Just another step in the greening of America.
Basically a bunch of junk (old radios and other electronic gadgets, plumbing fixtures, odds and ends and doodads, and other parts of who-knows-what gathered from who-knows-where) put together to look like retro fifties robots. These guys are no Terminator 2, with shiny liquid metal. No, they're scuffed and worn, like they've been working for a living. Danger, danger! You'll fall in love with them!
There is an axiom among foodies: everything goes better with bacon. A lesser-known corollary to that is: pretty much everything is also better with bourbon. So take some artisanal maple sugar from Quebec, stash it in charred oak barrels with a touch of bourbon, and let this marriage made in foodie heaven blossom. Then buy it, eat it, love it–repeat.