Last week, I shared my own Chrismakkuh list with you in hopes that
my mom would read it and subsequently purchase everything it listed it would inspire some holiday cheer. This week, in my most altruistic move yet, I will be sharing my recommendations for gifts for others. Other bloggers have been on the holiday gift list bandwagon since December 1, but I know the truth–we’re New Yorkers. We are far too busy to go holiday shopping prior to the week before Christmas. In honor of tomorrow being the last day that overnight shipping will actually deliver your gifts before Christmas morning, I present–all you want for Christmakkuh.
1. Of The Month Clubs
[For Her: Birchbox. For Him: Bacon]
This ain’t yo momma’s wine and cheese club (although, I have absolutely nothing negative whatsover to say about a wine and cheese club. What could be better than coming home on a random weeknight to a package of booze and brie?) I’ve always been a sucker for Of-The-Month-Clubs for the same reason I still subscribe to magazines–I love mail, and when the mail is a package, it’s even better. A fun alternative from the standard wine, cheese, or chocolate of the month club is this Bacon of The Month package from Ted’s Butcher Block. I can think of exactly zero men in my life who wouldn’t appreciate having a fine hunk of bacon delivered to their door monthly. Another fun option for dudes is the Beer of the Month from The Original Craft Beer Club. At $90 total for 6 months of bacon, or $37 per month for 12 beers for 6 months, you pay the same amount for a fun, gourmet experience as you would in your local bodega. For the chick in your life, I couldn’t recommend Birchbox more highly. The company was started by best friends and Harvard Biz School grads in 2010 as a way for women to cut through the clutter of the beauty world to find products that really work for them. Every month, they send subscribers 4-5 luxury beauty product samples, packaged adorably in a box that often includes lovely edible and pretty surprises. Best of all, the Birchbox is only $10 per month! I’ve gotten this as a gift for friends, family members, and colleagues and they’ve all sung their praises. The beauty products tend to be things I would actually use, are perfect for travelling, and best of all, are super cute (and as we all know, girls love cute shit). Other fun Of-The-Months include StyleMint (Tshirts curated by Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen), Whiskey Explorers (monthly whiskey shipments that include bottles that are fun to re-purpose and useful tumblers), and Foodzie (a Birchbox of artisinal foods including cheese, dips, sauces, spreads, meats, and dried fruits).
In my Chrismakkuh list, I expressed my desire for a new iPad case. I am pretty sure that iAccessories are this year’s universal gift (unless you still have a Blackberry, in which case, just…awwww). The vast majority of my friends and family own either iPhones, iPads, iTouches or several variations thereof, and with endless iAccessories to choose from, you can find something for everyone on your list. For iPhones, why not try a new snazzy case? iLike this one from J.Crew (pst–all JCrew items are currently 30% off in stores. I learned this the hard way yesterday). For your mom, who always texts while driving even though she is a terrible driver, I suggest the Satechi car holder and mount, which will hold your iPhone like a GPS while you dictate to Siri, or, actually use it as a GPS. For iPods, speakers are your best bet. I love the iPod DJ speaker shown above for your favorite dude, or this iDuck speaker, which is waterproof and can float in your bathtub while you relax to
tunes from Glee classical music. If all else fails, or you are supremely lazy, iTunes gift cards work great wonders. Also, they can be bough in increments ranging from $10 to $200, at your local Duane Reade or CVS. Sew simple.
3. Gift Cards
Speaking of gift cards, at this high and mighty hour, they may very well be your best bet. Gift cards to chain stores, unless they are in the quadruple digits to Barney’s, are pretty lame. A more thoughtful option, and one that will resonate more pleasantly with the receiver, are gift cards to local luxury shops, or better yet, experiences. As I mentioned earlier, I would love a gift card to my local Pilates place. Why not step it up and give your loved ones a voucher for yoga, barre classes, or Barry’s Boot Camp? Fitness classes in the city are irritatingly expensive, and I am pretty sure I burn more calories when I know someone else paid for my downward facing dog. Gift cards to a favorite spa or salon are also a big hit. While I normally get my nails did for $25 at the Murray Hill salon on my boyfriend’s block (Buddha Nails & Spa I love thee), when giving a gift, I like to choose a slightly more luxurious and fun experience. My favorite is Dashing Diva–with over ten locations in New York, it’s a perfect place for one to spoil oneself. A standard mani-pedi is $50, and a deluxe one, with conditioning sea salts, soy milk, oils of all flavors and mini-massages can run up to $100, but both come with cocktails and champagne, sweet treats, and a Barbie-dream-house environment. Although I wouldn’t normally get my nails done here, Dashing Diva is the perfect gift to invite someone to treat themselves, and a great venue to have a bachelorette or birthday pampering session. Bliss Spa gift cards are my second fave. Bliss facials, massages, peels, manis, pedis, and detoxes are a lovely treat for any New Yorker. Their gift cards are also valid for their huge line of products if the receiver would rather DIY. A good non-beauty/fitness option is a gift card to places you normally wouldn’t shop for yourself–that candle store that smells so freaking good but only carries votives in the $80 range, or Murray’s Cheese, where fromage comes at a 150% price hike but you can spend an afternoon wandering, sampling, and salivating (pssst–gift cards are good for classes, too)! Finally, my favorite gift to give and receive (and, coincidentally, the present that my boyfriend’s wonderful parents got us this year) is a restaurant gift certificate. There’s nothing I love more than a delicious meal out, and if calories feel more thoroughly burned if they were financed by someone else’s wallet, they certainly taste more delectable if you aren’t left with a hefty check after enjoying them. Many New York restaurants let you buy a gift card straight from their site (we decided on ABC Kitchen and Daniel, which includes DBGB‘s, DB Bistro Moderne, Bar Boulud and the rest of the NY eateries for our gift), or the Zagat Smartbox allows diners to pick from over 50 restaurants for their table for two and comes with the current Zagat guide in a fun package.
Happy Holiday shopping! And don’t feel bad–PR Newswire reports that 25% of us haven’t even started ours yet, and I’m willing to bet that number is a whole lot higher in New York.