Does your dad really need another button-down? Does your teenager give you the eye-roll no matter what you wrap up and give?
We are here to help. Our features reporters and editors came up with a bunch of sure-fire gift ideas for your most hard-to-buy-for loved ones. And you may just want some of these for yourself.
That certain glow
If your family just can’t get enough of the Country Club Plaza lights, then this is the perfect gift for your home.
Spent bulbs that once burned bright on the Plaza have been repurposed as ornaments. At Rally House, you can find them for $9.99 each, and a portion of the proceeds benefits Children’s Mercy Hospital.
It’s a gift that feels good to give and receive.
Kathy Lu, email@example.com
Texts and Facebook greetings are nice, but I still prefer giving and receiving paper cards, especially around the holidays. I love every detail of these locally made cards from Hammerpress Letterpress & Design Studio, from the octagonal shape to the blue and red print, which reminds me of a cozy Pendleton blanket. The recycled paper notes, which cost $5.50 each or $18.50 for six, are blank inside and come with sturdy brown paper envelopes. Hammerpress is at 500 Southwest Blvd., Suite 1A.
Sarah Gish, firstname.lastname@example.org
Do it yourself
The best gifts in life are free. That thing you are famous for making really well — chocolate chip muffins, sea salt caramels, blue cheese salad dressing or a slab of ribs — will make your loved ones happier than a store-bought present.
Package your goodies in mason jars, pretty thrift store dishes or heavy foil for barbecue, and tie it up with clean twine.
Bonus: This strategy simplifies all future holidays because your signature thing will become a cherished tradition everyone on your list anticipates.
Cindy Hoedel, email@example.com
It’s raining money
Sweaters are great, but sometimes people just need money. Giving cash doesn’t have to be boring. Here are two ways I have given $100 to my son that was more fun than just taking a hundo out of my wallet:
I bought an umbrella and used string to attach 100 $1 bills to the metal spokes. Then I closed the umbrella and wrapped it. He got a nice new umbrella — with a big surprise inside!
Another time I bought a box of candy and tucked neatly folded fives, tens and twenties under the chocolates. He loved both gifts. And so will someone on your list.
James A. Fussell, firstname.lastname@example.org
A Royal Christmas
Raygun hit a homerun last year with its KC-inspired holiday sweater tees, but this year the Crossroads shop took the crown with a World Series tee ($21) that paints the season so royally bluetiful it would cause a stir at any White Elephant party.
The design takes the arrowhead, the shuttlecock, the KC letters and baseballs and incorporates the perfect words “World Series Champs 2015” into a traditional Christmas sweater pattern on a cool, holiday T-shirt. There’s also a sweatshirt ($35). Buy it online at raygunsite.com or in store at Raygun, 1803 Baltimore Ave.
Jeneé Osterheldt, email@example.com
Bundles of joy
A number of my close friends are expecting little ones next year, and I’ve been on the hunt for fun, unique onesies for their offspring to spit up on. These baby tees ($21 each), screen-printed at Normal Human and sold at Mash Handmade, are gender neutral and clever. Win-win. The slogans take a word and a drawing, like “Small (fries)” — with a drawing of french fries — and “Short (cakes)” — with a stack of pancakes. Mash Handmade is at 3900b Pennsylvania Ave., mashhandmade.com
Melissa Graham, firstname.lastname@example.org
Do that again!
Here’s a gift that will be appreciated by anyone with nerve endings and a sense of fun — metal scalp massagers. When someone repeatedly raises and lowers one over your head, the smooth tips of the flexible metal “fingers” glide over your scalp to create a pleasurable and relaxing sensation that you have to feel to believe. Use it on your arms, legs and feet, too. They’re sold all over — I got mine on Amazon.com. And since you can get three for less than $10, you can give a couple, and keep one for yourself.
James A. Fussell, email@example.com
Stuff they’ll want but don’t need
Here’s a taste of the gift guide from this week’s Ink magazine, The Star’s weekly nightlife and entertainment section:
▪ No one really needs a tea towel, but Kansas City skyline towels are so pretty, we should all have one. They’re great hung curtain-style in a window, on a wall and over the back of a kitchen chair. $14 at Urban Provisions, 2616 Guinotte Ave., urbanprovisionskc.com
▪ Trapp & Company’s scented candles and room sprays make bedrooms smell pretty and relaxing. You could buy two for a friend and still not break the bank. Votive candles, tea light holders and more at 4110 Main St., trappandcompany.com.
Cynthia Billhartz Gregorian, firstname.lastname@example.org
For music fans
Suggestions from The Star’s music critic:
▪ Buy a gift card to one of the many local record stores in Kansas City, where you can get a lot of new and used vinyl, both long-play and 7 inch, from local, national and international bands and musicians. At some stores, you can also buy turntables and other stereo equipment.
▪ Go to your favorite local band’s website and buy recorded music, a T-shirt and/or other merchandise. Many offer music in vinyl with a digital download.
▪ Buy tickets to a show or a gift card to a music venue.
Timothy Finn, email@example.com
Flush with the World Series victory, we have so many choices for team merchandise, but — OK, I’m totally biased — my favorite is The Kansas City Star’s own posters and commemorative book. Pretty much everyone in my family got last year’s versions (not telling if they’re getting them this year too). Posters are $25 each on dealsaver.com and include the view of the victory rally from atop the Liberty Memorial and a bunch of the front pages and Sports covers charting the postseason. The book, “Crowned,” is 128 pages of lovely photos and stories summing up the glorious season. It’s $27.95 at bookstores and thekansascitystore.com.
Sharon Hoffmann, firstname.lastname@example.org