2017 Holiday Gift Guide: IU experts suggest gift ideas for everyone on your list

A padfolio and pen.View print quality image

Something for the young professional

Josh Perry, undergraduate program faculty chair for the Kelley School of Business

A young professional must be ready to interview with recruiters, meet with clients and talk to the boss. In these interactions, nothing communicates organization, preparation and a careful attention to detail as much as taking hand-written notes during the conversation. When considering a gift for the young professional in your life, I recommend two essential note-taking tools: something to write with and something to write upon. Neither needs to be extravagant, and there is a spectrum of price points depending on one's budget. As for the writing instrument, any pen or (mechanical) pencil will suffice, although a quality ink pen does have a special feel to it. To write upon, I recommend a padfolio equipped with a replaceable legal pad and a pocket to hold business cards. Over 25 years ago, I received a leather padfolio that I still use in meetings every day.

The Metagame boxView print quality image

Something for the gamer

Will Emigh, game design lecturer in The Media School

The Metagame is a party game of ridiculous questions. With 200 culture cards and 100 opinion cards, you can take it anywhere you want to argue "Which feels like first love: 'Twilight' or 'any Journey album.'" The cards will be familiar to anyone who's played Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity, but The Metagame is as family-friendly as the former while retaining the awkward humor of the latter. The game has six different modes that are fun for hardcore gamers and luddites alike, including one-on-one discussions, building a timeline of culture and a free-for-all with each person judging the best answer to their opinion card. Games are best when they encourage deep connection between players, and The Metagame has that in spades. And the game has local roots! One of its designers, Eric Zimmerman, grew up in Bloomington.

Two vases placed on a pink tableView print quality image

Something for the artist or designer

Justin Bailey, assistant professor in the School of Art, Architecture + Design

For the design enthusiast in your life, I’d recommend containers from Vako Design this holiday season. Vako’s pieces come in unique shapes and fun colors that could be used in a variety of settings in the home or office. Vako is an independent designer producing works locally in Iowa City, Iowa. It’s a great opportunity to get unique designs, support a small business and show that great design doesn’t have to come from far away.

The book In God We Trust: All Others Pay CashView print quality image

Something for the book lover

Mike Courtney, outreach and engagement librarian for IU Libraries

No holiday reading list would be complete without mention of the classic, "In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash" by Jean Shepherd. You might be more familiar with the film adaptation and perennial holiday favorite, "A Christmas Story," which included portions of Shepherd’s novel depicting life in fictional Hohman, Indiana. A New York Times bestseller at the time of its publication, "In God We Trust" has been in print ever since.

A bird feederView print quality image

Something for the budding young scientist

The Office of Science Outreach

Give the gift of citizen science! The budding young scientist on your list can learn to make observations, record observations and share data in a nationwide citizen-science project. Buy or make the bird feeder of your choice. We recommend a simple mesh tube feeder, which you can find at your local hardware store for around $10. Or you can get crafty and make a bird feeder using recycled material at your home. To accompany the bird feeder, buy -- or check out from your library -- an age-appropriate bird book. We recommend "Beginning Birdwatcher's Book: With 48 Stickers," "National Geographic Kids Bird Guide of North America" or the sixth edition of the "National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America." Encourage the science lover in your life to learn about their backyard birds and participate in the next Great Backyard Bird Count on Feb. 16 to 19, and attend the Flying Wild Bird Fest in March, co-hosted by the College Office of Science Outreach, other IU collaborators and community partners.

IU gear including candy-striped pantsView print quality image

Something for the Hoosier fan

Fred Glass, vice president and director of athletics

Give the gift that is synonymous with Indiana Hoosiers basketball: Adidas candy stripe pants. Very few programs in college sports have the storied history of IU basketball, with five national championships to its credit. No piece of apparel, meanwhile, is more emblematic of the program's tradition of success than the candy stripe pants. Whether the Hoosier fan on your holiday shopping list is Bloomington-bound for an upcoming game at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, or they cheer on IU from the comforts of their living room, there will be no doubt about where their loyalties lie with this great item from Adidas. The alternating red-and-white-striped pants snap all the way down each leg and are just like the ones worn by Hoosier greats such as Calbert Cheaney, Scott May, Quinn Buckner, Damon Bailey and Steve Alford dating back nearly 50 years.

WetlandsView print quality image

Something for the minimalist

Beth Gazley, director of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs Master of Public Affairs Program and SPEA-Connect Online MPA Program

I just built a geothermal home adjacent to beautiful public and protected land, and my children are both active in environmental causes, so stewardship of the land is very much on my family's mind this holiday. In addition to making your own locally grown gifts such as homemade soaps or herb mixes for your own favorite 'minimalist,' may I suggest a gift in their honor to the Sycamore Land Trust? SLT's focus on land stewardship and conservation means that 55 outstanding natural preserves and landscapes across southern Indiana and thousands of acres are protected forever, and available for free public enjoyment. And no present to wrap! Whether you're a nature lover, peace-and-quiet seeker, birder or hiker, or just like the word "free," Sycamore Land Trust is a worthy nonprofit to support.

Man doing sit ups on benchView print quality image

Something for the health advocate

Mary Yoke, adjunct instructor in the School of Public Health-Bloomington

Have someone in your life who loves to stay active? Consider gifting them a six-month or annual membership to their favorite gym. Or, if they already have a membership, you could add on classes with a personal trainer. Package it with a new workout gear or a water bottle for the perfect, convenient gift for someone who already makes fitness a priority or who has vowed to in the new year. Shopping for an IU employee? IU Recreational Sports offers discounted memberships for staff and faculty.