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Last Minute Gift Guide

Time Slips Away. . .

“Oh! Do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch.”

—Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

Nice sentiment, Jane, but insisting on one’s indifference to time won’t help now. Fast or slow, the clock is ticking. The holidays are here. If you haven’t started shopping yet, you may detect that creeping doom that annually overtakes your neglected ambition to please everyone—that paralyzing certainty that it’s too late, that you’ll never find gifts for all the people you’d like to honor, that there’s no sense even in trying. Might as well give in, play the chump again this year, show up at the family manse empty-handed or, worse, bearing store-bought fruitcake.

We can help. Welcome to the AV Last-Minute Gift Guide, a cheat sheet for procrastinators. We have some easy solutions to your dilemma.

This year we’ve focused on books, for the simple reason that your locally owned, independent bookseller is a one-stop shopper’s paradise: You can find something for nearly everyone in a bookstore, as well as handy stocking stuffers. On the next few pages, you’ll find recommendations of titles by authors who mostly are of local origin, adding another dimension to the gift—the recipient not only gets something interesting and transporting to read, but also an enhanced sense of the region’s vibrant literary community, of the great wealth of creative energy at work here.

Our film editor will help you navigate the DVD racks at local supermarkets and convenience stores. Our automotive correspondent points out gifts for the car enthusiast. We direct you toward a crafts market on Grant Street that has the philanthropic advantage of being a fundraiser for PUSH Buffalo, whose work to revitalize the West Side continues to be a gift to this entire city.

We’ll even teach you to make a fruitcake that is not revolting, if fruitcake it must be.

Time is short. You’ve waited too long, no question, and by the end of next week you will certainly resemble Norman Rockwell’s exhausted shop clerk, pictured above. If you’re lucky, you’ll look more like AV’s stylish cover model, Megan Piret of the Stripteasers, who hold court every Thurday at Roxy’s. Special thanks to Megan, and to Frank Scheuttle of Art and Antique at 1590 Hertel Avenue, who helped us find the pedal car on the cover. That’s a good place to last-minute gift shop, too.

Don’t give up now. Get cracking.

geoff kelly

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