Not another effing gift guide (oh yes it is!)
Have I ever posted a timely gift guide? Never, I always leave them way too late! But I do have a few house-y, DIY and arty recommendations that have come my way, so consider this a nesting guide of sorts instead. Things to buy as gifts, or self-gifts, or just to inspire you for the New Year. (To shop the post, scroll to the end. Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.)
It’s been the year of the blanket in our house and at this point I honestly can’t think of a more meaningful gift. A Pendleton* is always my first choice; they’re extremely well made and hardwearing. More affordable are these reversible soft wool Arket blankets* and the gradient mohairs from Toast. If you missed the memo, pashminas are back – I spotted these made-in-Kashmir Andraab hand woven ‘dussa’ shawls (above) in the New York Times, which will make all those alfresco winter dining situations that much chicer. Feeling really generous? Please buy me this Hermès horse motif blanket – it doubles as wall art.
I’m sure self-care gifts will be right up there with blankets this year. It’s a great call; how can you not be delighted with soaps, candles and beauty oils? If in doubt buy Aromatherapy Associates oils – either the classic bath oils* or the new shower oil*. Toast is a brilliant one-stop shop for self-care shizz, the scented glycerine soap is a joy and you can get the accompanying soap dish too. Considering it’s been the year of soap (as well as blankets), there’s a shortage of good soap dishes. I do love this Anthropologie* one. Meanwhile… is it even Christmas if you haven’t bought or received a scented candle? Perfumer h has the best refillable candles in their stunning coloured glass jars. Go for Pine or Marmalade. Also on the scent front, a new discovery for me this year – perfumer Maya Njie. Her Nordic Cedar* (with a hint of musk) is perfect for this time of year.
MAKE IT YOURSELF
If you’re super brave (and super fast) you could make these yourself. But I mean these more for the DIY-crafting giftee. For example, this knit your own socks download from Purl Soho (above), or one of these KIY (knit it yourself) sweater kits by Waste Yarn Projects (remember I mentioned their ready-mades here?). And one thing I want to learn next year is darning. Might gift myself a darning mushroom and Hikaru Noguchi’s excellent book.
ART AND CULTURE
On the art and culture front, the museum shops always have the best stuff. Jigsaw puzzles are the big thing this year but will it be the Kaws, Haring or Warhol? Or maybe this Kenny Scharf (above), which is available now for preorder from Dec 30th. If your giftee is the art-meets-fashion type, consider an art tee. The AA Bronson Robert Indiana-style tee and Sunil Gupta tee from Positive East both benefit AIDS charities.
For the fashion-loving friend, it’s all about the sensible keep-forever pieces. Such as the perfect plain hoodie for that difficult-to-buy-for person. I love the eco-friendly cream ones from Pangaia and the fact there are different weights and silhouettes. Obviously socks are a must. Connolly’s cashmere and wool socks (top) come in tons of colours, although I’m partial to this storm cloud grey myself. but I also love the look of these Thunderslove marl socks. I spotted them on Toby Bateman’s IG and if they’re good enough for the former Porter MD they’re good enough for your dad/brother/husband. Footwear-wise, these beautiful ‘made in Puglia’ Fracap hiker boots would make me very happy (the nearest place I’ll be hiking to is my fridge but still) and these rustic red Striggings socks from Falke would go nicely.
Aside from blankets and soap, this has been the year of coffee gubbins! All the guys I know are obsessed with coffee and their attendant appliances. So for the coffee addict who has everything, how about a mug-warmer? There are quite a few out there but I like the look of this one. Or for the deskbound buddy who needs to up their water intake, I love this Hasami Japanese porcelain bottle*. Your giftee prefers tea? How about the Iga ceramic handmade tea pot (above), or for the modernist, Tom Dixon’s sculptural stainless steel number*. Add some Mariage Freres rose tea and they will be forever in your debt.
This was supposed to be the year of Japan but alas… maybe next year. Two books to give or receive in anticipation: Ikigai* is the most wonderfully uplifting book looking into the secrets of living longer (and contentedly). And Handmade in Japan – The Pursuit of Perfection in Traditional Crafts is the ideal gift for the craft-obsessed geek in your life. The standout fashion book of the year is definitely Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto*, which accompanies the recent Galliera Museum exhibition in Paris. The images, essays and overall production are beyond wonderful. And a fantastic coffee table book for any beauty-phile is Frédéric Malle: The First Twenty Years*, celebrating the art, craft and stories of the perfume house.
If it’s too late for postal dates, you can always gift subscriptions. Monocle magazine has just launched its dedicated women’s quarterly, Konfekt, which I’ve not seen yet but looks promising. You can buy subscriptions here. This year we have really enjoyed Graydon Carter’s weekly online newsletter Airmail, so I can recommend a subscription to that for any culture and current affairs buffs. I also highly rate the New York Times online subscription, here (currently on special offer). For the plant-fluencers (I know there are a few out there), who wouldn’t love a Royal Horticultural Society membership? Or a subscription to The Plant Magazine?
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WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Connolly, Andraab, Toast, Purl Soho, Art X Puzzles, Pangaia, Native & Co, Frédéric Malle, The Plant
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links* and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here
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23 December, 2020 @ 9:23 am
Yours is the only effing gift guide I want to read, Navaz! I hope you find one or two of these lovely things in your Christmas stocking. I’ll be heading straight over to the Konfekt website, although can only admire the Hermes lippie from afar… Take care and have a very happy Christmas and New Year!
23 December, 2020 @ 10:04 am
Thank you so much Wendy! Happy Christmas to you and yours!