Still shopping? Try these top ten Christmas presents to give political friends and family

Shop in style this Christmas with tips from veteran politico Danny de Gracia. Photo: Even the Vice President needs to shop now and then. (AP/Susan Walsh)

HONOLULU, December 16, 2012 ― Christmas is just around the corner and there’s nothing worse than spending the next few days wandering through malls and online catalogs in search of presents to please your family and friends. Depending on your circle of friends and family, gift selection can be especially tricky if you’re the kind of person who wants to give memorable presents that they’ll find both practical and memorable.

If your friends or family got elected last month, or if you’re dating someone inside the Beltway and haven’t got a clue what to get him or her, this article is just for you! Here are ten discerning, sure-to-please, must-get gifts for your politically active sweethearts, family and friends:

1. Brioni neckties. In ancient times, it was customary for kings to fly bold banners and wear bright attire on the battlefield to let everyone know a commander was present. On today’s political battlefield of a committee hearing or campaign pit stop, the necktie is the banner of the 21st century male leader.

Among the many tie designers, I prefer Brioni because their patterns are extremely handsome and inject command iconography into any political engagement. First on my list is the Brioni navy and gold stripe woven tie ($140) for its executive appearance and patriotic color combination.

Never underestimate the power of a tie! One of my candidates was slipping in the polls and taking a beating in debates, so the first thing I did was put a new blue tie around his neck. The next debate, even though he performed the same as he had before, everyone who watched the TV debate claimed that my candidate dominated the show. Now that’s a force multiplier.

2. Tiffany Pure gift set for women. Most men I know are notoriously awful when it comes to selecting perfume (that is, if it even crosses their mind to buy it for someone). Whether you’re shopping for your mother, sister or sweetheart, I highly recommend the Tiffany Pure gift set ($170) which includes a 1.7 oz spray, a purse-portable, crystal perfume spike and body lotion.

Tiffany’s classic formula of “magnolia, exotic jasmine, water lily, may blossom and sensual woods” makes Pure one of the most flirty yet distinguished scents on the market. Ladies will enjoy the spicy, sophisticated aroma Pure leaves on the skin and especially appreciate the disarming olfactory effect a Tiffany perfume has when its wearer enters a social engagement.

Don’t let Christmas shopping stress you out - budget and develop a plan in advance for what you want to buy for your friends and family. (Photo by Amy Sancetta/AP)

3. Dolce & Gabbana’s The One for men. Whenever I go to a diplomatic event or a fundraising ball, my favorite cologne to wear is D&G’s The One for men ($48 and up). With robust scents of cedar wood, amber notes and tobacco, this cologne incites curiosity and compels attention. Strong and earthy but not overbearing, crisp and charming but not bitter or excessively musky, The One is a great choice for the confident and mature male in your life.

4. Salvatore Ferragamo reversible calfskin belt. Definitely make it a point to check out this handsome belt ($340) which has the added virtue of keeping your men solidly stylish in both dress and casual engagements.

I especially like the dark, chocolate colored side for pairing with my favorite khaki pants.

5. Tori Richard Aloha shirts. Dominate the next office BBQ, “Hawaiian Shirt Day” or summer tropical vacation with threads from my all-time-favorite local brand, Tori Richard. Some Hawaiian shirt makers go over the top with incredibly tacky aloha shirts (and some people like that), but as a Hawaii resident I prefer TR’s always classy, always comfortable style.

Whether I’m sitting on Waikiki Beach or at a political event in Honolulu, Tori Richard shirts are awesome to wear. These authentic Hawaiian shirts are a memorable and awesome gift your men will love. The cotton Leafcomber shirt is an especially nice choice ($85) available in green and red and can be paired with a blazer for use at an informal cocktail event or worn by itself, depending on the scenario.

6. Vineyard Vines Two-Button Blazer. Speaking of blazers, I find that having one handy is a must-have at all times. While most people know Vineyard Vines for their charming ties, don’t miss out on their wonderful blazers as a gift option ($495).

7. Louis Vuitton Hit Derby in glazed calf shoe. Don’t forget shoes for your men this Christmas! LV’s Hit Derby in glazed calf is a wonderful choice ($795) for men who love to look their best in semi-formal and casual events. The Bordeaux color is my favorite.

8. Tiffany sterling silver business card case. This incredible unisex gift ($350) is one of my favorite gift choices. The simple design is extremely charming and adds flair to whenever your friends or family network at social events.

9. Tiffany sterling silver ballpoint pen. Politicos are often known for their writing, so why should they neglect a good pen? Another personal favorite business gift of mine (and also a pen I use) is the very awesome Tiffany 1837 sterling silver pen ($200). This stocking stuffer never fails to put a smile on someone’s face and makes a very classy and memorable gift.

10. Love! Don’t forget, the greatest, most timeless gift you can give this season to anyone is sincere affection and tender love to everyone this Christmas! So whether you buy any gifts this year or not, just remember: Nothing makes the holidays more memorable, more fulfilling and more wonderful than love.

 

Danny de Gracia is a political scientist who lives in Hawaii. Learn more and follow Danny on his official blog!


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Danny de Gracia

Dr. Danny de Gracia is a political scientist and a former senior adviser to the Human Services and International Affairs committees at the Hawaii State Legislature. From 2011-2013 he served as an elected municipal board member in Waipahu. As an expert in international relations theory, military policy, political psychology and economics, Danny has advised numerous policymakers and elected officials and his opinions have been featured worldwide. Now working on his first novel, Danny resides on the island of Oahu.

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