Presents! Presents! Presents!

I’ve been dying to share what I gave out for Christmas. I noticed a lot of bloggers (and also the editors of VOGUE) were sharing what they were giving friends and family as early as November. Which is ridiculous, of course.

How would you like to have an aunt or a cousin who writes for VOGUE and find out what your Christmas present was going to be like ten weeks before you got it? I would hate that because,

1) the surprise is totally ruined, and

2) I would be freaking out because the gift probably cost $850 dollars for a handkerchief and there’d be no way I could get my VOGUE-writer family member something so stupidly awesome (literally), not to mention that I’d feel totally unworthy of an $850 handkerchief because I’d probably lose it in the wind whilst riding the cable car to the Top of the Mark on a sunny San Francisco afternoon my dog would probably find it on the floor and eat it.

So, friends and family, you can totally thank me for not ruining your Christmas by telling everyone what I got you before I even told you.

Anyway, let’s bring on the booty!


For my dad, I found this vintage map of Chicago from an old Texaco. And before you say, “You gave your dad something I could find in the glovebox of my grandmother’s avocado-colored 1973 Chevy?!” let me tell you that, first of all, my dad loves maps. LOVES maps. As in, I think he was a cartographer in a former life.

Sure, the maps he really loves are of the Caribbean Islands so he can dream about his dream boat sailing around there dreamily, but an old map of Chicago from a gas station goes along with the story he told me about his first job (aside from being a newspaper delivery boy on his bike).

My dad’s stepdad set up an interview for him with a guy who owned a delivery company and my dad borrowed his mom’s car to drive downtown from his home in Park Ridge. He was really nervous about the interview and was trying to guess what kinds of questions the delivery company owner guy would ask him about his education and his former work experience. When he got there, the boss man asked him,

“You have a car?”

Dad: “Yes, sir.”

Bossman: “You know your way around the city?”

Dad: “Yes, sir.”

Bossman: “Okay. Be here Monday, seven a.m.”

And that was it. But the thing is, is that my dad totally lied (or as he would say, “fudged it”). He didn’t know his way around Chicago at all. But was he going to let that little detail keep him from getting his first real job? Nope.

“So ya know what I did?” my dad told me. “I went to the first gas station I saw and I gotta map.”

Here’s where you’re supposed to pick up on all the nuanced life-lesson stuff Dad was instilling in me at whatever young age I was when I heard this story for the first twelve times. It’s about “going for it” and, you know, “letting nothing stand in your way of your dreams of hard work and a paycheck” or something.

Okay, I didn’t make that story up, but the real reason I got my dad the map is because, if you’ve never seen one of Chicago, they are pretty damn cool. Totally Cartesian. And since my dad lived in Chicago for most of his life, I thought he could look at it and have happy memories.

Okay, it happened to be next to the register at the same store I got Nancy and Audrey’s gifts.

Which brings me to…Nancy and Audrey.

Nancy got a handmade vintage apron. Because I am all about enforcing gender stereotypes. Nancy can get out of line, being all “the CEO of our company” and “my boss”, so I thought I should show her where her place is. In the kitchen. Baking me cookies.


Audrey got a vintage beret because she’s going off globetrotting to Spain in a month and everyone knows a girl needs that Hepburn-esque “international” look with French headwear in Spain. Also, she wanted one.

All of the above gifts came from the super-awesome boutiques Molte Cose and Bella Cose on Polk Street. It’s a fantastic shop (both new and carefully-selected vintage items…I prefer the carefully-selected vintage items) and I would buy everything in the store for myself if I could.

Q: Did you get everyone something that had been used before?

A: Absolutely not.

My mum got a box of OMG-the-best-ganache-filled-chocolates-you-could-ever-dream-of-having.


The chocolates were handmade by Ginger Elizabeth, who I met at Fog City News and who is an absolute darling and also a genius.

My mother pretty much has everything and I figured there was no way I could go wrong with chocolate, plus she could stand to gain a pound or two after the divorce-diet. I just hope she knows that they were expensive and I didn’t just willy-nilly pick them up at the grocery store or something.

Jack got a book about manners because he is totally clueless (KIDDING!) my dad recommended the book. And he got A. Testoni loafers because he is a shoe-whore (no, seriously, he is, which is why we are perfect together).

I wrapped the book in pornography and put a naked-lady card on top because if you do that, then boys think it has to be good. Unless they can read, which, I learned, he can.

Me: “Do you think you’ll read this book?”

Him: “It’s not at the top of my list.”

But he loves the shoes, so I still scored.


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One Response to “Presents! Presents! Presents!”

  1. December 28, 2008 « Ginger Elizabeth Says:

    […] Presents! Presents! Presents! by Holden of San Francisco Love Story […]

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