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‘Parks and Recreation’: A Friend Gift Guide

What’s better than Galentine’s Day? Leslie Knope would probably say Christmas, as she sits down in JJ’s Diner and eats another plate of waffles. We all know that Christmas is about spending time with family and drinking all the eggnog—or coquito—that we want. But, Christmas can also be stressful when it comes to buying gifts for the people we love, just like a town hall meeting in Pawnee filled with people who care loudly about what should be put into the time's capsule, as Leslie Knope would say. 

Admit it, you have friends that closely resemble the characters in Parks and Recreation. They may say please and thank you whenever finishing a conversation, say “whizz palace” instead of the word bathroom, or they may put velvet in their shoes so that they feel like they’re walking on red carpet. 

This gift guide will help you find amazing presents for your friends and family. Just don't be like Jerry, or Garry, this holiday season and forget to buy everyone presents. 

1. Leslie Knope

She loves jammin’ out on her planner. Or forever hating on salads because she doesn’t hate herself. Just like Leslie Knope, go above and beyond when getting them a present. You may want to buy them the stationery of their dreams or Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming, since they completely freak out when talking about her. Whether the gift is small or gigantic, your “Leslie Knope” friend will appreciate it no matter what. 

2. Ann Perkins

You definitely have that friend that you rain compliments on, whether it’s for helping you out with a problem or just being themselves. This friend makes the best pancakes in the world and is always ready to hit someone with a baseball bat if they hurt you. For this holiday season, gift your "Ann Perkins" friend with a trip to an amusement park or with the entire collection of Sex and the City, since they love to ask people which character they think they are. But don’t buy them a toe ring, they could be someone’s mother in the future. 

3. Ron Swanson

This friend is tough to shop for. In fact, this friend probably never tells you anything and only has Facebook to keep in touch with their family members. They like to keep their information private and get weird when you start talking about personal issues. But, this friend never fails to bring you up when you feel at your lowest. They tell it like it is. 

Instead of getting confused on what to get them, gift your “Ron Swanson” friend with the ultimate scavenger hunt or buy them a gift certificate at their favorite breakfast place. Please and thank you. 

4. Andy Dwyer

This friend doesn’t know what they are doing, but they know they’re doing it really well. Even though they are the ultimate goofball, this friend is loyal to you even when you make a mistake. They also have the gift of coming up with the best ideas, or calling you out when you’re upset and don’t want to talk about it. This holiday season gift your friend all of their favorite things, aka candy or merchandise from their favorite band. They will love it either way, because they awesome sauce you. 

5. April Ludgate

Christmas probably isn’t their favorite holiday, and they probably dream that people would keep Halloween an everyday thing. This friend keeps to themselves and hates talking to people about things. Everything is annoying to them, except for your friendship. They are a badass person on the outside but a softie on the inside, and you only know this because you caught them listening to "Time After Time."

Gift this friend with the classic slasher movies or tickets to a haunted tour in your city. They will definitely go along for the ride because it’s better than doing boring adult things. Or just get them a marshmallow shooter. Your choice. 

6. Donna Meagle 

What do you get a friend that has a specific day where they treat themselves to whatever they want? This friend enjoys living the finest life whenever possible and they aren’t afraid to let their inner boss shine through. Instead of giving your friend a gift certificate to their favorite salon, gift them with the best wine that you can afford. Or give them that fancy candle from Anthropologie that they have been eyeing forever. 

This gift guide will be able to help you find amazing presents for your friends and family. Just don’t be a Jerry, or Gary, and forget to buy everyone presents. 

7. Tom Haverford

This friend has dreams. Big dreams. They are constantly telling you business ideas they have, or their favorite R&B album from the 90s. This friend prides themselves on being cool, when in reality they do want you to succeed in your dreams and help you in any way possible. The failures in life only make them want to do bigger, and better things. Although they may cry about with you over some zerts, which is what they call desserts. 

This holiday season, gift this friend with all their favorite face masks from Ulta or a subscription to the trendiest magazine that they love and always quote from. Either way, they are going to be ballin’. 

8. Ben Wyatt

The ultimate nerd that you know, but also one of the coolest people you will ever meet. This friend is the person to go to when you need a good pun, or an encouraging speech that makes you not want to crawl into a ball in the corner of a room. They are also passionate about what they do, whether it’s in their community or in school. While you may want to get them an exact replica of the throne used in Game of Thrones, aka their favorite show, you may want to give them the next best thing: a recipe book on the only things they would ever want to eat for the rest of their lives, calzones. 

9. Chris Traeger 

This friend is literally the greatest person alive. They have amazing healthy eating habits, and you constantly marvel at how they rarely get sick. Despite their tendency to live by the rules, they are wildly optimistic and look at what's ahead in life, instead of in the past. This friend believes in you better than yourself and you wonder where you could've gotten such a great friend. To return the favor, gift your friend athletic wear from their favorite leisure brand or a couple of dance classes because let's be honest, they are the worst dancers. 

10. Jean-Ralphio 

This friend isn't afraid to sing at the top of their lungs in any situation, or come up with bold, crazy ideas to start a business or get money. You admire them for their ability to have fun and live in the moment. This friend is passionate at what they want to achieve and will shoot for the highest stars to get it. Although this friend may have to serious adulting to do, gift them this season with a journal where they can write down their future business ideas. Or, you can give them a karaoke machine that makes them live out their wildest rap dream. 

11. Jerry (Garry) Gergich

Yeah, we all have that friend that forgets a lot and somehow manages to always be there for you when you need them. They are quick to have your back and you admire them for that, even though they have a tendency to misplace that thing that they borrowed from you. This holiday season, gift your "Jerry" friend with anything that they ask for. Since they will most likely as for pairs of socks, get them art supplies that they will use during their long-awaited breaks. 

Hopefully, this holiday gift guide has helped you find the perfect present for your friends or family members. If you are still out of ideas just ask yourself, what would Deputy Director Leslie Knope do?

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Karla Grimes (and yes, like Rick Grimes from the Walking Dead) is a senior at the University of Central Florida. Her major is English-Creative Writing with a minor in Magazine Journalism! Besides reading and writing, Karla enjoys binge watching Criminal Minds and Parks and Recreation on Netflix. Also, if you mention Stranger Things in a conversation she will fangirl all her emotions for the show. Karla also enjoys traveling and listening to a wide range of music, from Green Day to the score in Pride and Prejudice. You can follow her on Instagram at ms.kpg, which has a many pictures of her dog, her friends, and the occasional birthday post for Harry Potter. 
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