Whether a friend or a family member, the sea-and-ship fan in your life will appreciate a nautical birthday gift that reflects his preference for clothing, decor and conversation pieces that communicate his interest to the world. When shopping for a sailor or a wannabe sailor, choose items that tell the story of the ocean and its creatures, boats and ships, epic battles, fishermen and sailors.
Picture an old sailor telling yarns of his high-sea adventures to a group of enthralled younger comrades in a seaside pub. These stories fascinate and entrance the birthday honoree in your life, too. Fortunately, many of these stories also line the pages of books and sailing magazines. Look for books published and sold by maritime and naval museums and for subscriptions to magazines that spotlight boating, fishing and coastal living.
Help your friend wear her love for all things nautical. Visit a military-surplus store, and look for naval peacoats and sailor uniforms. Also, consider fashion accessories such as sailor scarves and nautical-themed jewellery. Look for pendants and jewellery charms representing ship's wheels, nautical stars, starfish, lighthouses and sailboats. For sweater lovers, consider giving a red-and-white-striped or blue-and-white-striped sweater--with a wide boatneck style, of course. Boat shoes are a functional yet stylish gift. Often looking like moccasins or oxfords with rubber soles, they sport a design that helps prevent wearers from slipping on wet docks.
Sea lovers appreciate home furnishings that make their homes seem like sailing boats, ships, lighthouses or maritime museums. Look for items that hold memorable spots in history. For example, a sailor's valentine is an octagonal wooden frame filled with intricate shell designs. Legend says that Queen Victoria gave these as tokens to her favourite sailors. Today's artists enjoy making replicas and consider it a fine art form. Other home-furnishing ideas include a ship's wheel as wall art, large nautilus shells and lighthouse collectibles.
If your friend lives within a few hours from a coast (or you're willing to send her there), consider giving a pass to the nearest maritime, naval or whaling museum. If it is a group gift, consider assembling a gift-card packet to other nearby places of interest. Include admission to the local lighthouse if it is open to the public and a gift token to a seaside restaurant serving local seafood. You also can include a gift token to a downtown gift shop.
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