Cost: $91,100

What better place to spend the holidays than below the ocean waves—in the world's only Aquatic Pod Suite? Shaped like a flying saucer,

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Not Like the Rest

Singular selections for the indie-hearted

Cost: $91,100

What better place to spend the holidays than below the ocean waves—in the world's only Aquatic Pod Suite? Shaped like a flying saucer, the Pod rests on the water with the lower portion submerged approximately five feet, and it's easily anchored at a favorite lagoon, lake, or river. Offering simultaneous panoramic views above and below the water, and featuring a fabulous mini-bar and king-size bed for submarine-style romps, the bargain price includes delivery (via helicopter)to the location of your choice anywhere in the US—plus "white glove" assembly and training from a four-man crew. As James Bond said after meeting Pussy Galore, "I must be dreaming"—and anyone on your gift list is bound to feel the same way about this Unidentified Floating Object. Where: Hammacher Schlemmer, 1-800-543-3366 or www.hammacher.com.

Cost: $275

So what if Halloween has passed? While most Americans don that bright red turtleneck, thick suede coat, or fuzzy sweater speckled with reindeer and snowflakes, a select few—call them Goths, nihilists, Europeans, whatever—opt for black. This gorgeous brocade cape makes the ideal gift for that family member who curls up with the latest Anne Rice novel while the rest of you gather 'round the Christmas tree. Such kin may disturb you with their Dracula-like kabuki, midnight-black fingernail polish, or Bauhaus CD collection—but dammit, they're part of the family, too. 100 percent cotton brocade. 100 percent rayon lining. Where: Art & Artifact catalog, 1-800-231-6766.

Cost: $185

Over the last decade, Seattle's signature rock 'n' roll style has (d)evolved from loose-fitting thrift-store flannel shirts, ripped jeans, and dirty long hair to—don't tell anyone about the labels, 'kay?—tight Club Monaco Ts, Gap chords, and dirty short hair dyed black and teased with Second Day Hair. Sure, corporation-influenced style still isn't exactly cool, but at the same time, it's no longer condemned. After all, who wants to look like a slob compared to all the stylish dot-commers taking over town? It may be more Paul Allen than Patti Smith, but an Experience Music Project leather jacket just might make your musician friend's holiday. Like the museum it advertises, it's definitely rock 'n' roll—plus it's cheaper than what Banana Republic has to offer. And if the rock royalty at the Cha Cha Lounge pelt the wearer of such a jacket with cheap beer and burritos, he can always claim, "I just work there." Chances are they'll lay down their arms. Where: EMP, www.emplive.com.

Cost: $44.95

The holidays are the time for giving—and why leave out the wildlife? The simple and effective wildlife feeder with deerlick salt block will turn even those "I'm not an animal person" types into regular Jane Goodalls, with deer, geese, and other wildlife gathering on the lawn like would-be carolers. Whether this sturdy, well-designed stand is planted in an urban sidewalk bed or a landscaped backyard, it allows folks of all ages to rub noses with nature this yuletide season. Toss some twinkling lights on your new furry friends for animated holiday lawn decorations. Where: Plow and Hearth, 1-800-627-1712 or www.plowhearth.com.

Cost: $10

An artful holiday display piece with festive year-round potential, the picture globe is the best way to give the gift of yourself—framed by fake snowflakes—this glorious holiday season. Alternatively, you could immortalize your gorgeous standard poodle or the omnipotent, all-mighty dollar—or both—since this great globe is capable of holding two photographs for different views on either side. A surefire way to show that you care. Where: Flax, 1-800-352-9278, or www.flaxart.com.

Cost: $5.95

While the Christian fish plaque and the Darwin fish plaque carry on their heated Religion vs. Science debate from automobiles' rear ends, a third party has entered the fray: the Gefilte Fish Plaque. For Jews, goys, or anyone with a sense of humor, this plaque may lighten the load of the holidays and make stressed-out drivers realize that holidays aren't just about religion and shopping—they're about coming together. FYI: "Gefilte" comes from the German word for "stuffed"; originally, gefilte fish consisted of a fish skin wrapped around a fish patty. Where: Archie McPhee & Co., 2428 NW Market, 297-0240 or 425-349-3009.

Kate Chynoweth and David Massengill

 
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