José M. Osorio/ Chicago Tribune
24, sous-chef, Chicago
Bolanos spotted the book "Latino in America," by Soledad O'Brien, while browsing at Borders and knew that it would be a good gift for her parents, who are interested in politics and Latino culture. "And it was on sale for $3.99," she says. "I would like to spend more" this year on Christmas gifts than last year, but "financially, it's kind of hard." She pays for some gifts in installments and has checked out used-book stores for rare finds about Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, a special interest of her mom's.