Sunday, December 19, 2010

Great Gifting: Not Dead Yet!

Obsolete. Finished. Doomed. All descriptors used when the subject of the future of print comes up. Not to mention much wringing of hands, rending of robes and tearing of hair. But if you're stuck for a last-minute present, not to mention one that will remind the recipient of you several times a year when they open their mailboxes, you can't beat a subscription to a magazine.

True confession? I've been on the way to a birthday party, stopped at the store, picked up a copy of a magazine, stuffed it into a gift bag with a card (remembering to tear out a subscription form) and given it to the birthday guy or gal. If I'm lucky I remember to send in the aforementioned form or go online to subscribe.

More embarrassing? I admit to actually giving a subscription to a magazine that I know the recipient would never subscribe to in a million years. Like buying a conservative relative (no names, please) a subscription to a lefty publication like Mother Jones or The Nation on the off-chance they actually look at it and find out there's more to an issue than Glenn Beck has been telling them. Or giving a non-cook a magazine that features healthy, easy recipes…I mean, if they only read a few articles or look at the pictures, that's OK, right?

So, to get to the point, I'm asking you to consider supporting a couple of excellent local publications that are trying hard to survive in the current new media maelstrom and who happen to occasionally carry stories that I write.

One, NW Palate Magazine, was originally a wine-centric magazine that has recently embraced a wider calling, one that truly reflects its name and celebrates the bounty that we find here in the Northwest: our farms, food, chefs and fisheries. The other is MIX, the sole survivor of the Oregonian's fleet of publications, a glossy, beautifully designed paean to Oregon's burgeoning food culture. Each gives you more than strung-together blurbs masquerading as articles, with longer "think pieces" from some terrific Northwest writers.

So whether you're desperate, seeking passive-aggressive satisfaction or just want the perfect gift for the food-centric on your list, these might be just the ticket. One more benefit? You can always ask for their back-issues!

Details: NW Palate Magazine, six issues per year, $18; two years (12 issues), $33. Subscriptions available online. MIX magazine, 10 issues per year; two years (20 issues), $28. Subscriptions available online.

Check out the other gift suggestions in this series: Book by Book, Classic Design, Class Acts and Giving From the Heart.

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