The A.V. Club’s 2011 surprisingly specific (and Milwaukee-centric) last-minute gift guide
- 6 easy (and cheap) Milwaukee-themed Halloween costume ideas
- Horrible holidays (make pretty songs): A.V. Club Milwaukee’s anti-Valentine’s Day playlist
- All out of love: 10 Milwaukee pop-culture heartbreaks
- Great job, Milwaukee! Milwaukee is one of the most romantic cities in the U.S., apparently
- Celebrate Valentine’s Day with A.V. Club Milwaukee’s “Love Stinks” week
Nothing says, “I’m required to buy you a present but can’t be bothered to actually go shopping for you” like a gift card. Creative gifts for friends and relatives are hard to do properly, however, and often lead to the giver enjoying the gift more than the receiver. So why not at least get some credit for shopping local? The A.V. Club offers these suggestions for fine local vendors worthy of your cash, credit, or Paypal this ritualized shopping season.
For the co-worker who loves to eat without drinking, and drink without eating: City Tins
Inside each City Tin are 20 coasters from local independent restaurants. Each coaster is worth 10 bucks off said restaurant. The bad news is that the coasters must be surrendered for the discount, which means eventually the only coasters left will be ones for restaurants that the recipient couldn’t care less about. But it’s still a better value than Groupon or a printout from Restaurants.com, and the tin remains for weed storage purposes.
For the aunt who just finished her run in a community theatre production of A Christmas Carol: Alverno Presents Ticket Pack
A few short years ago, places like Pabst Theater and Turner Hall started giving rise to top-shelf shows that used to simply pass over Milwaukee and head straight to Chicago. Alverno Presents is following in those footsteps by attracting a slightly artsier and funkier crowd with acts ranging from R&B legends to well-respected pianists. (What’s so funny about the word “pianist”?)
For the brother who still hasn’t shaved off the mustache he allegedly grew for Movember: Shaving kit from The Brass Rooster
Mustaches came back in a big way this year. The Brass Rooster offers straight-razor shaving kits that can handle anything from a Gilded Age handlebar to an ’80s-style Selleck bristling with cocaine intensity. The shop also has a fine selection of hats for hipster, steampunk, and receding hairline-hiding needs.
For the sister whose hands are always cold and can’t get away with wearing mittens indoors: Gauntlets from K.Gereau Textiles
These handcrafted arm-warmers have nothing to do with the classic four-player arcade game, though wearing them while playing the game would certainly earn a ton of “I’m so meta” points. Gauntlets warm the hands while keeping the fingers free for knitting, typing, or shooting the damn food, again. The scarves on the site also offer an excellent blend of bold colors and funky patterns.
For the Dad who still kicks your ass at Risk: Legitmacy from Minion Games
Minion Games is run out of the vast nerd hub known as Game Universe. Legitimacy offers a fun take on the cliché “chosen one” fantasy narrative, since every player happens to be a “chosen one” bumbling around the board trying to win. (The game is different every time thanks to a modular board.) Players who like games like Munchkin will have fun riffing on stories found in every fantasy book from the past 50 years.
For the mom who still has the fragrant bath shit, so why not whiff up the kitchen?: Gift box from The Spice House
Some people use spices on their food. Some people use them in candles. These gift boxes range from stuff that seems to work better as potpourri candles to some other mouthwatering combinations. For those households with two dads, there are also a few gift packages filled with grilling spices.
For the college student who drinks coffee like water, and Red Bull like coffee: Jitterbeans Candy
The quest for caffeine is the struggle between the ability to deal with the same bullshit day in and day out versus the awful taste of the products that deliver the glorious chemical. Jitterbeans claim that their candy contains the same amount of caffeine in six cups of coffee, or a 12-pack of Mountain Dew. Jitterbeans even entreat users to only dose up a box a day, lest all that caffeine pops the human heart like a hamster in a microwave. (Though with all due respect, at least the hamster didn’t push its own suicide button.)