Even reluctant shoppers find great gifts

Bourjaily finds everything from pizza to Pinot to a Picasso to give family, friends

John Bourjaily confesses he's not much of a shopper.

"I can sometimes shop for other people. I cannot shop for myself at all," he said.

Girls are difficult to buy for - no matter their age, the father of three offered as an excuse. So he relies on their mother, Jen.

"My wife is a professional shopper," he said. "She is outstanding at it."

Nevertheless, Bourjaily agreed to be one of The Hinsdalean's "guest shoppers" for the paper's annual gift guide series. This year, former contributing columnists are sharing their best gift ideas with readers.

Due to the pandemic, instead of making physical visits to most stores in town, they are shopping online from the comfort and safety of their own homes. (Note: there are a few stores on this list that require an in-person visit, and all are noted.)

Bourjaily, who usually spends a lot of time celebrating the holidays with extended family (he is one of five and Jen is one of eight), said he will relish spending some quiet days at home this holiday season.

"I'm looking forward to more quality time with just my immediate family," he said.

Some of them might be enjoying some of the gifts he selected.

• Friend Sally, who has a penchant for "unique" dolls and figurines, will enjoy a 9-inch Buddha paperweight. The Courtyard, $20


• Wife Jennifer, who never splurges on herself, will love an 18-karat white gold tiny heart necklace. Browning & Sons, $600

https://www.browningandsons.com/store/p49/18k_White_Gold_Tiny_Heart_Necklace.html#/ 18k White Gold Tiny Heart Necklace

• A deluxe Golden Days Basket is sure to bring some cheer to all the admins in his office who work way too hard and don't get nearly enough credit. Hinsdale Flower Shop, $99

https://www.hinsdaleflowershop.com/basket-arrangement/golden-days-basket/p_ef_t174-2a?skuId=EF_T174-2A&zipMin= Golden Days Basket

• Daughter Anna, who teaches high school in Michigan, will put elegant Kate Spade notecards with a gold monogrammed and foil-lined envelopes to good use and impress recipients with her professionalism

"She's big on communicating with parents," her dad said. Sass-N-Class, $20 for set of 10

(purchase in store)

• Artist friend Teresa would totally appreciate the uniqueness of PIcasso's "L'Atelier 1927," which the legendary artist hand-signed with his etching pen. Expressions Galleries, $49,500 (purhase in store)

• Bourjaily has fond memories of sitting down for a slice of pizza with his dad, who never saw a pizza he didn't like. The imported ingredients and crispy crust of the 4 Stagioni, which he can cook right in his own Western Springs kitchen, is sure to tantalize his taste buds. Altamura, $17.95


• Phil, a pit bull, and Nancy, a pit mix - both of whom belong to John's sister - will get their fill of K-9 decaf with Starbarks Frenchie Roast stuffed dog toys. Velvet Touch, $19.99

(purchase in store)

• Daughter Caroline will enjoy a brand-new iPhone 12 with a case, tempered glass screen protector, wireless charger or portable battery and Bluetooth speaker or headphones. Mobile Generation (Verizon), $850 (purchase in store)

• A recent obsession with quarter-zip sweaters and the feel of fine cashmere make a Henry cashmere sweater in gray stripe a great gift for him to give himself this Christmas. J McLaughlin, $298

https://www.jmclaughlin.com/henry-cashmere-sweater-stripe-black-heather-med-gray.html Henry Cashmere Sweater

• Each of the five nieces and nephews that have been born in the past year will receive an adorable Beanie Boo snowman named "Buttons."

Hinsdale News Agency, $7

(purchase in store)

• A nice bottle of Pinot noir is just the thing for daughter Katie, who taught her dad the fine art of wine drinking while home from Boston University this past summer. (She is 21, he noted.) The popular wine is perfumed with fresh scents and mirrored flavors of Ranier cherry, peach and poached pear. Hinsdale Wine Shop, $21.99


• Bourjaily, a real estate agent, will keep clients merry with a basket containing some 40 pieces of fruit, two pounds of nuts and other treats. The Fruit Store, $100 (purchase in store)

Author Bio

Author photo

Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean