The first in a series of our staffers’ recommendations for gifts for the design-savvy on your list…

  1. For the man with jingling pockets, Chicago’s Maker and Maker can work up one of their porcelain bison sculptures as a piggy bank, $98 from Etsy, to give him a prairie-chic place to put all that change.
  2. This alarm clock from Areaware gives a nod to mid-century design, upgrading it with an iPhone dock and charger. Run a flip-clock app on the phone to keep the nostalgia flowing. Available for $39.50 at at the MCA Store.
  3. I always keep salt on the stove while I’m cooking, and this elegant salt pig in slate from Emile Henry (named for the snout-like opening that protects the salt from dust and debris) looks old-fashioned and chic on the counter. Available from Amazon for around $43.
  4. I can’t get through a Christmas season without my family’s traditional Swedish three-in-one coffee cake. The name refers to the three main flavors—almond, cinnamon and cardamom—that are braided into a wreath-shaped pastry that will blow your mind. For an excellent store-bought version, try the 12-inch across “Andersonville” coffee cake, $12.15, from the Swedish Bakery.
  5. Now that you’ve spent quality time picking out a great gift, don’t skimp on the packaging. Check out the wrapping papers from Chicago-based Snow and Graham. I love this fresh birch pattern, $6.50 for two sheets.