Stress and seasonal depression are normal around this time of year. If you’re habitually feeling blissful, well then, maybe you’re just an outlier. But, it’s time to stop weighing yourself down, brush yourself up, and get down to some holiday business: shopping for loved ones or for anyone who’s a part of your life in some way. Finding the most ideal and unique gifts – No, Susan, I don’t want another pair of socks (unless they’re cool maybe, but that’s besides the point) – can be hard and downright exhausting. To save you from an endless episode of online surfing, we’ve compiled an unsponsored list of gifts that seems fairly budget-friendly and perfect for you filthy animals.
For The Stressed Out Mom
A healthy skin routine can not only revitalize her physically, but mentally as well. The benefits of a rose quartz roller are plentiful (and priceless): increased blood circulation and lymphatic flow, reduced pore size and wrinkles, improved skin tone, and of course, there’s more. Anyway, who wouldn’t want baby smooth, Benjamin Button skin?
Move on over influencers. Mommy’s bringing sexy back and reclaiming the bag that’s perfect for some warm paradise (not here). Whether it’s Cancun, Hawaii, or Florida (meh), this round and natural handwoven bag will make one neat addition to her closet.
Pay as much as you wish. There’s a gift card option that won’t deliver on time for Christmas since it’s kind of late, but do not fret my friend. Be a bit creative. If you plan on buying your mom admission for a day, stuff some cash inside a lovely handwritten card and maybe try adding some classic Godiva chocolates to go with it. The note should tell her it’s for Sojo Spa plus how wonderful she is.
For The Cool Dad
The Coziest Slippers and Loungewear Set from UNIQLO
Not much has to be said about this. I mean the Japanese casual wear brand UNIQLO is continually innovating and selling the coziest clothing possible that’s also a bang for your buck. Since style is subjective, browse through the online catalogue or in-store to find the snuggest outfit for your dad when he’s chilling at home.
Subscription to Vinyl Me, Please (Starting at $25 a month)
Is dad an indecisive record collector? Someone with more records in his Discog “want list” than his actual record collection? If so, Vinyl Me, Please is the perfect gift. A subscription service tailored to his taste, Vinyl Me, Please will send your poppa a new record each month. And an added bonus: if your dad doesn’t like the record he gets one month, he may generously pass it on to you.
For Someone Who Needs Headphones
Ariana’s Choice: Bose SoundLink Wireless Headphones ($199.99 – Available at Best Buy, Target, Costco, Walmart, and Amazon)
Chelsea’s Choice: V-MODA Crossfade Wireless Over-Ear Headphones ($99.99 – $114.99 at Amazon)
From listening to NPR podcasts to jazz on Youtube or Spotify, give the gift of comfortable noise-cancelling headphones. The lucky receiver of these headphones will easily know which side to put them on. No one really is a fan of those wireless buds anyway.
For the Spicy Girlfriend
There’s nothing wrong with giving the gift of pleasure. Especially a vibrator with rave reviews. It’s sexy. Period.
Savage x Fenty Underwear + Free Back Rub
Every guy wants to hook up with Rihanna. Every girl aspires to be Rihanna. Give her a taste of this year’s hottest and most SAVAGE undies (RIP Victoria’s Secret). Find the NYC pop-up store on 577 Broadway – First Floor. And if you want to offer a little something extra, hats off to the movie “Dodgeball” for this idea, give her an envelope with a note that says “Good For One Back Rub From (Your Name)”.
A Cool Looking Bucket Hat
If your girlfriend is a hat person, because we all know not everyone is, a good start to your search would be Urban Outfitters. You can find ones that all of those cool kids wear at Bushwick House music parties. Pick from the Urban Outfitters or FILA brand, bucket hats that come in all sorts of color and material: fuzzy nylon, cotton, suede, sherpa, or reversible material. Yay!
For the Music Appreciating Brother
Kalimba ( $42.99 via Amazon or find one at NYC’s Music Inn World Instruments)
Not quite pocket-sized, but still smaller than most other instruments, is the Kalimba. It’s like a combination of a handheld piano with metal keys you can play with your thumbs and a harp (in terms of the way it sounds), and originates from South Africa too! Instruments can get pricey but you can easily find Kalimbas worth less than $50. Music Inn World Instruments is an option for those who want to step foot in a store and try it out themselves.
Stylophone ($24.95 via Guitar Center)
Listen for it in “Space Oddity” by David Bowie, “Pocket Calculator” by Kraftwerk, and “Icky Thump” by The White Stripes. It’s there. The sound of this portable, stylus-operated synthesizer sold since 1967. It’s easy to snag an affordable one from the stores Guitar Center, Walmart, or Amazon.
33 ⅓ Book Series
Books are compacted with years of knowledge from people dedicated and educated (hopefully) to a certain subject. Pick up one of the many volumes of 33 ⅓, a series of books where each volume is an in depth analysis of a single album. It’s sort of wild if you care. Also, no one can afford to be ignorant (on purpose) during these times. Choose a book for your brother and get him inspired by an artist. You got a bunch of trusty bookstores and retailers like The Strand, Barnes and Noble, Amazon at your disposal.
For the Boyfriend who Loves Tech, Video games, Anime, and Movies
Raspberry Pi Kit (Price varies per kit)
If you’re boyfriend qualifies as any of the following: is an advanced computer user, has an affinity for building or setting up technology, digs retro-games, you must give him a Raspberry Pi kit right now. This one should suffice and if he’s handy with gear, he’ll know the exact pieces to include. As one happy Amazon reviewer said, all he needed was a Micro SD card, an hdtv, and then bam, it’s up and working. But it depends on what your boyfriend wants to use his kit to make. Allow him to unleash his creativity and nerdiness!
Gris is a one of a kind, adventure video game (single player) available on Nintendo Switch or Steam (macOS, Microsoft Windows). The water colored, atmospheric visuals accentuate the storyline of a girl “lost in her own world, dealing with a painful experience in her life. Her journey through sorrow is manifested in her dress, which grants new abilities to better navigate her faded reality.”
If your man can live a happy and fulfilling life without Supreme, and just so happens to obsess over the post-apocalyptic, cyberpunk anime film, Akira, then you’re in for sick gift idea. Cop this Akira jacket or find a replica of Kaneda’s iconic fire-red motorcycle jacket embellished with the red and blue pill that reads “Good for Health” and “Bad for Education.” Or if he’s as captivated by Elon Musk as Grimes is (or the rest of the world is), then you can win his heart with a SpaceX hoodie.
Gift certificate to Syndicated Bar Theater Kitchen
If your boyfriend’s a Brooklyn boy (like mine, wink wink) or is a guy who rides the subway often to Bushwick, give him a nod and some direction to a cool film bar. He can watch Kubrick classics like Eyes Wide Shut or some random, artsy film he finds interesting. Can’t go wrong with a movie, especially when he’s got warm, fuzzy feelings from you and his beer.
For Your DJ Bestie
Aphex Twin’s Collapse EP on Vinyl ($22-$24 or above depending on where you purchase it from)
While your friend may not fully comprehend everything about Aphex Twin, that’s okay. Richard D. James is one of the most well-respected and influential electronic artists in history and has released a trippy sounding EP that’s worth sharing with your friend. Pick one up at Rough Trade, the electronic record store Halcyon Shop, or online at Discogs, Reverb LP or Amazon if that’s easier.
Tickets to See a Legendary Club That May No Longer Exist (Prices vary with each show)
Catch a show at Output before it closes for good on January 1st. It may be bittersweet, but at least he or she can say they experienced it. Check out the list of shows that include Danny Tenaglia, Francois K, The Martinez Brothers, and others, and kiss one of the few fun places left in the overly commercialized Williamsburg one last goodbye.
And while not all of these gifts may come in time, it’s the thought that counts. Right?