Gift guide: What we'd give to some of 2014's top newsmakers

The Christmas presents we’d share with some of the year's headline-makers, from Alison Redford to Robin Thicke

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  • EUGENIE BOUCHARD: It was a breakout season for the Montreal tennis ace, highlighted by a Wimbledon final. Her gift bag includes a Justin Bieber action figure (her admitted dream date), a Shomi subscription (for the world traveller who needs a break), a stuffed koala (to go with the other dolls tossed her way at the Australian Open) and a silver trophy with no inscription (to take up space until her inevitable first Grand Slam victory).
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  • ALEX SALMOND: His dream of freedom dashed, the former leader of the National Scottish Party needs all the help he can get to forget the referendum. We suggest a good self-help book (Getting Back Together: How to Reconcile with Your Partner—and Make it Last), a good flick (Mad Max, because Braveheart is too painful) and a single-malt distilled far away from his beloved Scotland (Suntory Yamazaki, Japan’s finest).
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  • ALISON REDFORD: The disgraced Alberta premier was run out of office because of her lavish expenses, including revelations that she took her daughter on government flights and ordered the construction of a private penthouse. She could use a calculator (no explanation necessary). A Via Rail pass—coach class—would remind her how real folks travel. And Bob Vila’s classic This Old House: Restoring, Rehabilitating, and Renovating an Older House, because, if the RCMP probe doesn’t go her way, she may have a lot of time to kill.
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  • TAYLOR SWIFT: The music megastar is a perfect fit for Google’s “self-driving car.” She wouldn’t have to hire a limo company—then get sued by said limo company for acting like a diva and allegedly shaking off the contract. The self-professed cat lady also gets a feline-focused book, and a CD, ’cause a player’s gonna play, play, play, play, play. And what will she play? Why, Catmas Carols, of course. We considered getting her Coal Miner’s Daughter by the immortal Loretta Lynn, to remind her of her country-music roots. But apparently, she already has a female role model: Mariska Hargitay, the actress best known for her role on Law & Order: SVU. Wow. Never, ever would have guessed.
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  • ROBIN THICKE: Fellow Canadian Kathleen Edwards could teach him a thing or two about how to compose a proper breakup album (Voyageur, 2012). A Harry Winston shaving kit, because every month isn’t Movember. And a tie—any tie—because the judge who hears the Marvin Gaye copyright lawsuit probably won’t appreciate open collars and long chains.
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  • KIM JONG-UN: The most fitting gift would be an indictment for crimes against humanity and a trial date at The Hague. But in the meantime, North Korea’s reclusive leader—missing in action for weeks at a time, reportedly because of a bad case of gout—could use a new GPS system and a translated copy of the Gout Hater’s Cookbook. Throw in some rust remover for his so-called submarine, and a pair of binoculars, so that Kim can peek out from his palace curtains at all the people suffering under his oppressive, iron fist.

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