Gifts for Long-Lost Relatives

Perfect presents for those family members you love, or barely remember

click to enlarge A cozy firepit to get basement-dwelling family members out into some fresh air.
A cozy firepit to get basement-dwelling family members out into some fresh air.

In holiday times we like to think of the tight-knit warmth of family units, but the truth is that sometimes families drift apart. The reasons for this can vary, but even if it's been eons since you've last seen each other, a thoughtful gift can bridge the gap and attempt to rekindle that bond. They'll be home for Christmas, if only in these things...

PAMPEANA NIGHT LIGHTS

Are you an estranged grandfather who the nosey, booby trap-setting neighbor thinks is actually a shovel-wielding murderer? Even if you don't have the best relationship with your son, you can shine a little light in your granddaughter's life by giving her a PamPeana Night Light selected from the vast array available at Kizuri. Handmade and crafted from recycled glass, these soft illuminators feature paintings of snowflakes, flowers, exotic animals, cats sitting on the moon, and more. Kizuri boasts an impressive towering display that showcases over 20 designs, so there's bound to be something to suit that special youngster. Let one of these be a literal beacon of light in the darkness of your distant relationship (also, as that neighbor kid suggested in church, why not just give your son a call and try to mend things up?). $22 • Kizuri • 35 W. Main Ave. • shopkizuri.com

D12 SOLID FIRE PITS

Lost a relative to the eternal basement-dwelling life of Skyrim, watching others play Dungeons & Dragons on Twitch, and Game of Thrones fanfic boards? Perhaps a Solid Fire Pit can get them to emerge from their caves. Forged by local artist Scott Shumake Jr., these hanging fire pits look like 12-sided D&D dice and are a marvel of art and function. If this gift can't force them to get outside and invite their digital pals for an irl gathering around the dragon's breath, nothing will. $500-$2,000 • shumakedesigns.com

TWINKLE N TWILIGHT WEDGE BAGS

It's easy to feel lost and distanced when your doting niece or nephew becomes a teenage goth, but there's still a chance to be the cool aunt or uncle by giving them a Twinkle N Twilight wedge bag. The Spokane Etsy tailor makes ultra-cute but macabre 10-by-13-inch wedge bags. With dozens of pattern options that include bats, black cats, spiderwebs, tarot cards, glow-in-the-dark fangs, and even The Nightmare Before Christmas characters (all of which boast delightful matching zipper charms), there's sure to be something to momentarily warm their black hearts. $30 • etsy.com/shop/TwinkleNTwilight

CUSTOM PRINTED GLASSES

OK, but what if your long lost relative is still lost? Have the missing notices printed on milk cartons proved ineffective because nobody drinks from milk cartons anymore? Why not take a more practical drink-based approach? Try slapping their missing poster on some beer glasses. Spokane-based Custom Painted Beer Glasses can assist with that very specific request. Provide the one-color, one-side design, and CPBG can slap it onto American-made glassware — pints, tallboys, Belgians, rocks, even wine glasses — with no minimum order. If someone's seen your family member who's been MIA for years, wouldn't it be more likely to be some grizzled patron at the end of the bar? The true gift is really the person being found, but also they'll probably enjoy snagging a couple of the glasses with their mugs plastered across them to serve as souvenirs from their time away. $40 setup fee + $6-$9 per glass • customprintedbeerglasses.com

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About The Author

Seth Sommerfeld

Seth Sommerfeld is the Music Editor for The Inlander, and an alumnus of Gonzaga University and Syracuse University. He has written for The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Fox Sports, SPIN, Collider, and many other outlets. He also hosts the podcast, Everyone is Wrong...