Sure, college students automatically receive a diploma upon graduation, but a piece of paper won’t take care of all of their needs. Give grads the extra assistance they are looking for during this fiscally rough transition with the help of these thoughtful gifts.
Painted drinking glasses from Fish’s Eddy at Patina. 7814 Hwy. 55, Golden Valley; 763.546.1497; patinastores.com. $6.95–$8.95
Everyone knows college grads are essentially still kids at heart. Healthy or not, embrace the nostalgia and hook ’em up with comic book-inspired character glassware from Patina. Each Justice League (Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern) member glass holds 10 oz., $19.95.
A bright-blue collapsible sink colander by Squish is a perfect space-saver for the apartment-residing grad. Patina, $25.95.
Almost every college grad is looking to stock his or her kitchen; this vibrant rainbow Now Designs floral kitchen set from Patina is a great start. $8.95 oven mitt, $11.95 dish towels, $17.95 measuring cups (set of four); Eco Smart pure last nesting bowls in 2, 3 and 4 quarts $29.95.
Hopefully they’ve got a job lined up, but in this day and age (and economy), it’s never a bad idea to have a brilliant interview outfit—think: Forsyth of Canada tailored fit dress shirt ($79.50) and a Seaward & Stearn necktie ($125)—from The Foursome, 3570 Vicksburg Lane N.; 763.473.4667; thefoursome.com.
Complete the interview apparel with a shoulder bag by Manitou out of Frost Rivers (Duluth, Minn.), $139.99, from Dundee, and a tablet case from Bachman’s. Dundee, 16800 Hwy. 55, 763.559.4016, dundeenursery.com; Bachman’s, 10050 Sixth Ave.; 763.541.1188; bachmans.com
Equally essential is a good pair of jeans for him; try The Foursome’s Mavi or 34 Heritage denim. $128–$165, depending on style. Contemporary, casualwear by Southern Tide apparel (plaid sport shirt, $99.50; cotton V-neck sweater, $99; long-sleeve polo, $87.50) is another must-have for the discerning post-college man.
Plants for that new living space come in all shapes and varieties from Dundee. Prices vary from $3.99–$40, depending on size.
Timeless styles of scarves are made complete with “scarf jewelry,” all from Dundee. $9.99–$20.
Personalized cufflinks automatically lend some sophistication to any suit, and the 5/8-inch set in silver-plated metal are surprisingly affordable from A Gift Personalized, JDS Marketing & Sales, 730 Tower Drive, Medina; 763.478.6162; agiftpersonalized.com. $26.99.
Functional as well as fashionable are personalized Swarovski crystal glitz pens from A Gift Personalized. $199.
Want something a little shinier for that special someone on your list (we admit it, you don’t have to be a new grad to love this kind of gift)? Consider a custom ring by Artelle Jewelers, 3555 Plymouth Blvd.; 763.559.0044; artelledesigns.com. Prices range from $200–$1,200.
Ever-changing and always engaging, consider stunning artwork for those bare bachelor(ette) pad walls from Wabi Sabi, 10100 6th Ave. N.; 763.404.8499; wabisabishop.com. Prices vary depending on size, starting at $48.50.
You should stick to a wedding registry for the couple’s reception, but come Christmastime, gift options are completely up to you. Celebrate new love this season with these cupid-inspired ideas—or see if there’s something left on that old registry.
Make a combo-package of the Bamboo Heart Spoon (with a heart-warming “Made With Love” engraving) ($6.95) and cookbook bible Cooking for Two ($19.95) from Patina.
Equally appropriate for couples showers or bachelorette parties are Patina’s Don’ts for Wives and Don’ts for Husbands, replicas of the originally British-published 1913 guides for newlyweds with nuggets of wisdom still useful today. $4.95 each.
Of course they need a place to put all those gorgeous wedding photos and other mementos of the big day: Frames ($10.99–$19.99) and a Three Hands Corp. keepsake box from Bachman’s ought to do the trick.
Help penny-pinched newlyweds set up an at-home date-night with scented lamps ($49.99) or candles ($10–$24) from Dundee.
Think massage: Moroccan body oil ($38) or scrub ($42) from Simonsons; need we say more? 16800 Hwy. 55; 763.550.1121; simonsons.com
Wine bottle truffles come four to a box and are perfectly designed to hang from the bottle of wine that will match the flavors. $11.25. The Painted Turtle, 10100 Sixth Ave. N.; 763.550.9475; paintedturtlechocolates.com
The lime, teal and chocolate tones of the Vera Bradley napkins and matching hostess silverware set from Art 2 Heart features one of the fair trade shop’s signature designs: spoons, knives and forks adorned with twisted metal and beaded embellishments. $16. 122 Hamel Road, Hamel; 763.478.6898; art2heart.myshopify.com
While more sleep is one of the best gifts a new parent can receive, you won’t find extra ZZZs on the shelves of local stores. So instead, here are some relaxing gift ideas to ease every new parent’s tired mind. (Remember: Sometimes a night of free babysitting is equally rewarding to the giver and the receiver!)
Remember baby books? The Parenthood Listography from Patina is a journal-style book for new parents perfect for logging the miles of each child’s every year. $16.95.
New parents think they know all when they set up those pre-baby registries, but one thing that can always use a sturdy back-up is a diaper bag. Vera Bradley’s “go-round tote” in island blooms is $84 at Bachman’s.
Timelessly touching are the Willow Tree Angels, those faceless, neutral statuettes depicting each of life’s most touching stages, from Dundee. $20–$40.
Anything from the Sunleaf, a local bath line, offers subtle scents for new moms; available at Bachman's. Starting at $4.99.
The Baby Naturals Apothecary cleaning line from J.R. Watkins includes soothing essences with all-natural oils to sooth Baby’s delicate skin, available at Bachman’s. $7.99–$8.99.
Date night is made easy with a restaurant gift card to any of Plymouth’s fine eateries, including Eat Shop Kitchen, 16605 County Road 24; 763.270.5929; theeatshop.com.
Two-hour wellness experience from New Reflections, 3530 Vicksburg Lane N.; 763.559.3185; newreflectionssalon.com. $150, price subject to change.
Rosemary mint awakening body wrap from New Reflections. Prices vary.
It’s time to kick back, relax and bask in the glorious free time of the sweet, retired life. These gifts will help the older-than-55 set closest to you make the most of their newfound leisure.
News flash: retirement may mean you’ll be spending a lot of time with your significant other. So embrace it: Matching is your new identity. Minnetonka Moccasins in his and hers from The Foursome. $39–$78.95.
Your parents/in-laws/grandparents should have some time on their hands—you know the kind—time to do things like start that novel they’ve been dreaming up since college. Now they can document their every thought in a handmade journal, crafted by women living in Uganda; inspired by and helping third-world children in Africa, from Art 2 Heart. $19.98.
Got wanderlust but not sure where to travel? Check out the 100 Places Every Woman Should Go book from Patina, and start planning your next hot destination. $16.95.
Who doesn’t want to be comfy while relaxing in retirement? Ugg Slippers (his and hers) from The Foursome, $89.95–$119.95.
For gamers looking to have even more fun in retirement, Wood from the Hood cribbage boards from Dundee are an eye-catching cure for that competitive itch ($40–$50); couple this with a local wine pick served in a fetching decanter from Wabi Sabi ($49.95), and you’ve got yourself a match!
Even in the middle of a cold Minnesota winter, glass bird baths from Dundee can bring cardinals and other robust birds to the backyard you finally have time to sit back and enjoy; prices range from $45–$80. Once you’ve lured them in, discover what they are and where they come from this time of year with the adventure quick-guide Birds of the Midwest ($8.95) from Bachman’s.
The cabin might be shuttered for the winter, but these inspired ornaments by Adventure marketing will put your thoughts right back in the north woods in no time (canoe, $11.99; plaque, $.99; bobber, $3.99; paddles, $5.99). Dream about those summer days on a comfy Suzanne Nicoll pillow ($54.99). All from Bachmann’s.
Whether used for a collection or to teach the grandkids how to tell time, clocks from Dundee make for a, ahem, timeless gift. Prices range from $50–$60.