President’s Day typically means one thing to most people: you get the day off! You don’t spend the day honoring our past presidents because, well, why would you? But let’s get serious—whatever your politics, being the president is a hard job. You’re constantly scrutinized and in times of war, you literally have the fate of millions of people across the globe in your hands. Also, late-night comedians make fun of you all the time. And for this, your salary isn’t even that high.
So, let’s honor presidents—past, present, and future—with this gift guide full of gifts fit for a president (or, just a really dapper, stressed-out private citizen).
1. Abraham Lincoln in the Kitchen ($14, Amazon): When most presidential candidates are asked who their favorite president is, they usually say either George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. These, of course, are very, very safe responses because no one’s going to debate you on either of these two. One was the father of our country, one was considered honest, noble, and oh yeah—he freed the slaves. Regardless of whether a candidate actually loves Abraham Lincoln or if he’s just giving a boilerplate response, the man was beyond respectable. There’s evidence to suggest that he actually liked to cook, which means that he was pretty highly evolved for someone of his time, when cooking was considered work done by either slaves or women. Abraham Lincoln in the Kitchen touches on Lincoln’s culinary dabblings, and also provides recipes from that time period (translated for modern kitchens) so that “authentic meals from 1820-1865 are possible for home cooks.” If you’ve ever frequented any restaurants inside Colonial Williamsburg that serve food this “authentic,” you probably won’t be making any of the recipes featured in the book, but the very idea of Lincoln donning an apron and making a stew or apple pie makes it all worth it.
2. American Flag Pillowcase ($49, Bond Gifts): Regardless of their political party, American presidents are always boosting the flag. The tiny little American flag lapel pins they wear are omnipresent. Why not take it a step further with this American Flag Pillowcase? The President can jazz up their own bedroom in the White House or put it in the guest bedrooms to anger visiting foreign dignitaries. Is it okay to drool on the American flag? It says “Don’t tread on me,” not “Don’t sleep on me,” right?
3. Get it Together Comb ($27, Izola): The President is always going to a million speaking engagements and parties. If it’s an election year, they’re running back and forth to stump speeches and fundraising dinners, glad-handing everyone and smiling so much their faces hurt. In these instances, it’s important to look your best. Before the primaries of any presidential election, you’ll hear newscasters debating whether a particular candidate “looks presidential.” Crazy, unruly hair could cost you the election. Crazy, unruly hair will inevitably turn into an internet meme where your unkemptness will be held up as proof of what an idiot you are. Don’t let this happen to you! This comb is easy to carry around (just ask Elvis) and it’s engraved with a little pep talk: simply, “Get it together.”
4. Wag the Dog ($5, Amazon): Wag the Dog is honestly one of the best send-ups of the political machine at work. The plot is this—a spin doctor and a Hollywood producer fabricate a war in order to deflect attention from a presidential sex scandal. It stars Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman. It’s hilarious and a playbook of everything you shouldn’t do when you’re in office. Take notes.
5. “Oh Nothing, Just Hustlin’” Print ($12, Skoope Home Designs): “It’s the economy, stupid” is so passe. We know it’s the economy—we’re all broke and starving to death, LOL! Let’s come up with a new motto. Why not, “Oh nothing, just hustlin’?” It’s a good one for Washington. Let’s hang this print up in the Oval Office. Let’s hang it up in Congress. Maybe it’ll inspire someone to get something done around there? Maybe? Okay, let’s give it a shot.
6. Fireside Chat Ale (21st Amendment): Let’s have a little history lesson here, shall we? FDR basically revolutionized the way that presidents spoke to its citizens via his radio-broadcasted Fireside Chat series. You can draw a direct line from Fireside Chats to how we, as a citizenry, feel that we’re owed access to our president. Modern presidents have to let everyone know what’s up… or really, we already know what’s up, we just want to hear how our president feels about stuff. This Fireside Chat Ale is the perfect presidential beer—with FDR’s visage on the can itself.
7. “Be Optimistic” Badge ($6, Best Made Co.): Whether it’s an election year or your approval rating is in the toilet, as a president, you have to be optimistic, or at least put up an optimistic front. Bill Clinton used Fleetwood Mac’s most milquetoast, neutered song—”Don’t Stop (Thinkin’ About Tomorrow)”—to make everyone sway back and forth to the possibility of good times ahead. This “Be Optimistic” Badge will look great on the president’s lapel, positioned directly underneath the tiny American flag pin, of course.
8. Coast to Coaster Set ($36, Poketo): When you’re president, it’s very easy to get caught up in the machinations of Washington and forget about other places in the country. Most presidents forget that Ohio and Iowa even exist until they need them in the election. This Coast to Coaster Set will remind the President that the song goes “from sea to shining sea,” not “from Washington to New York,” amiright?
9. Weather the Storm Handkerchief ($16, Izola): Whether there’s an actual storm like Sandy or Katrina, or a figurative storm kicked up by the media because of one of the President’s dalliances, the President’s role—and honestly any leader’s role—is to literally get everyone through some awfulness. The true mark of a good president is how effectively they get you through the awfulness. This handkerchief will let everyone know that the President knows what their #1 job is.
10. Everything Here is Wonderful Notecards ($18, Best Made Co.): Part American braggadociousness and part truth—part of politics is tricking everyone into thinking everything is fine when literally nothing is fine. The President can send these notecards from DC to contacts across the globe, making everyone think that everything is just peachy up in Washington.
11. “Thank You For Loving Me” Card ($5, Emily McDowell Draws): You would think being married to the president would be the greatest thing ever. You live in the White House. You get to meet famous people. You get the royal treatment. Sure, you get all of those things, but your life also changes dramatically. You never get a moment alone because you have a live-in staff and the Secret Service trailing your every move. You are traveling all of the time. You watch your spouse age significantly over the course of just four years. Look at Ann Romney in the new Netflix documentary, Mitt. And she’s married to a presidential candidate, not even an actual president. This is rough. This “Thank You For Loving Me” Card is the perfect gift for a president to give to their spouse when the term ends and they retire to less stressful pastures.
Amanda Waas is the creator of You’re Welcome, a gift guide site for all of life’s awkward occasions. Her writing has appeared in Every Day With Rachael Ray, Glamour, Time Out New York, AOL’s Shelterpop and DIY Life, and various others. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook and sign up for her succinct, not-annoying weekly e-newsletter for gift suggestions sent right to your inbox.