The holidays are upon us, and there are lists upon lists of loved ones to shop for. We can never get enough handy gift guides, so we asked our lovely writer Aja what she has planned for her holiday shopping this year. For those unfamiliar with Aja, she pretty much has impeccable taste, so no surprises here that she also happens to be a pretty stellar gift buyer.
For Your Best Friend Who’s Cooler Than Anyone Else For Miles.
Every year my best friend and I tend to really go to town spending on each other for Christmas. One might say we spend on each other the way our romantic partners would if they spent everyday hanging out with us in Liberty London. But being that she is my platonic life partner, I feel it’s completely justified. Because no one else is there to pick you up off the floor when you get dumped and your Grandmother passes away, all in the same month (true story). Few people notice when you lose weight because you’re depressed and hug you gently. Most people say you’re looking “fabulous,” instead of taking the time to recognize and register how much pain you’re in. There may be people that will give you sympathy and hugs, but only one person is going to tell you,
“Man Aja, you’re a pretty girl but an ugly crier.” And that, my friends, is completely priceless.
1. The Perfect Beanie. These Acne hats are so gorgeous that she certainly won’t lose one of them, plus she was the first person to tell me about Acne in 2006. And my response was, “Like the stuff you get on your face?” #TooCoolForSchool
2. Extra Fancy Nail Polish. Smith & Cult is my favorite brand of luxury nail polish. The bottles look beautiful lined up on your dresser, and the polish has a good lifespan, unlike some other luxury polishes I’ve bought.
3. A Classic Clutch. Trends come and go, but this little pouch by Comme des Garcons will be something you will always carry with pride. Trust me. Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy had one.
4. A Set Of Winter-Scented Candles. Another one of the classics, Diptyque is everywhere. But if something is THAT popular, there’s a good reason for it. Recently, I was tickled to see that Jenna Lyons had Santal in her office at J. Crew! That’s my favorite, too. Twinsies.
5. Some Luxurious Skincare. Byredo is a brand that everyone loves but gets deflected by the price tag. Be a pal and just do it. I haven’t tried this lotion myself, but the scents are all wonderful and unique, so I don’t think it would be a fail.
6. A Gift That Doubles As A Killer Pun. LennyMud is where you go to put the quirk back in tea time. Because it will make her (and you) laugh.
For The Teen Who Rolls Their Eyes At Your Corny Jokes.
Listen, here’s the thing: gift cards. Teenagers with a highly developed sense of self, nine out of ten times, won’t like whatever you decide to get them for the holidays. No matter how cute you think it is. That is the absolute truth. I remember that age and mostly hating whatever people gave me unless it was something I specifically requested. Sure, it sounds spoiled now, but teenagers are given pretty much zero autonomy over much of their life, while still being told to act like an adult. So, if they ask for something specific for the holidays, be that cool adult who actually listens. Don’t get them what you think they should have. Because you’re doing it wrong. But if they are sweet and give you the option of picking it out yourself, don’t screw it up. No pressure, right?
1. Badass School Supplies. Pencil sharpeners are usually so dull. So how about one shaped like an adorable beaver?
2. A Retro Tech Toy. When I was your age, we had Polaroids, kid. But now everyone has those new-fangled iPhones, and you can print off your photos to look like Polaroids. (Since this is a little pricy, maybe go in with a few people.)
3. Drinkable Sass. I haven’t met too many teenagers who weren’t sleep deprived. I’m pretty sure my sister spent all four years of high school curled up in a chair in our living room. You can never get enough sleep at that age, and this mug’s message is too real.
4. Dorm Decor. This would make any bedroom pop: a personalize-able light up board!
5. Leggings Are Never A Bad Idea. Adidas leggings. #BecauseGigiAndBellaHadid
For The Dad Who Has Everything
1. Novelty Tees. My Dad would rather chew his own arm off than go shopping for new clothes. Lucky for him, his work has a very casual dress code. Not all novelty tees are created equally, but “Pop: The man, the myth, the legend” was a home run. According to my Dad, these are good quality tees. He likes.
2. A Little Bit Of Analog. Sure, you can always show off those photos of your adorable grandkids on your phone, but that’s pretty amateur. Take it to the next level of by printing your photos and then proceed to chase your colleagues down the hallway with them.
3. The Perfect Cup Of Coffee. We go through phases with coffee. Sometimes we drink it a lot, sometimes we drink it a little. The simplicity of the Chemex guarantees a great tasting cup of coffee… plus, it’s really visually appealing!
4. Never Underestimate A Good Bandito Roll. “Where are my glasses? Where’s my phone charger? I think I’ve misplaced my phone. Again.” You see where I’m going with this one.
5. An Update For His Vinyl Collection. Because his turntable has been broken for years and he’s probably never going to get it fixed, even though he swears up and down that he will.
For The Boyfriend Who’s Better At Adulting Than You Are
1. New Shoes. Duh. Is it a sneaker? But could it pass as a work shoe? Precisely. He picked these out himself, and I had them shipped right to his doorstep in London and patted myself on the back for a job well done.
2. Smartphone Projector. Well this is just brilliant. Really.
3. Matching Graphic Tees. We both already own Basquiat crown shirts, so we may as well keep our collection growing.
4. The Nessie Ladle. Because he’s a better cook than I am and it reminds me of our trip to Scotland last summer. Also, who wouldn't want their very own Samson the Ladle? (Best. Instagram. Ever.)
5. A Man Candle (AKA: A Candle) This looks like a scent we’d both agree on.
For Your Mother, Who "Never Wants Anything"
My mother never wants anything. Ever. Through the years, she has always claimed that. But then when she mentions items that she "wouldn’t mind receiving," we've consistently failed to deliver. Go team! Here’s her dream wishlist.
1. Something She Can Make Her Own. She’s always wanted a cheapie grow box for her herbs. Not those type of herbs, you heathens! This one is cool because it grows on the wall, for those of us lacking space.
2. Watches. All hail the world’s most unsexy stocking stuffer. Few people wear watches these days. But I bet your mother has one that she loves and it needs a new battery so she can wear it. Do the thing we should have done years ago and get your mother a watch battery. (Bonus points for taking it to the mall kiosk to have them do it before you give it to her!)
3. The Magic Bullet Can Do No Wrong. We have used our Magic Bullet so much that it’s kind of broken. I was a smoothie making machine summer and autumn. Now we’re missing out on making yummy soups from scratch. Maybe it’s time to place a new one under the Christmas tree. It’ll transform your life. Trust us.
4. Slippers. We each have a pair of these, and yes, they’re an assault upon the eyes. However, they’re super cozy and ballet dancers often wear these and other snuggly shoes to keep their feet warm, so that’s how you know they’re the real deal. Plus, they’re on sale.
5. A Cashmere Scarf. She’ll claim she didn’t need it, but man oh man, will she love it. (Bonus points: she’ll stop borrowing yours.)