Blogger/illustrator Krisatomic put it best: magazine gift guides are out of control. And GOOP—saying “clutch tix” is the least offensive thing in your guide—I CANNOT with you. Basically, if you’re looking for the most grotesque, Trump-worthy clock you’ve ever seen, stop reading and go here. If you’re still with me, below are some actual items that I am giving REAL HUMAN PEOPLE this year:
1. True and Co Caracter top ($29), Jasmin cami ($36), and Character pants ($29)
I hope we’re agreed that it is perfectly normal to stay at home on a Saturday night with an addictive book or TV marathon and some adult beverages. Because putting on pants is out of the question, I was so happy to find some cute, affordable cozy gear at True and Co. thanks to a tip from Oh Joy. Vogue, you can keep your $500 cashmere leggings. I won’t feel bad about spilling nachos on my $29 pair.
2. Jegman Polaroid tie ($50) and Fertility tie ($50)
I know, I know: ties are kind of boring dude gifts. But until I can afford the Samsung wrap-around monitors and gaming center that my boyfriend really covets, these get the job done. Jegman ties have unusual prints like Polaroids and—for the Schmidt in your life—sperm. If you squint, he will totally look like Joseph Gordon-Levitt in these. Well, closer to it. These are also good for former-hippie dads with a sense of humor.
3. Happy Endings seasons 1+2 on DVD ($29.99)
I don’t know why this show doesn’t get more attention, but I love it the way some people love Community. Well ok, I’m not that rabid, but still: it makes me ugly-laugh like nothing else on TV right now. It’s fast paced and filled with references to everything from Full House to annoying hipsterisms, and I love that I can find new jokes on repeat viewings. Plus, it has one of my favorite gay characters on TV right now (Max). If you know a pop culture junkie who isn’t into Happy Endings yet, get them on board.
4. The Mortal Instruments series (19.79, various prices)
Beth laid it out for us: TMI is a thing that is happening. Imminently. Do you have a book club friend who feels like there is something hot, British, male and/or fictional missing in their life? Fill it with Jace, the bad boy from The Mortal Instruments series played by Jamie Campbell-Bower in the upcoming movie. Instead of torturing your friend with just the first book, get them the whole series. And maybe some Campbell-Bower pants, to get ahead of the game.
5. The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 1 and Volume 2, each $14.99
So, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, noted attractive person, has this production project/artist collective called hitRECord. Long story short, artists of every persuasion (illustrators, animators, singers, videographers, writers) collaborate on projects from videos to books and even live performances. The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories is a great gift for anyone, really—it’s full of witty drawings with some dark humor thrown in. But let’s be real: get this for yourself too, so that when you meet JGL you are familiar with his passion project and can talk art or whatever over drinks (I haven’t thought about this at all).
6. That’s Normal flask ($22.50)
Perfect for sneaking into a show that Sam Palladio (Gunner on Nashville) is playing with his band Salt Water Thief. (From what I see on YouTube, you might need it—sorry, Sam). Also good for Tuesdays. Tuesdays are hard.
7. Music from Nashville on ABC (on iTunes, figure it out)
Sidebar: I grew up in Hicksville, Oregon, surrounded by Wranglers and Garth Brooks. Let’s just say I officially swore off country music in 1998 and never looked back. Thanks to TN, I’m totally in love with
Sam Palladio Nashville despite years of sneering at the genre, and I can’t stop listening to the ridiculously good music coming out of this show. Use iTunes’ gift option to force songs upon non-believers and watch as they come around (I recommend If I Didn’t Know Better *fans self.*)
8. Laws of General Economy Dot pouch ($60), Scarf ($125), Steven Alan coat ($370 or best offer)
So, I really debated whether or not I should let you guys in on this shopping secret of mine. I just want you to know that this is one of the few well-kept shopping secrets of the Internet. And I’m bestowing it upon you. Aaaaand now I’m overhyping it. Laws of General Economy is a no-frills way to buy clothes and accessories from other stylish individuals. It’s a little unusual in that there is a bit of a lottery system: if you are serious about buying something, comment with your PayPal email on the post within the allotted time (usually a week), and the “winner” will be drawn randomly from the comments. I know, it sounds weird and prone to Internet Douchery, but I’ve never had a bad experience. Everyone seems to be legitimately trustworthy and cool, and you can find some great gift items at a range of prices (not everything is as expensive as those listed here). For example, I’m obsessed with this sweater I just got. Let’s move on before I regret telling you this and get shut out of future dorky sweater opportunities.
9. Ward Maps Port Townsend 1878 antique map (Reproduction print: $14.95)
Ward Maps is a store in my neighborhood that has a truly impressive collection of antique maps. They make great gifts for both close friends and bosses, mothers in law, etc. For someone you know well, you can search Ward’s database for old maps of their hometown or a meaningful place in their favorite book (unfortunately the best I could do was Port Townsend, a rather obscure Pacific Northwest Twilight location, but it’ll do). If you’ve got a big budget, spring for the original antique and make it a one-of-a-kind gift. If your gift fund is a little smaller, they sell prints and can even put the map on mugs and coasters, CafePress style.
10. The Passage by Justin Cronin ($7.99 new, cheaper used)
Oh, you guys. I could go on for a LONG time about how good this book is, but I’ll try to keep this short: I haven’t been fully consumed by a book since…well, you know. It’s the first in a trilogy (the second book, The Twelve, was just released in October), includes vampires (kind of, and they are SO SCARY), poses questions of spirituality and humanity, and the film rights are already purchased. I didn’t really know “epic” until I read this. Even The New York Times approves of it all. It might be too long or have too much character development for some, but I am utterly obsessed. I’m giving it to my dad this year, pushing it on my boyfriend and BFF, and can’t WAIT to see what happens next.
11. RESOUL’d DESIGNS Clock Gears necklace ($55)
I just love this simple, delicate necklace made of tiny clock gears. There’s only one listed in the shop right now, but she is making more!
12. 20×200 Crystallized print ($24-$1200), Gold snowflake print ($60-$3000)
20×200 is all about affordable art. Prices vary depending on size, and there are tons of paintings, prints, and photographs to choose from. This print of a wolf, titled “Jake,” is just too good/weird to be true. AND the artist’s name is Jacob. I mean…
13. Blueberry English Perpetual Calendars ($25)
I love a dude-of-the-month calendar as much as the next girl (or guy), but they just don’t get a lot of action when competing with Google/my phone. For calendar stuff! Not stalking! Anyways…I like the idea of perpetual calendars for important dates (like Ron’s birthday on May 13, JGL’s on February 17, or obviously National Wine Day on May 25) that can be on your wall for more than just a year.
That’s what I’m getting people (and myself) this year! Beyond the above, I highly recommend heading to the LTT store for all of your normal gifting needs.
Do you like any of the ideas above? Any interesting gift-giving tips to share?