Donkeys for Christmas?
November 18, 2006 1:18 PM   Subscribe

I need ideas for a politically themed gift basket.

This Christmas I am putting together themed gift baskets to give my loved ones. My mother-in-law is getting an Italy themed basket. Italy is easy--olive oil soaps, Italian wine, an apron in an Italian print, a Dean Martin CD, a novel set in Italy, tea made with Italian bergamot, etc.

But I am at a loss for ideas for my father-in-law.

He is a hardcore Democrat, reads several newspapers--online and paper. He is very much into the political talk shows, and likes beer and wine. He also enjoys the Boston Red Sox, but isn't interested in sports as much as he used to be. He also reads the occasional crime-suspense novel and political non-fiction book. He also likes music--everything from Elvis to Marvin Gaye to Mel Torme.

I was thinking of putting a political basket together. Maybe lining it in patriotic fabric, or red, white, and blue shredded paper. Maybe putting in the latest political non-fiction book, maybe a bottle of House wine. House--get it? Yes, I know, that's stretching it.

What other things can I put in this politically themed basket?
I thought I would include a paperback. I need titles of fiction set in Washington DC. But what else?

I would also like to hear your opinions on this idea. Is it dumb?

Thanks for any suggestions, ideas, or thoughts.
posted by LoriFLA to Grab Bag (25 answers total)
 
Put Rumsfeld's head in it.

Or, more easily, maybe some politically themed bumper stickers. If he's a bumper sticker type.
posted by I Am Not a Lobster at 1:27 PM on November 18, 2006


If he's a hardcore dem, it'd be hard to go wrong with What's The Matter With Kansas by Thomas Frank, which is a non-fiction available in PB.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 1:33 PM on November 18, 2006


I think it's a good idea if you could pull it off. How about a subscription to a magazine like The Nation? You could put a copy of the most recent issue in the bag with an envelope explaining that you've signed him up for 12 more issues. I second Kansas, lots of my friends loved it.
posted by zoomorphic at 1:37 PM on November 18, 2006


Great idea!

How about a donkey necktie, democrat cufflinks, donkey coffee mug, or some Bush gag gifts?
posted by chickletworks at 1:45 PM on November 18, 2006


Seriously, consider putting in a copy of Richard North Patterson's No Safe Place. It's a kick-ass thriller about an imagined Democratic candidate for president, whose depiction is unusually good for what appears to be an airport paperback. My reading tastes tend toward the literary end of the spectrum, but this one I could not put down.
posted by jayder at 2:03 PM on November 18, 2006


Bill O'Reilly's book "Culture Warrior"
posted by JayRwv at 2:14 PM on November 18, 2006


DVD of "Wag the Dog."
posted by QIbHom at 2:32 PM on November 18, 2006


How about getting him started on the '08 election with an assortment of bumper stickers?

A Christmas ornament would be nice too.
posted by saffry at 2:47 PM on November 18, 2006


One of the professors at my school, Susan Estrich just released a new book called "Soulless: Ann Coulter and the Right Wing Church of Hate." In the midst of preparing for finals, I haven't had time to read it myself, but she's hilarious and enjoyable in person, so I would think it would be good.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 2:57 PM on November 18, 2006


I don't have any ideas for you, but I wanted to reassure you that your idea is good. If the gift basket you make for your father-in-law is as good as the one you've put together for your mother-in-law, you should be good.
posted by MadamM at 3:28 PM on November 18, 2006


Totally great idea. What about adding in a DVD season of the West Wing? It is addictive and as some put it - it is "democratic porn".
posted by mulkey at 3:31 PM on November 18, 2006


Got to have a Backwards Bush keychain, which counts down till he's out of office. My mom loves hers.
posted by GaelFC at 4:13 PM on November 18, 2006


Your father-in-law sounds a lot like me. So, here's a few things I enjoy: my subscription to Foreign Affairs, the book The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq, umm, and that's all I can come up with right now.
posted by spork at 4:13 PM on November 18, 2006


Some Sam Adams beer? A book by Carville if he's a DLC type, or by Thomas Geoghegan if he's more a lefty-labor type. I'll also second the Nation subscription.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 4:17 PM on November 18, 2006


Mmm. Peach Mint Tea.
posted by Jeanne at 4:52 PM on November 18, 2006


I would also like to hear your opinions on this idea. Is it dumb?

Dumb? Not in the slightest. In fact, I'm kind of jealous that this basket isn't for me.

Does he have a dog? I've seen Bush chew toys all over the place, except for now when I'm looking online. Somewhere like a Spencer's Gifts might be a good source.

I like the House wine, although I can't think of much that's Senate-themed. (Besides U.S. Senate Bean Soup, but I don't know if it's any good.) If all else fails, you can include a card with sort of clever joke about the Dems having the House and Senate, but him only having the House.

I'd try to keep it lighthearted, rather than strongly polarized Maybe go for a Bushisms desk calendar (one of those 'Page-a-Day' things) as opposed to a book about how he's the most evil man alive. (Not that I contest it, I just don't know that Christmas is a good time to get people riled up. And you don't want to offend any conservatives who might open it, either.)

Throw a little flag in the middle for good measure.

I'm not a bumper sticker person, but if you're getting bumper stickers, you've got to go for this one.
posted by fogster at 5:12 PM on November 18, 2006


Seriously, if he is into wine, get him a nice bottle or two and a donkey doll. He will remember any bad wine longer than any fun jokes you may have, and any good wine will also be noted much more than a silly political statement. But only if he really cares of course. If you want to give him something to think about, how about one of George Lakoff's books on politics.
posted by KimG at 6:06 PM on November 18, 2006


No suggestions, but this is a great idea.
posted by radioamy at 7:00 PM on November 18, 2006


Thanks so much for all of the fabulous ideas. I am definitely using most of them. I ordered a few books from Amazon (What's the Matter with Kansas, The Assassins' Gate and No Safe Place), and I am definitely giving him a subscription to The Nation. Why didn't I think of this subscription? Thanks AskMe!

He was a fan of West Wing, so I think he saw all of the episodes, but great idea!

I love the Bush countdown key chain--definitely getting that. I already have the House wine in my pantry, and with a few more things--I am thinking Dem coffee mug and his favorite--Dunkin Donuts coffee. I think it will be a great basket.

Saffry-- I love the ornaments, thanks for the links. My husband has a lot of small crystals left over from a job of his. I am going to try to make one that looks like the donkey ornament.

Thanks again for the ideas--they are all great!
posted by LoriFLA at 7:14 PM on November 18, 2006


Red and blue M&Ms (or jelly beans) in EXACTLY the right number. He can gloat over each individual one.
posted by rokusan at 7:37 PM on November 18, 2006


For more gloating, how about some Red Bitter?
posted by cholly at 7:56 PM on November 18, 2006


I'd try to keep it lighthearted, rather than strongly polarized Maybe go for a Bushisms desk calendar (one of those 'Page-a-Day' things) as opposed to a book about how he's the most evil man alive.

I completely agree fogster. I don't want it to be an I Hate George Bush basket. Even though most of the family are dems, Grandma loves Fox news, and I am a registered Republican that leans toward the left.
posted by LoriFLA at 7:58 PM on November 18, 2006


Good ideas above, but don't neglect the vittles:
- an apple pie
- pork rinds
- a cherry-mandarin mashup
- elephant ears
- Donkey Donuts

... and TANG!
posted by rob511 at 9:29 PM on November 18, 2006


Uhm, how about making a donation in his name to a candidate or other organization you know he supports? It doesn't have to be a big check, and they'll often send a photo or thank-you card you can include in the basket.

(Yes I know there were *just* elections, everyone's always running for something, and '08 is not that far away.)
posted by nadise at 2:51 AM on November 19, 2006


Disappearing Civil Liberties Mug
posted by BoscosMom at 12:34 AM on December 2, 2006


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