The New York Times Gift Guide for All Your Minority Friends

Do you have a a Negro friend and are you having trouble finding just the right gift to get him dancing and singing on Christmas Day?

Well, the New York Times has come up with one of the great ideas of the 1950s: a holiday gift guide for the colored folk.

You've probably struggled with what to give your doorman, or valet, or housemaid as an appropriate present. You want something not too expensive but something they can really use. This colored folk gift guide takes the worry out of your holiday shopping for servants and others who are complexion-challenged.

Don't let the fact that this is the year 2009 fool you. The Times is just a little late, that's all. A good idea is a good idea no matter what decade -- or century -- it is conceived. And when you think about it, the idea of giving our many-hued minorities their very own catalog of special gifts chosen with them in mind is probably long past due. After all, it's been a few years since Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball, and many lunch counters actually don't mind serving non-whites.

Thank God we have the New York Times to help us measure racial progress in this country.

What is interesting about the guide is that it features gift ideas for many different shades of off-white. Not only Negroes will benefit from this ultra-modern idea, but the Latins, the Wogs, and even our friends from the inscrutable Orient can be inspired by these exotic and race-specific selections. It's like taking a trip through an international bazaar -- or getting in a time machine and traveling back to the good old days when everyone knew their place and Macy's didn't feature Kwanza displays.

Just look at some of these tasty gift ideas:

The Mocha Manual to Military Life: A Savvy Guide for Wives, Girlfriends and Female Service Members by Kimberly Seals-Allers and Pamela M. McBride

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Do you know an Army wife, or someone who is dating a person in the military? Do they need advice on how to manage a long-distance relationship? This handbook may help. The authors cover a range of topics, from how to cope during deployment to mastering military protocol. (Harper Paperbacks, $14.99)

Isn't our modern society wonderful? Who would have imagined an integrated army just a couple of dozen years ago? I guess if they're good enough to fight for the good 'ol USA they're good enough to get their own gift guide in the New York Times.

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You can emulate your favorite Bollywood star or come up with your own ideas with this henna kit for body and hair. It’s a perfect do-it-yourself gift for those wanting to satisfy a creative itch and is certain to add a glam touch at holiday parties.