Alibi V.22 No.50 • Dec 12-18, 2013 

Last-Minute Gift Guide

Mapping out holiday memories

Way back in 1958, theorist and writer Guy Debord proposed that urban explorers access “the drift.” Situationist International founding member Debord posited that the dérive (or drift) calls for us to relinquish our “usual motives for movement and action, relations, work and leisure activities, and let [ourselves] be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters [we] find there.” While Debord’s modus operandi was occupation of “enemy” space as revolutionary reconnaissance, the dérive technique easily lends itself to urbex or stalking the city for gifts.

It’s not the 11th hour yet, but if your tendency to procrastinate even vaguely resembles mine, now’s the time to start brainstorming. Our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide offered a plethora of hyperlocal present perfect inspiration, and it can still be accessed online at If nothing in that jam-packed feature hit your beneficent sweet spot, read on because our Last-Minute Gift Guide features inspirational triptychs organized by geography: Downtown/Old Town, Nob Hill, Los Ranchos/North Valley, Northeast Heights and the Westside. And if you’re planning DIY prezzies or are in search of creative gift-wrapping ideas, we’ve got an app for that, so to speak. Our LMGG boards on Pinterest will hyperlink your pre-holiday apathy and bah humbug-ness into submission.

DIY Holidaze

The realm of DIY giving isn’t exclusively the playground of the artistically gifted and the grade-schooler. There are a ton of rad DIY gift ideas that don’t require a BFA or result in an outsider art sculpture/ashtray. Peruse several beginner-friendly suggestions below, and get the know-how by visiting our DIY Holidaze Pinterest board at

Pretty alchemy:

Make some magic with these simple DIY projects: coffee, lavender or lemon-centric sugar scrubs; homemade rosewater; cucumber and aloe facial mist; and lush, fragrant bath bombs and salts. The beauty of these DIY projects is the ability to customize the containers to precisely suit the taste of your giftee. Paint lab beakers charteuse or “frost” vintage mason jars and adorn with a gingham ribbon.

Blessings of nom:

As far as packaging goes, the following culinary treats can be presented extravagantly or unadorned: thyme oil and blood orange vinegar; hot cocoa mix ornaments; limoncello; five bean soup mix; Herbes de Provence; lemon confit; infused/flavored salt (think citrus/rosemary, Meyer lemon/thyme, red chile/lime, chipotle/orange and so on); organic spinach/chicken cat treats; and gourmet dog biscuits.

Glimmer and glow:

Colorful and shiny objects make for attention-grabbing gifts. Create some bright, sparkly treasure for your listees with: a prismatic apothecary bottle; charming velvet-and-vintage jewelry bookmarks; mini snow globes; thrifted blanket throw pillows; adorbs handwarmers; plastic toy planters; artsy wooden hangers; and geode rings.

Wrap It Up

If you dig the present-wrapping convention, observe the heck out of it. With a wealth of gift tag, card and even wrapping paper downloads at your digital command, there’s no reason to furtively stow your glorious offerings beneath a tree; for maximum visual impact, stack ’em on a table instead. Browse some fresh wrapping ideas below. For the how-to’s and more festive inspiration, visit our Wrap It Up board on Pinterest at


Adorn red paper with twine-wrapped fresh pine needle tassels.

Matte black wrapping paper goes glam when costarring with hot pink roses and silver ribbon.

Juxtapose holographic prints with leather fringe, bric-à-brac and vintage gift tags. Or dress up Kraft or butcher paper and newsprint with sequined ribbons or colorful velvet remnants.

Pop art:

Psych out DIY or store-bought reindeer-printed paper by adding bright red (or neon) pom-pom noses.

Use decorative neon washi tape and contrasting monochrome wrapping paper to construct wildly geometric works of art.

Heavy romance:

Snowy wrapping paper and doilies accented by lipstick-red velvet ribbon will quicken your recipients’ pulse. If that combo sounds too frou-frou, consider tempering the aesthetic tenderness with tough-looking metal ornaments, spikes or studs.