At the end of the year, many parents and students wish to give teachers a token of their thanks, but they're not sure what's appropriate. The best advice I have is: Know thy teacher.
So, for example, if you're not certain the teacher drinks alcohol, don't offer a bottle of wine, and don't give gift certificates to a big, corporate bookstore like Barnes & Noble to someone who was petitioning the city council not to allow any more big box stores into your town because they drive out local businesses.
People all over the world have special traditions for celebrating the arrival of the new year, and often celebrations include the idea of eating lucky foods, thought to bring happiness and prosperity in the year to come.
Image: Courtesy of Champaign Taste
Just which foods are lucky depends on where you are, but there are some traditions that are pretty widespread. Here are suggestions for lucky foods from around the world, but if you have a New Year's food tradition that brings you luck, please share your link or recipe in the comments....more
[Editor's Note: The seven-day festival of Kwanzaa begins on December 26. What's Kwanzaa, you ask? Well, read on! Laina Dawes explains the basics of this celebration of African culture. --Grace]
It's only fitting that I write a guide to last minute gifts... at the last minute, eh? Well not quite the last minute. I realized I was going to be writing this a couple of weeks ago, but I put it off... errr, sort of like folks who put off gift shopping 'til the last minute. I've found that writing a last minute gift guide at the last minute is a heck of a lot more fun than doing last minute gift shopping. It's fun because when you ask people about last minute gift shopping, they have a lot of opinions.
I asked my artist friends on Twitter to help me come up with a nice list of the best and brightest in gifts for artists this year. Here's a nice collection of their recommendations (and mine!) You can take this list to heart knowing that these items have already been field-tested. From the playful to the practical, from the sophisticated to the essential staple--here we go:
1. Pinhole Camera
Who're the hardest people to shop for? COOL people. They have it, they've seen it, you forward them a video and they retort with, "oh, you're cute...that's so 2005." Crap. What do you get for these snobs, er, discriminating people of cutting-edge taste? Here are the coolest, the hottest, the baddest gifts for the cutting-edge pop culture aficionados on your list.
Whether the feminists in your life celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza, or you just want to give them a little token to show them how much you appreciate their friendship/love, there are tons of great gifts out there. Here are a few of my favorites: