An Ulu Knife!
For centuries, this uniquely designed knife was a basic tool of the Unupiat culture, used for everything from skinning seals to cleaning fish.
Today, any cook on your list will appreciate it! You can buy it, paired with a wooden bowl which cradles the nuts or herbs so the curved blade can do its job.
I have one of these! They’re priceless, but you can get one for about $20. Shop here for Ulus!
CD of African Children’s Choir
Have a music lover on your list, who’d enjoy this spirited collection of songs by some of Africa’s most talented but also most vulnerable children?
Started in the ’80s as an effort to help Uganda’s starving and helpless orphans, the choir has since grown to incorporate South Africa, Southern Sudan, Ghana, and many other African nations.
They tour the US, and perform to raise money for schools and social programs back home.
Their fame has been infectious — they’ve performed with celebrities like Queen, starred at Live8, and even sung in the White House.
They have about 6 CDs — including a holiday one — and they’re easy to order.
Around $15. Order CDs here!
A Travel Journal
Have a friend who’s getting ready to leave on a trip?
Think of someone who’d love a blank book for a diary? A recipe book? An exercise log?
These classy leather-bound books with refillable blank pages come in a variety of sizes — the smallest is only about 5″ tall and perfect to fit in a travel bag!
The company — a private leatherworker out of Michigan — also makes ipad cases, menu covers, eye glass holders, luggage, and a host of other beautiful leather crafts.
Around $22. See and order all their products here!
Pottery — hand created, custom glazed!
This Mother-and-Son pottery from the hills of Barbados is a true favorite of mine! What’s so special? Unique glasses. Colors that take you back to the Caribbean. Useful items, both in and out of the kitchen. Hardy designs, durable and even dishwasher-ready!
I’ve known them since 1986 and have collected many items: dinner plates! serving dishes! lamps! Just check out their designs…
Their most popular glaze is the turquoise blue-green
but they’ve introduced a melon glaze now, also!
Prices start at about $10. From mugs to plates to small bowls for jewelry, check it out!
Would the reader on your list like:
Venice is a Fish, by Tiziano Scarpa : a sensual guide to Venice. Not really a guidebook, this cleverly written narrative is a series of essays on different parts of Venice’s unique culture — the life of the gondolier, perspective on the columns of St Marco Basilica, glassblowing, gastronomy!
Bear Man of Admiralty Island, by John Howe: a biography of Allen Hasselborg, who lived in the Alaska wilds in the early 1900s, as a homesteader, hunting guide, photography expert, and friend of the Bears of Admiralty Island!
Cry the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton: This heavy story of Apartheid is a classic in South African literature.
Istanbul, Memories and the City, by Orhan Pamuk: An enchanting novel of Istanbul and the Turkish life. If you like this book, try this others also (Snow and The Museum of Innocence are particular favorites!)
Trip photos make a great photo album, and online versions like iphoto (Mac) and Shutterfly are as easy as they are popular.
But there are other items too:
Photo mugs! Photo tote bags! Photo ornaments for the tree!
They start at $12, and there’s still time to order CUSTOM photo products for Christmas! It’s all in Exposures Catalog!
A Subscription to National Geographic Traveler magazine
Out of all the glossy travel mags, I find National Geographic Traveler the most enticing! The articles range often focus on food trips, range from city stays to outback excursions, but always have a slightly unique angle. Off the beaten track travel, is, after all, my real love!
1-year subscriptions go for only $10! Order a Subscription here!