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[whitespace] Maturation Anxiety

From the thoughtful to the thought-provoking, an eclectic list for those who aren't quite sure if they're ready to make the leap into adulthood

By Karen Mitchell

Engraved Crane's Social Stationery
Perfect for anyone who has either not quite gotten the hang of email or has become a burnt-out neo-Luddite. Personally engraved Crane's social stationery is a throwback to another era when writing letters was a fine art and your friends and family were more than just a click away. Create your own custom designs in a wide array of colors and styles (around $150 for engraved paper with matching envelopes, at Papyrus or other fine stationers).

A Bunk Bed . . . From the Heaven's Gate Compound
For the paranoid pop-culture obsessed on your list, consider purchasing a piece of recent history: the furniture and belongings left behind at the Heaven's Gate estate in Rancho Santa Fe are up for auction. Those who missed out on the last trip to the stars can lounge around on one of the infamous bunk beds waiting for Comet Hale-Bopp's return or create a macabre diorama in the living room.

Jedi Light Saber Trainer
While slightly less charismatic than the original Jedi trainer, Yoda, the new Hasbro Jedi Trainer still allows Star Wars fans to live out their childhood fantasies of being Luke Skywalker while battling a programmed laser in a simulated light saber duel. This toy also makes a good gift for (gasp!) actual children.

Snooty Plaid Dog Coat
Well-heeled mutts in dog parks from Nob Hill to Noe Valley will be outfitted for the holidays in new blanket dog jackets from Coach. Trimmed in leather, the posh pet coats feature Velcro closure and come in a red quilted style, complete with Peter Pan collar or a subtle stripe. ($108, available at Coach and Macy's stores.)

Down Featherbed
Plump up that old, sagging, standard-issue San Francisco futon with a down featherbed, available in a variety of thicknesses and styles. Not just for Granny, these traditional mattress toppers provide gentle, comfortable support for joints and help trap warmth, essential for spending the winter in a drafty old apartment. (From $119 for a full-size bed, in The Company Store catalog. Call 800.285.3696 or visit www.thecompanystore.com.)

Retro Cruiser Bike
Make up for the hot bike your beloved never received with this reissue of Schwinn's classic Stingray or, alternately, allow someone to cruise around the Mission District being admired, not denounced as Yuppie scum. Available in the original blue or yellow, or opt for the extra-special Apple or Orange Krate models. "Funeral" license plate optional. (Available at various Schwinn dealers.)

Snowboard Camp
What could be greater than the gift of freedom, of careening down a snow-covered mountain with the knowledge of how not to fall flat on your face? Give that feeling to a special lady this year with a trip to Wild Women Snowboarding Camp, with packages including three days and four nights of lessons on the slopes, bungee jumping and other outdoor experiences that blow running with the wolves right out of the snow. (Call 877.SHE.RIPS or visit www.wildwomencamps.com.)

Top-of-the-Line Sleeping Bag
While not quite as decadent as Prada's new fox-lined bag, The North Face's down-filled Superlight sleeping bag weighs in much lighter both on the trail and on the pocketbook. Features include a watch pocket placed near the ear to help hikers hit the mountain early and a no-snag zipper to facilitate a quick escape for student filmmakers lost in the woods. (Available at The North Face and REI stores, $179.99.)

Polaroid Mini-cam

New Polaroid Mini-cam
Pocket-sized and pea green (or blue or red), the new Polaroid I-Zone Pocket Camera produces tiny, self-stick photos just like last year's hit NeoPrints and is the official camera of none other than the Backstreet Boys. If you can't bear to give it away, you can stick miniature self-portraits on all your gifts so people know who to thank. (Available at drug and discount stores, about $25.)

Origami Calendar
Recipients of Accord Publishing's Easy Origami Fold-A-Day Calendar will become veritable masters in the art of paper folding by 2001. Each brightly colored page of the page-a-day calendar features instructions for a new origami creation, including cranes, pagodas and Japanese lanterns, and functions as the origami paper itself. (Available at B. Dalton and other booksellers, $11.95.)

Buy Buy Buy: Tons of stuff to blow your holiday bonus on.

The Bold and the Beautiful: The luxury you give comes back to you three times....

Holy Sh*t! Holy gifts for the truly devout.

Multinational New Ideas: Ten big global gift ideas.

Cheap Trips: Gifts for the man (or woman) who has nothing.

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From the December 6, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.

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