Going to visit your relatives in that tiny (charming!) rural (quaint!) Iowa town for the holidays? Of course you'll want to bring a little somethin-somethin to express your utmost appreciation for the opportunity to get out of the hectic urban environment for a few days. Perhaps a hostess gift with a little taste of Chicago would be a personal and appropriate thank you from you, the “big city cousin.”
The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs has a plethora of holiday gift ideas from three stores and two online shops: The Chicago Cultural Center, the City of Chicago store at the Historic Pumping Station, the Gallery37 store, culturalcentershop.com and chicagostore.com.
Some ideas from the Cultural Center include a set of Chicago seasonings by the Spice House, with flavors like Chicago Deep Dish, Bronzeville Rib Rub, Pilsen Latino seasoning and Old Taylor Street cheese sprinkle ($5.95-7.95), or a set of Chicago ball park cufflinks featuring original wood from Wrigley Field or the old Comiskey Park seats set in sterling silver ($150 per set). At the Pumping Station, get an authentic Chicago flag ($50-68.95) or the 2009 official City of Chicago calendar ($12).
For a personal and artistic touch, purchase at the Gallery37 store a piece artwork created by Chicago teens participating in the After School Matters program. Proceeds from the store directly fund after-school programs for teens in the After School Matters program.
So Uncle Ed in Iowa can feel good knowing he helped out a Chicago teen by accepting your generous gift. Everyone wins.