holiday gifts for people who don’t like gifts
I’ll be the first to admit I’m hard to shop for. Why? For one, I don’t feel like I need anything, and the things I want are usually not for sale. Things like unlimited hugs and time can’t be bought, unfortunately.
Depending on how you look at it, this makes me 1) an expert on Gift Guides for People Who Are Impossible To Shop For and/or 2) the worst name to pull out in a Secret Santa drawing.
Over the years, I have come up with various solutions to my “problem.” In recent years, I have avoided exchanging gifts during Christmas altogether opting instead to splurge on plane tickets during the year to visit friends in other states / countries, and special occasion dinners instead. This has worked out for me, but even I know that, sometimes, you just want to wrap something up and give it to somebody.
With this in mind, here is my wish list for the year to inspire you.
Instead of adopting a dog this year, I am asking Chris to donate to Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue, a community of dog rescuers, adopters and fosters that help homeless pups find homes. (How can you resist that face?) Please donate here if you’d like.
Stuff stockings with sentimental, useful and super retro knick knacks from Restoration Hardware. I like this music splitter for sharing music, this wall-mount bottle opener for $8, and this kid-friendly kaleidoscope. (I don’t like “things” but I like kaleidoscopes.)
Contact your favorite artist and buy artwork from them. Even better, commission a project. I hired Clair Rossiter, a young artist in the UK, to create two new logos for me this year. One for this blog, and one for Stupidly Simple Snacks. It was the best present to myself. She sells prints of her watercolor paintings, too. Take a look.
I am not sure if Aaron Stewart sells his cartoon + real life people pictures, but it’s worth asking. See his funny characters on Plaid Oranges.
A photo session with Alice Gao Photography would make a thoughtful and gorgeous present. Trust me, everyone wants a decent photo of themselves. Alice is also selling a very pretty 2013 calendar based on her popular Instagram photos, pictured above.
I love this image by Brooklyn photographer and videographer Eddy Vallante. Eddy specializes in showing real people and real places (Think: little to no makeup) but that are unmistakably beautiful au naturel. Visit his website to see more.
For gifts of food, go Italian. There’s something about Italian cuisine that seems especially festive to me, whether it’s an Italian cookie platter (with rainbow cookies!), a thick wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano (parmesan cheese), bottle of Italian red wine or prosciutto. Italian food gifts are pretty much fail-proof unless you have specific dietary concerns that exclude happiness.
Last but not least… pictured above is impossibly soft and delicate culatello, which is cured ham made from the back leg of the pig. If prosciutto was an expensive apartment building, then culatello would be the penthouse. Not to harp too much on ham, but if you are attending a holiday party and expected to bring food, bring sliced prosciutto or culatello. It will make you the most popular person there, and you can thank me another time.
P.S. Texting gloves.
rainbow cookie image via new york magazine