Scratch Map ($20-$26)
These displays are always a great conversation piece for your home or office. Available for the world traveler ($26) or the domestic one ($22), this gift begs to be stolen at the white elephant office party.
Ideal recipient: Someone whose New Year’s resolution is to kick their scratch lotto ticket habit and who also happens to travel a lot (presumably not funded through their scratch lotto winnings).
Where to find: Uncommon Goods.
Chicago Bears Portable Cooler ($12+)
Sure, the Bears might not win a lot of games, but at least the fan in your life won’t have to experience the misery and get off the couch for their next liquid solace.
Ideal recipient: Anyone who has watched a Bears game in the past five years.
Where to find: Any Chicago retailer of Bears paraphernalia or on their official NFL store online.
Jeppson’s Malört ($18)
Nothing tells a recipient, “I want you to experience the taste of a used Band-aid yet also support the local Chicago economy” more than a bottle of Malört’s.
Ideal recipient: Hillary Clinton. She’s probably not too choosy about how her alcohol tastes these days.
Where to find: Binny’s is most likely your best bet. Just go ahead and ask one of the employees where exactly in the store to find this atrocious liquid as it certainly doesn’t fit in any respectable liquor category.
Crazy Cat Lady Action Figure ($12)
For the person in your life who has a sense of humor about their unhealthy collection of cats, this gift is sure to delight and also passive aggressively send an important message to the recipient. (This, I’m told, is the true purpose of Secret Santa.)
Ideal recipient: If you have to ask you should not purchase this gift.
Where to find: Amazon
Chicago-themed coloring books ($13)
It’s going to be a few brutally cold months before we can hop on the river architecture tours again, so why not give the gift of exploring the world-famous architecture indoors as nature intended? Chicago coloring books are the gifts that keep on giving … you something to do until June.
Ideal recipient: Anyone who wants to be creative yet doesn’t actually know how to draw.
Where to find: Amazon.