Gifts for Political Junkies
The 2012 presidential elections may be over, but true politicos never stop keeping an eye on the Beltway. Maybe all you want for Christmas is for the term “fiscal cliff” to go away, but that may be a feat that would be formidable even for Santa. So what to get for the true-blue Democrats or red-blooded Republicans in your life?
Tickets to President Obama's Inauguration
A trip to see President Obama's swearing-in ceremony to his second term in the White House would be a great present for a die hard Democrat. Admission to the January 21 event is on a lottery system, and you can apply through your local Congressional Representative. Click here for a guide to finding your local Congressional office.
Election 2016 Swag
It's never too early to start wagering bets on who will run four years from now, and you can express your support for your candidate -- even if she hasn't actually declared her intent to run. Custom printed swag, like this Hillary Clinton tee or Condoleeza Rice apron, are already available on sites such as Cafe Press or Zazzle. There's also paraphernalia in support of Eastwood and chair or simply to declare yourself as a member of the 47%.
After a hard fought campaign season, it's a good time to take reflect on our nation's history and where it's going. Of course, we all could use a refresher on the roots of democracy in our country. Penguin Classics has some of the canonical writings of the Founding Fathers, printed with vintage style artwork.
Perhaps your political buff is more interested in the advertising and rhetoric. How did politics, and its messaging, evolve to what it is today? Daisy Petals and Mushroom Clouds: LBJ, Barry Goldwater, and the Ad That Changed American Politics by Bob Mann takes a look back the Golden Age of advertising and how one campaign spot – the Daisy Petal ad for Lyndon B. Johnson – changed American politics.
My conservative father-in-law has Bill O'Reilly's Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot on his wish list. After the success of his book Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever, the conservative pundit has decided to write a tome on the assassination of President Kennedy.
On my to-read list is What’s the Matter With White People? by former Salon editor Joan Walsh. The provocative title is not so much an indictment of Caucasians, but an analysis of how working-class white Americans (such as many of Walsh's Irish-American relatives) have shifted their allegiance from the Democratic Party to the GOP.
Gifts for History Buffs
Perhaps you're hoping for a holiday celebration without so many political fireworks. Here's a less controversial -- yet patriotic -- gift idea. How about an ornament from the White House Historical Association? The non-profit group produces a keepsake ornament each year, and you can also browse previous year's collections on their website.
There are many ways to give gifts of experiencing all that our nation has to offer, as well. A subscription to Smithsonian Magazine costs only $12 a year and includes an annual membership to the Smithsonian National Association. Giving the gift of a year-long pass to the National Parks, and you'll give your loved one access to more than 2000 federal recreation sites.
And because you just have to laugh at the headlines to keep from crying: The Onion Presents 2013 Daily Calendar.
The Politics of Shopping
And maybe you just want to give your loved ones more practical items that they need or want. Check out the party leanings of the stores where you shop. Some of the biggest retailers display a decided blue or red bent.
Does politics play a role in your holiday gift giving? Share your suggestions with us!