Dear Santa… Here’s what five high-profile Chicagoans are hoping will be under the tree this year — plus their picks for gifts with the personal touch
The clock is quickly ticking on the holiday season — have you finished your shopping yet? To help combat gift–giving stress, we asked five local tastemakers what they’re currently coveting this holiday season. From classes to camping goods, we’ve gathered their most inspired ideas to help carve out your own list.
CURATOR, MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
The Get: Beckwith would love to go under the knife — with cooking lessons, that is — to brush up on her cutting and chopping skills. The Techniques Workshop, a hands-on class at the Wooden Spoon in Andersonville, is right up her alley. Classes start at $65, 5047 N. Clark, (773) 293-3190; Woodenspoonchicago.com
The Give: “Lately I’ve been interested in handmade objects and working with hands. So I would love to either give or get the new limited-edition Martin Creed album, with a hand-painted cover, recorded and painted here in Chicago,” says Beckwith. Martin Creed No. 1370, $320, MCA Store, 220 E. Chicago, (312) 397-4000; Mcachicagostore.org
PRESIDENT OF CONTENT AND NETWORKS FOR WEIGEL BROADCASTING
The Get: “The gift I’d like is an Apple gadget and app that monitors your physical activity as well as diet,” says Sabin. The Nike+ iPod Sport Kit goes wireless, making it perfect for runners, and the free, top-rated app MyFitnessPal keeps New Year’s resolutions in check. $29, 679 N. Michigan, (312) 529-9500; Apple.com
The Give: This year Sabin will be gifting a classic — but in modern form. “I’m giving the new blue ray DVD set of the complete ‘Dick Van Dyke’ TV series, which includes an extra feature [with] all of the MeTV Network promos for the program.” (Sabin has first-hand knowledge of the project, as he created the clever clips for the station.) $150; Amazon.com
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, STEPPENWOLF THEATRE COMPANY
The Get: When it comes to presents, Lavey is a “no gifts” kind of gal. Instead, “make a contribution to an arts organization — the size doesn’t matter — that has brought you happiness this year,” she suggests. “Write a note and tell them why you’re giving. You’re going to make someone’s day!”
The Give: “Of course my recommendation for a great gift is tickets to Steppenwolf’s next show, ‘The Mother****** with the Hat,’ [shown at left]” she says. It’s a clever and sometimes foul-mouthed look at modern love and other addictions that runs through March 3, 2013. If you’re buying for a 20-something, check out the Red Card. For $100, the card is good for six admissions to any Steppenwolf subscription show. Buy tickets and the card at Steppenwolf.org.
EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR, OGILVY & MATHER
The Get: “I’m all about my tools, so just about anything from the fine folks at Winter Session would be welcome,” says Hernandez. Toting his goods would be easy in the versatile, made-to-order roll-up from the locally produced line, which crafts durable yet stylish bags and wallets from sustainable materials. $65, Morlen Sinoway Atelier, 1052 W. Fulton Market, (312) 432-0100; Winter-session.com
The Give: In his spare time, Hernandez and his family run the kitchy Camp Wandawega in Wisconsin, and even the most jaded urbanite will rediscover his or her inner camper with a care package from the camp store. From vintage-style slingshots to classic wooden scout arrows to antique tennis rackets, you can easily assemble an adorably nostalgic camp collection for anyone on your list. Shop the goods at Tereasa.com/campstore.
DISTRICT DIRECTOR, U.S. REP. MIKE QUIGLEY
The Get: For her wish list, Bowen looks to her own neighborhood. “The West Loop is known for incredible restaurants, but we have some cool boutiques as well,” she says. “I love the Yumi Kim silk tops and dresses they carry at Tribeca on Madison.” Tops range from $128 to $144, dresses from $178 to $198. 1035 W. Madison, (312) 492-9373; Shopattribeca.com
The Give: Bowen’s pal Matt Glavin is a talented photographer who shoots vivid images of Chicago (shown below) and prints them on aluminum and other formats. “I’m giving friends who call Chicago home, or once did, a beautiful piece of our city to hang in their home,” she shares. Images start at $200; Exposingchicago.com