Bananagrams: Like Scrabble, only faster, louder and without a board. Because what would the holidays be without a hypercompetitive, late-night family game night? $14.95; locate stores or buy it at bananagrams.com and amazon.com.
"Ruhlman's Twenty" by Michael Ruhlman: Get this cookbook for your friend who loves to cook, and for yourself. It will make you both better cooks. $40; in bookstores and at amazon.com.
Stu's This is Bloody Mary: Made by Stu Waters, a former cheesemonger at Pastoral, the Chicago wine and cheese shop. Two ounces of the puckery mix plus vodka and tomato juice equals one fine Bloody. $7.99 at Pastoral, 2945 N. Broadway, 53 E. Lake, 131 N. Clinton, or at pastoralartisan.com.
Matryoshka M-Cups: Charming and practical, these nesting cups come in 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 3/4 and 1-cup measures. They sold out the first year we saw them, but they seem to be safely in stock now. $12; At worldwidefred.com, amazon.com and momastore.org.
Memo Canisters: Ceramic storage canisters with chalkboard-inspired labels that you can write on - with chalk! And, they're dishwasher safe. $40; at momastore.org.