In 2009, ThinkGeek created a brilliant gift: the Star Wars Tauntuan Sleeping Bag. Imagine your Star Wars fan seeking warmth from the inside of a mounted tauntaun — without the stench — as seen in The Empire Strikes Back. The problem: it was an April Fool’s Joke. You couldn’t really order it from ThinkGeek.
But the masses spoke, blogged, tweeted and emailed, and the prank became a present, thanks to licensing from LucasFilms. You’ll find this plush Tauntaun sleeping bag, with lightsaber zipper pull and printed internal intestines, for $100 at ThinkGeek.
So I knew exactly what to get my Star-Wars-fanatical, five-year-old nephew this year for his birthday. And he loved it. The gift was so well received, his seven-year-old sister cried because she wanted something so great. I didn’t see that coming. But I did believe their father, a devout Star Wars fan, would be driven to tears of joy.
I treated my chocolate-loving wife (and me) to Wonka Exceptionals Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Bars. The 3.5 ounce bar mixes milk chocolate with toffee, crispy cookie and peanuts. Willy Wonka would be proud.
Our kitchen remodel is almost complete. With new granite countertops, our cloth pot holders won’t do. Fortunately, the traditional anniversary gift for the 11th anniversary is steel. I gave her this stainless steel, daisy-shaped trivet. The trivet also changes its shape to elongate for rectangular pans.
The modern gift for the 11th anniversary is fashion jewelry. Nothing satisfies like Tiffany & Co., and she loved this Elsa Peretti Bean bracelet.
I never went to summer camp. So I’m living vicariously through my 10-year-old niece. Today she embarks on a week of hiking and horseback riding, campfires and canoeing, and s’mores and swimming. Of course, I wouldn’t know anything about the summer heat, mosquito bites, pouring rain, poison ivy, cabin chores and creaky bunk beds. But I imagine she might feel homesick, so she will receive a summer camp care package from her Uncle Gift Giving Guy and Savvy Auntie (tm). I browsed several sites for summer camp gifts and chose Beyond Bookmarks, which offers the “funner size” of the Camp Life care package for Teens and Tweens. This summer camp gift package includes:
- Chucknuka Uglydoll in purple
- Hangman travel game by Magnetic Poetry
- Waterproof playing cards
- Carabiner (clip-on) pen
- 16-ounce water bottle
- Lip balm with sunscreen
- Clip flashlight (with batteries included)
- Mosquito repellent wrist band
- Glow necklace
- Water squirting frog toy
- Beach Safe waterproof storage tube on a lanyard
- Green bandanna (which doubles as wrapping instead of tissue paper)
- Fill-in-the-blank thank you note
You can customize your care package with add-on items like an autograph pillowcase with black fabric marker, friendship bracelet kits, binoculars, glow sticks and seek-a-word puzzle books. If you want to treat your camper’s cabin mates, add in a small gift for them when you order the care package. Before you order from Beyond Bookmarks, make sure you have the shipping address and the phone number for the summer camp. If the camp only uses a post office box, select U.S. Postage Service for shipping. (UPS cannot ship to a P.O. box.) If camp is a few weeks away, you can schedule delivery for a future date. Don’t forget to add a personal gift tag message. From your shopping cart, click the red “Add Gift Tag Message” button. Type in the “to” and “from” names. You have a 100-character limit on your gift message.
I can’t wait for the letter from camp from our niece.
We have two new neighbors, and nothing breaks the ice like a simple gift. My favorite welcome present is a 1.7-ounce jar of Fox Point Seasoning from Penzeys Spices. Moving to a new home often means purging — sometimes clearing out the spice rack — so fresh spices make a welcome gift. This Penzeys jar costs $8 so your neighbor won’t feel beholden.
A flavorful mix of salt, chives, peppercorns, scallions and shallots, Fox Point Seasoning adds zest to chicken, fish, salads and steamed vegetables. I can no longer imagine scrambled eggs without it.
Simply tie a ribbon just under the lid and attach a welcome card with your names signed legibly. Walk over to your new neighbor, introduce yourself and give a neighborly present.