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If biographical information of your gift recipient is limited to their first name (Kevin, is it?) and that you once heard them mention hockey/BCS standings/Derek Jeter at a water cooler powwow, ESPN’s web magazine Grantland has you covered. They’ve bundled some of the site’s finest writing from their all-star writing gang (Bill Simmons, Chuck Klosterman, Colson Whitehead, et al.), added in a few print exclusives, and put them into books.
Small Piggy Bank
A handmade ceramic piggy bank will provide an air of childhood whimsy to an office desk otherwise dedicated to spreadsheets. Before you know it, your office will be a 24-hour partytown.
Vintage Monster Prints
Under her Leroy’s Place banner, NYC-based artist Serene Bacigalupi integrates a cast of quirky monsters and other fanciful figures into found flea market landscape prints via the power of a paint pen. So instead of Jesus being surrounded by a herd of sheep, he’s now a surrounded by a herd of unicorns with bulging eyeballs. That sort of thing.
Predator vs. Prey Mittens
The Fort Greene-based company Hooray Hoopla does cute and cozy but with a wink, designating each hand a natural enemy in their line of Vs. Mittens. Not only can knitted cats and dogs, owls and mice, or frogs and flies fight it out as your office mate waits for the bus, but there is also photographic evidence of Anne Hathaway’s hands wrapped in a wolf-sheep combo, which said officemate might be interested to know.
Terrarium from Sprout Home
It turns out that jars, moss and miniature plastic people can put you far overbudget (see: gifts for significant others’ parents!), but among the spread of gardening and decor knickknacks at Williamsburg’s Sprout Home can be found all the elements for an ever-trendy terrarium at a bargain price. Bonus: the salespeople there are happy to help. Extra bonus: small glass worlds look great on office desks.
$6 jar, $12 basic materials, Sprout Home, 44 Grand Street, Williamsburg