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National Postal Museum
• Did you know the Postal Service had a mascot? It was a dog named Owney (who actually had a rather checkered history with the Postal Service), and the stuffed version ($15) can be yours. This won’t come as a shock: The postal service will ship any purchase anywhere in the country.
• For the philatelist in your family, pick up a framed stamp of President John F. Kennedy ($22) or a framed history of the post office, told through stamps ($45).
• No joke necessary here: The National Postal Museum will sell you a real bag of shredded money for $5. The bag’s label reads, “This is real money.”
• Another unique historical gift is the Civil War Sesquicentennial 2011 Calendar ($16.25), which commemorates the 150th anniversary of the war’s beginning with stamps from the era representing each month of the year.
Capitol Visitor Center
• The CVC is overflowing with patriotic memorabilia, including T-shirts and sweatshirts inscribed with the phrase “E Pluribus Unum” ($15 to $50).
• A set of quills ($3 each) make a nice package gift with the Three Documents of Freedom from the Library of Congress.
• And to cap off your Capitol Hill shopping trip, how about the perfect gift for your elected Representative? He or she will probably be delighted with a copy of the riveting book, “Senate Procedure and Practice” ($32), as a reminder of how Congress is supposed to work.