||With You In 4/4
by Peter Mavrik
This article shared 1770 times since Wed Dec 13, 2006
Gift giving is part art and part science. The art is in how well the gift suits the intended recipient. The science is in how well it fits into your budget and how easy it is to find. If you haven't started shopping for holiday presents yet, shame on you. You should start buying the day after Christmas when everything is on sale. That way you can have a stash of little gifts for unexpected events. It's also fun to do your holiday shopping all year 'round. But back to you last-minute folks.
I find there is one artist with whom you really cannot go wrong when it comes to giving music. Queer and straight alike, everyone seems to love Ella Fitzgerald. She's the queen of the American Songbook, and nearly any album she did on the Verve label is worth its weight in gold. Ella & Duke at the Cote D'Azur is a particularly stunning CD, and I have several copies wrapped and waiting to be tossed into Santa's sleigh.
Also on the music tip, you can find gift cards from a million stores that sell music, but I can't recommend iTunes gift cards enough. For all those folks out there who have never purchased anything from the iTunes store, a gift card may be the best thing to get them started. You don't need an iPod, but a CD burner helps, so be sure to have a think about the recipient.
I shop at Borders so often that I should get a part time job there just to get a discount. And what am I buying at Borders? Gifts, gifts and more gifts. From wacky books, to tacky trinkets, and maybe the occasional CD, they have a wide range of crowd pleasers. A gift card from them is always appreciated. I tend to keep a stack of them on hand at all times for whatever occasion creeps up.
But it's not all big corporate companies that I'm recommending this year. If you know any wine drinkers, head right to Women & Children First at 5233 N. Clark in Andersonville and buy as many copies of Alpana Pours: About Being a Woman, Loving Wine and Having Great Relationships as you can carry.
Alpana Singh, noted master sommelier and host of Check Please on PBS, has written her first fantastically entertaining book about wine and life. Don't let the title fool you; you don't have to be a woman to enjoy the book. And while you're laughing your way from cover to cover, you'll learn loads about wine from her very down-to- earth style of writing. It's the most accessible wine book I've read, plus it's quite reasonably priced. You may just want to pick up a copy for yourself.
And finally, while you are out and about during the holiday season, be extra kind to your bartenders, waiters, stylists, manicurists, and any other service folk you come across. Instead of buying them a gift, be extra generous with your tips. These are the people who have taken care of you all year long, so now it's time to show them how thankful you are.
With you in 4/4,
This article shared 1770 times since Wed Dec 13, 2006
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