Hello, tonight is the first night of Hjanuukha (admit it, all the various spellings of this word are almost that ridiculous) and Sunday is Christmas. I haven’t bought a single present and am sitting here in my pajamas. Here is a Gift Guide for all 8 crazy nights (plus 3 bonus nights) to help you not be like me.
1. Is giving someone deodorant weird? I don’t know. All I know is that the deodorant pictured above is the best and most effective I have ever used, and it’s 100% natural and won’t give you rashes or cancer-fears. It’s made by an actual person and not packaged in a warehouse full of mistreated workers. If giving someone deodorant is too weird, Soapwalla (Rachel Winard) also makes a lot of other face and body things that are all so good. I especially like the facial serum.
2. I stole this idea from this other excellent gift guide, but Blue Bottle sells a kit to make its New Orleans iced coffee at home. I am getting this for Ruth, shh don’t tell her.
3. Speaking of Ruth, our store Emily Books offers Gift Certificates. You can buy someone a book or a whole subscription. For a limited time — let’s say, from today until New Years — I will email your giftee to inform him/her of his/her gift and congratulate this person on his/her good taste and luck in having you as a friend. I will probably also send a YouTube video of a cat or something. It is $1 extra to have me not do this. Just kidding. (But seriously let me know if you’d rather I not do this, emily at emilybooks.com)
4. Honesty compels me to inform you that NYRB Classics now also has a book club (where did they get that clever idea?) and a gift subscription to it is an AWESOME present. (A great COMPLEMENT to an EB subscription). You can order a 6-month or a 12-month plan and receive a surprise book “from among their newest titles” every month.
5. Nepotism compels me to inform you that if you order any item from the n+1 store before midnight tonight and use the discount code HOLIDAY you will receive free shipping. Their “subscriptions team” can ensure Christmas delivery and I’m pretty sure by “subscriptions team” they mean interns, so, better than mistreated warehouse elves.
6. One of my favorite yoga studios, Alison West’s Yoga Union, is selling class cards for 50% off during the holidays. This is a ridiculously good deal and an ideal gift for anyone who does yoga.
7. Physical books: still a great gift. If you have friends who read a lot, though, it can be hard to cater to their finicky tastes. Here are a couple of one size fits all book gifts, which I encourage you to, duh, seek out at Word or McNally Jackson or BookCourt or Greenlight, where if they don’t have them in stock they’ll still probably be able to get them for you faster than Amazon.
*Vegetarian Entrees that Won’t Leave You Hungry by Lukas Volger
a gorgeous cookbook that even non-vegetarians will appreciate for its no-nonsense, creative approach to cooking affordable real meals for special occasions or every night
*Hark, A Vagrant by Kate Beaton
hilarious comics, just out of the buy-it-for-oneself-on-a-whim price range, ie a perfect present. It has a lot of jokes about history. Especially good for Dads, perhaps.
8. Classes at the Brooklyn Kitchen are known to be life-changing (definitely: knife-changing). For people who cook, new kitchen tools are always appreciated as gifts. Skip the gadgets and go for the basics: cutting boards, great knives. The staff here can tell you what’s best.
9. If you’re making homemade gifts and need to package them in cute little glass jars and bottles or mason jars, Kings Pharmacy has a lot of those.
10. Hard to imagine anyone who wouldn’t love a gift certificate to Littleneck, unless he doesn’t live in NY or is a vegetarian, in which case see #7
11. I just remembered the existence of Erie Basin. If you are looking to make someone love you forever, strange and wonderful antique jewelry is known to work.