Giving as good as it gets
Welcome to the holiday season — and to the Seven Days holiday guide to gifts. Every Wednesday during the holidays, we’ve offered ideas for just about everyone on your list. For greater variety, a different writer has weighed in each week: same set of recipients, unique presents of mind. (Note: Some of these recipients may be figments of our imaginations.)
And what do we want this year? Just for you to shop local, please and thank you.
Mother: Mum’s just like me: There’s nothing she likes more than having someone pummel the hell out of her knotty, gnarly muscles. The smooth strokes of a Swedish massage just aren’t gonna cut it for this tough lady; she wants someone to beat her to a pulp. So I’m getting her a sports massage at Waterfalls Day Spa in Middlebury. After 50 minutes of blissful deep-tissue wrangling, she won’t know what hit her. $95.
Waterfalls Day Spa, Middlebury, 388-0311. middleburyspa.com 
Father: In many ways, Dad’s a Luddite. After several decades as a journalist, he still refuses to use spell-check. It took him years to embrace the iPod and Facebook. But these days, it’s safe to say, he’s obsessed. And so I’m getting him a pair of tickets to Mike Daisey’s “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.” In the monologue, the “actor, author, commentator, playwright and general layabout” explores the human toll of our infatuation with our devices. I’m sure Dad will complement the experience with a puntastic status update. $30.
Mike Daisey performs “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” as part of the Lane Series, February 23 & 24, 8 p.m.; February 25, 2 p.m., at FlynnSpace in Burlington. Info, 863-5966. flynncenter.org 
Teen Sis: I used to tease her about her obsession with goats. Now it seems she might really want to pursue a career in farming. Fine with me, as long as I get to reap the delicious benefits someday — and cuddle her future goat kids. I’m treating Sis to an experience at Green Mountain Girls Farm, where she can assist with goat milking and learn to turn that milk into yogurt, cheese, gelato or caramel. Mmm. Prices vary.
Green Mountain Girls Farm, Northfield, 505-9840. eatstayfarm.com 
Brother: Big bro’s a tinkerer. And an insomniac. That’s why I’m reserving him a spot in Burlington artist John Brickels’ next Mad Scientist Workshop. He’ll don a lab coat and join a crew of night owls to craft robots and other menacing machinery out of clay. Did I mention the class takes place between 3 and 6 a.m. and wraps up with pancakes around the horseshoe counter at Handy’s Lunch? $64.
Mad Scientist Workshop, Burlington, 825-8214, or email email@example.com .
Grandparent: Nanny loves gazing at gorgeous scenery and spending quality time with her grandkids, and I’ve always wanted to hop aboard the Spirit of Ethan Allen III. Sounds like the perfect opportunity for the Lunch-on-the-Lake cruise. I can fill her in on juicy family gossip while we nibble on morsels from the salad bar and carving station. Nanny’s never had it so good. $23.42. Spirit of Ethan Allen III, Burlington, 862-8300. soea.com Best Friend: Now that she works in Killington, one of my BFFs and I have made a habit of meeting at Table 24, downtown Rutland’s purveyor of upscale comfort food. I’m getting her a gift certificate so she can indulge — with or without me — in five-cheese macaroni and cheese, duck fritters made with risotto and goat cheese, and a fat slice of banana cream pie.
Table 24, Rutland, 775-2424. table24.net 
Pet: Kitty had a rough life before we met. With only one eye and half a tail, she looked a little funny (think goblin in a cheap cat suit) at the humane society several years ago. Still, she stole my heart, big time. Lately, though, she’s been moping around the house, her one eye seemingly begging for one thing: a buddy. The Humane Society of Chittenden County is filled with needy cats looking for a home. One of them might be the perfect match. Merry Christmas, Kitty. You deserve it.
Humane Society of Chittenden County, South Burlington, 862-0135. chittendenhumane.org