The Fashionista is in – Holiday shopping guide

Gifts your family and friends.

PHOTO COURTESY SEPHORA

PHOTO COURTESY SEPHORA

Kara Nesvig

How was your Thanksgiving? I eschewed Black Friday shopping (rare for me) in favor of my bed and turkey leftovers. (Plus thereâÄôs nowhere to shop in North Dakota. Bebe just made its way to Fargo.) Did you know I was born on Black Friday, 1987? When my mom complains about my shopping habits, I have to point that out; if she didnâÄôt want me to shop, she shouldnâÄôt have had me on the biggest retail day of the year. Regardless, letâÄôs hope my birth date gave me some preternatural shopping talent. Whether said talent exists or not, hopefully the following holiday shopping guide will help you out. For Mom & Dad Though we think itâÄôs kind of impersonal, my brother and I always get our dad gift cards to Barnes & Noble so he can continue to collect political books and presidential biographies. He loves it, so it works. Stay away from gimmicky gadgets and lame ties and instead think of things your dad likes. Is he interested in natural history? Ken Burns just did an amazing series for PBS on national parks, available on DVD for $100. Split it with your sibling, or get the book for $30 on Amazon. Does he like a glass of wine or whiskey every night? Go to SurdykâÄôs and find one heâÄôll love. If your mom likes to remain chic in the cold months, get her a luxe cashmere scarf. J.Crew has them in gorgeous colors for $98, but (hint hint) I found some fantastic cashmere wraps at Off 5th Saks outlet during early doorbuster sales for only $40. Or, get her a bottle of perfume, but think critically about it. DonâÄôt buy anything at the drugstore. Stay away from anything celebrity-endorsed, and instead treat her to warmly sophisticated but still youthful Chanel Chance (which my mom loves) or ToccaâÄôs Stella, available at Anthropologie. For your female friends Got girly roommates? Nothing is better to celebrate Christmas than a bottle of pink champagne. I happen to like the $5 Andre they sell at Dinkytown Liquors, but upgrade to Korbel, which will only cost you about $12. Once you pop them, itâÄôs an insta-party. If you want to splurge, Sephora is shilling a Tarte cosmetics âÄúTreasure ChestâÄù full of the award-winning makeup lineâÄôs best eyeshadows, blushes and more. ItâÄôs only $52 at the beauty giant, but its value is more than $600. Throw in a copy of Lady GagaâÄôs fantastic new âÄúFame MonsterâÄù and voila! I also love the Marc Jacobs Daisy and Lola solid perfume necklace and ring, $35 and $42, respectively. For your siblings My little brother wants a Damien Hirst T-shirt, but instead IâÄôm buying him an art print from a local artist. Sorry to spoil the surprise. I would have gotten him a Coal angora winter hat from Martin Patrick3 , but he bought it himself. For $50, they are warm and chic and come in staple colors black and grey. J. CrewâÄôs $75 tie bars are always appreciated by the stylish boys I know. Or, instead of doing presents, take each other out to dinner. (My brother and I like to go to King s in South Minneapolis.) Stuff a sisterâÄôs stocking with Dashing DivaâÄôs Manhattan collection of holiday nail polishes, $8 each. I love their ruby red glitter Jazz Nights and the evergreen Grand Central Station. Or buy subscriptions to her favorite magazines; sometimes you can get two subscriptions for the price of one, and theyâÄôre always about $15. Toss in a small vial of her favorite perfume (recommendations: Stella, Fracas, Marc Jacobs, my really indie best friend wears Viva la Juicy) and a few of the yearâÄôs best CDs. (A&E recommends the Dirty Projectors.) For nieces/nephews/little cousins ItâÄôs fairly likely these kids donâÄôt need any more toys. Eschew anything plastic and commercialized in favor of more creative endeavors, like books and puzzles. The little boys I nanny for go crazy over floor puzzles, particularly those with dinosaurs. IâÄôm getting the 3-year-old a copy of âÄúThe Pigeon Wants a Puppy,âÄù which even I find hilarious, and probably a few copies of my favorite books from when I was little, like âÄúThe Giving Tree.âÄù IâÄôll check out Creative Kidstuff in the Galleria for more ideas for the picky 6-year-old. Gifts to have on hand Sometimes during the holiday season, you get gifts from people you donâÄôt exactly include on your list. What do you do? Here are some good, inexpensive things to stock up on, just in case. These also work well for aunts, family friends, etc. I just threw a party and a friend turned up with a hostess candle for my roommates and I, and we really appreciated it. Stay away from picture frames. ThatâÄôs so cheesy and junior high. -Colorful chiffon scarves. I got two amazing hand-dyed ones at Off 5th recently. Their original price? $75. I paid $17. Look out for deals like that and you can give an expensive gift for very little cash. -Jewelry. Pins, cocktail rings and earrings are all easy and donâÄôt have to cost a ton. Look at For Love 21 , DinkytownâÄôs SaraCura and my favorite cheap jewelry Mecca, 50th & FranceâÄôs Fringe boutique. -Candles. I like Voluspa votives, $7 at Patina. -Books. I hate to direct you toward Urban Outfitters , but they always have an intriguing assortment of books and some go on sale for as little as $5, like TaschenâÄôs âÄúArt NowâÄù and âÄúFashion Now 2.âÄù